Happiness is not a matter of intensity, but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony
Do you sometimes feel like the work / life scales are a little lopsided and however much you tell yourself that you will get them to balance up one day, the scales just keep getting heavier on the work side. Don’t get me wrong, work can be very rewarding in life, but can become a lot weightier on your time without a personal strategy to keep it in check. One thing is for sure, just telling yourself those scales will balance out one day will not work, you must take a pragmatic and committed approach to a work life balance. Below is a step by step approach to developing a strategy that creates the balance that is right for you:
- Work out what balance means for you. Getting some clarity on what balance means to you as an individual will help you know what you are aiming for. I have found working with my clients that this means very different things to different people. Ask yourself what a balanced life would look like and put it in writing to remind yourself of what it is you want.
- Establish and diarise balance points during your day. A balance point is time spent actively engaging in an activity that gives you a sense of harmony. This maybe a 10 minute walk outside, daily conversation with a friend, daily journaling, affirmations or regular exercise regime. Regular balance points throughout your day will help you clear your mind, energise your soul and help bring some order to an overwhelmed mind.
- Control technology rather than letting it control you. You know the time when you suddenly come round from a Facebook coma and you realise that quick glance of your feed turned into a solid hour of looking at photo’s of people’s lives that you barely know anymore. Or the times when you have a quick glance at your work email before bed and come across something that you feel you have to deal with right there and then, which results in you going to bed in the wee small hours of the morning. Well these times are complete work / life balance destroyers. Make sure you use technology constructively to reach your goals and enhance your life. Limit your use of social media to a certain amount of time per day and schedule in time to your diary where you check your emails. Put all technology away 30 minutes before bed or turn phones onto plane mode if you use it as an alarm clock. Planning strategic activities with technology and blocking time out to carry out these activities will guard against your time being consumed with the urgent but unimportant.
- Deal with your stress. Symptoms of stress can include ill health, lack of energy, feeling of anxiety, being overwhelmed, indecisiveness, procrastination and how lot of other time rendering modes of being. Stress takes up much of your valuable time, energy and thinking space which in turn makes it even harder to create a work / life balance. So take the time to find out what the root cause of your stress is. This might be something you can do on your own via self-development books or YouTube channels. If you find yourself getting stuck or hitting a road block, you may want to think about working with a coach to help you unearth any negative beliefs or habits, and create new supportive ones. You might like to read Ease The Stress for tips on how to reduce stress.
- Set strong boundaries and learn the art of saying ‘no’. Set strong boundaries at work and at home. Let yourself and others know what these boundaries are, so if you are leaving work at 5pm to see your children into bed, then let your boss and colleagues know this is what you are doing. Don’t take on too much because someone has asked if you would do it, so look after the cake stall at the village fete, but don’t say yes to baking all the cakes for it too! Learn the art of saying ‘no’ politely but firmly. This will help you to manage your time more effectively, allow you the time to do the things outside of work that you want and keep you from having to bake 100’s of fairy cakes on a Friday night when you had planned to go out with your girlfriends.
For more information on coaching to create a work / life balance then please get in touch. I would be more than happy to talk this through with you.