First of all, I want to start with the fact that “work/life balance” is a very simplified view of what we are actually trying to balance. Most of us are trying to fit in their life work, romantic life, parenthood, social life, household obligations, health and well-being activities, personal growth & intellectual life and more.
But since the biggest part of our awake time is usually spent on work, in this blog post, I will focus on work/life balance, which you can read as work/everything-else-in-your-life balance.
The work-life balance is the flexibility to put our time where it feels right.
It is the ability to follow our inner compass and to recalibrate our attention to what is needed and what we feel good with. Then, the balance happens more naturally without too much effort on out end.
The challenge comes when work requires too much attention, constantly, or the opposite: we cannot work for prolonged periods of time, because something in our life requires most of our time. If we feel time-squeeze, stress or the pressure of meeting our own or someone else’s expectations, then we need to look at our work-life balance. Here are few tips:
Start by creating a well-being routine for yourself. Ideally, you have a practice/ritual of at least 30 minutes every morning to connect to yourself, to your heart, to your body, to your inner wisdom. I am sharing here "My femininity routine" to inspire you on different activities and moments of the day you can incorporate some "me" time to nourish you.
Set your work-life boundaries based on your priorities in a way that feels right for you. For example, you can decide that you will always be home for dinner. In case, you need to do some extra work in overtime, you will go home on time, will have dinner with your family and will finish up your work after the meal. Another example of a work boundary could be that you never work after office hours more than 2 times per week or that weekends are work-free days.
Be prepared to stay flexible and change plans/not follow your usual routine, if your life or you work needs your attention. Some examples: you need to take few hours off to bring a friend to the doctor or to talk to the principal of your child’s school or you will work next weekend to prepare an important presentation.
Eliminate the sense of guilt that you are not where you are supposed to be (e.g. on Easter you are working instead of being with your family or you are celebrating your sister’s birthday, instead of joining a teambuilding activity day). The feeling of guilt doesn’t allow you to be present with what you are doing. You are not enjoying; you are less effective, and you feel miserable. Just accept that you have made your choice and stay behind it. Immerse yourself fully in what you are actually doing. It is too late to change your mind anyways. On the next day, re-think your work-life boundaries. See the previous two points.
As we all know, work never ends, but fulfillment comes from the balance and from the feeling of mastery of our life.
Stay vigilant, live intelligently and make sure that your values are reflected in the way you are distributing your time, that you are allocating adequate time to what is most important for you.
Sometimes it doesn’t seem so, but it is always our choice what and how we live.