Enter the phrase ‘work life balance’ into any search engine and you will end up with more information than any working adult has the time or will to read.
When it comes to balancing your work life with your personal life in this 24/7 switched on digital age, you must come to a common sense approach that fits your life and your career. There is no magic answer and no one formula fits all. So what works for an ER surgeon will not work for a store greeter.
1. Realise that setting boundaries with your boss is a sign that you have a healthy self-esteem. A good boss respects his or her employees and values them as resources to the company. They want you at your best and value you in your time off as much as they do when you are on the clock.
2. Ensure that you and your superior/reporting manager are in agreement about what is expected of you. A hospital doctor will know that being “on call” at certain times is part of the job, but a hairdresser would not. Negotiate the terms of your availability if you have to, but ensure the negotiation ends in agreement.
3. Draw a firm line between the work part of your day and the rest of your day. Doing something symbolic like changing out of work clothes when you arrive home or leaving laptops at the office, serves as a subliminal reminder that you are not at work. Leave work (and work problems) at work and leave home (and home problems) at home.
“East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” (Kipling, 1892)
4. Understand that work-addiction can be as bad for your health as a chemical addiction. The inability to say no to your boss (or your family) can wreak havoc on your health. Stress is a killer.
5. Engage in a little self-talk. Remind yourself that self-care is not selfish. Taking care of yourself with healthy eating, sleeping, and exercising patterns improves your physical and mental ability to complete any task. A physically, mentally fitter you is a better you in any situation. Talk to professionals if you need to.
6. Do things you enjoy and spend time with people you like and love. It’s that simple. Of course, simple doesn’t mean easy. But when you engage in activities and spend time with loved ones, you are feeding your soul. Try to appreciate that caring for yourself is nourishment to your mind, body, and soul.
It’s just plain common sense that a person who is satisfied and content in their personal life will bring his or her best self to the job resulting in a better employee. The opposite is also true – a person who is satisfied on the job will be happier in their personal life.
It’s a win-win situation when you strike a balance and reach harmony between the two. And that’s where balance becomes a delicate issue of the utmost importance that must be carefully and thoughtfully addressed.
Just use common sense.
What works for you? If you’ve successfully applied a common sense approach to juggling work and life, we’d love to hear ALL about it? Please comment below with any advice, tips, stories, and sources you think might be of benefit.