As millennials we really value work life balance, but do we actually balance them? Do we even know how? What does work life balance even mean? I will answer all these questions in this blog series. Part 1- What does work life balance mean?
Many of my clients tell me stories about their partners working 20 hour days. I can’t think of any job I would do that controlled my life like that. It’s one thing to know there is a period of time that you have to buckle down and balance may be near impossible, and it’s another thing to have work completely run your life forever.
If you aren’t doing what you love are you fully living?
We spend most of our day, week, and life working. Why waste so much of your life? There’s the common saying “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life”. That’s not necessarily true because sometimes you can love your job and it can still feel like work. The saying I prefer is “A job is what your paid for, a career is what you’re made for”. Don’t spend your life just working a job. Do something that you will look back on and feel proud of. At the end of your life will yoube able to say you left a legacy on this world?
Find your purpose in what you do every day. My coworker gave me this one day and said I fit the blue box in the middle, which is purpose. Try and find that middle ground in your life where everything overlaps.
#2- BALANCE is Key
You can do what you love and feel like you are working, but the key is balance. If you are working and not sleeping or eating, that is not balance. If you are not taking care of yourself first, that is not balance. If you are not making time to do things you enjoy, for FUN on a regular basis, that is not balance. Most of us work hard, long days and then just turn to that glass of wine or beer at the end of the day to make things better. Again- that is NOT balance (and trust me I love my wine at the end of a #winddownwinewednesday).
#3- What does work life balance mean?
The first step in determining balance is figuring out what your roles are right now, at this moment in life? They will change. We can only have six roles and everything we do in life should be in accordance to those roles. Watch this quick video to determine your six: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k_3dZB8Jcc (Fast forward to min 3:15)
To me balance means spiritual, emotional, physical, social and mental health are all take care of. I’m taking care of my spiritual needs by making time for daily devotions, going to small group once a week and church on Sundays. I’m taking care of my physical needs by getting my workouts in, drinking enough water, and eating well. I’m taking care of my social needs by making time to talk and visit relatives, and making time for friends by planning social outings/trips/game nights etc. I’m taking care of my mental needs by getting close to 8 hours of sleep/night and making time for personal development/growth.
You can also think of balance by breaking down life into these 4 quadrants:: Work, Family, Friends and Self.
#4- Work-life blend:
There is often a fine line-if any-between your work and your life. Work is often taking place outside traditional times and spaces. When it comes to the workplace there are two types of people: integrators (those who blend the boundaries between work and life) and segmenters (those who keep work and life completely separate-even to the extreme of not keeping family photos in their office). Integrators have an easier time transitioning between the two. With technology today, its expected of us to be connected all the time and not detaching is the norm. A benefit of segmentors is they report higher levels of well-being. If you’re an integrator, find ways to disconnect and make boundaries for yourself. I am more of an integrator. I love my coworkers and clients and consider them all one big family. When it comes to my schedule, I have learned to say no to taking clients at certain times of the day. I have made my schedule so Mon-Wed are long late days but then Thursdays and Fridays are shorter. I have learned there are days that at a certain time I just have to stop working for the day.
#5- ACTION (remember intention without action is useless):
- Think about what purpose means to you. Write a list in each area of the diagram that applies to you
- Determine your 6 roles for where your life is right now
- Figure out what work/life balance means to YOU (what are your spiritual, physical, mental, social, and emotional needs?)
- Set work boundaries and take time to disconnect.
- Stay tuned for the next Blog on How to achieve work/life balance.
Check out these RESOURCES:
I started listening to this podcast which is phenomenal: https://www.ted.com/read/ted-podcasts/worklife