Over the last decade there has been tons of talk about work-life balance. But the new generation of workers actually want to live it not just talk about it. I have my own take on this (of course). I believe balance is thought, practice and (here comes the most important part of this LIFEies) an understanding of what work-life balance actually is.
Let me state a few “rules” of my own life and how I look at this topic:
- Work-life balance on a daily basis is EXTREMELY difficult to do and if this is your goal….good luck.
- Different goals require different perspectives based on their time allotment and commitment. Becoming the top producer of all time at Lee & Associates took 25 years.
- Work-life balance over a longer period of time (I use a year), is achievable AND it will allow you to actually accomplish some goals and milestones along the way.
How does this look in actual goal setting and real life? In this next 12 months are you:
1 – taking time for yourself (exercise, meditation, reading etc.). Can you do this at minimum 3-5 days a week?
2 – getting time with your loved ones and important people in your life (connecting in some way even if limited) on a daily or every other day basis.
3 – affording yourself time to get away and vacation time where you get out of the Matrix? Vacation is time away…so get away.
4 – working to improve yourself and getting ahead at work?
If yes, then I think you are on your way to being balanced.
If not, start tracking what is important to you and make small changes. Yes, I track my sleep, my connections, my workouts, AND my goals. I started tracking these to make sure I was on the right path and now I know immediately when I get off AND a lot of times I knowingly get off track because my priorities change. When they change, I don’t beat myself up, rather I just make a course change.
This is a huge topic, I have lots of my ideas to share going into this. If you have any thoughts, let me know. I am always looking for better solutions.
Rule #6 from my book The Fantastic Life: Stay Out of the Matrix
Don’t be held back by limitations that aren’t there. An overwhelming job might make it seem like balance is impossible, but you have the power to create YOUR Fantastic Life.
2 Big Misconceptions About Work-Life Balance That Will Get In Your Way Of Achieving It
If you are on a search for work-life balance in 2018, thinking very differently about two things might clear the path for you to be able to actually achieve the balance you are looking for. It did for me.
February 17, 2018
I run a small business. I’m also a writer who is married raising four kids of various ages ranging from baby and toddler to teenager and young adult. In it’s most cartoon-like moments, I feel like I’m part of a three-ring circus with everything I’m trying to manage in work and life. Even in the less crazy times, it is still a daily work-life balance challenge.
For the last year, I’ve been trying to get a handle on all of this work-life balance stuff, which has put me on a search for the “holy grail” of sorts of work-life balance.
In that journey, I’ve done a lot of things that have helped a lot. I’ve learned how to create a realistic vision of what I really want my work-life balance to look like. I’ve learned how to define boundaries better, in particular as it pertains to my cell phone. I’ve even learned to prioritize better in both work and life and build in time for a daily regenerative activity.
I’ve also come to realize that some of the problems many of us have with trying to get work-life balance might be coming from a misconceived notion of what it is. That was certainly the case for me.
Here are the two biggest misconceptions I had about work-life balance that stood in my way until I changed my thinking about them.
1. Better work-life balance = more fun
I have to admit that I went into my search for work-life balance with a belief that it was just about trying to put more fun back into my life. Maybe I was just a hopelessly busy entrepreneur and dad who was looking for more vacations, more relaxing at the beach, more sleeping in, and more of all of that kind of stuff.
As I got more into trying to really figure out my work-life balance problem, I realized that whereas most of us that are entrepreneurs and parents certainly would like more of all of those fun and relaxing things, getting work-life balance wasn’t just about that. I started to call this the “Carnival Cruise” version of work-life balance, and I found that many people I talked with about work-life balance had a similar version of it.
As I started to really get into the nuts and bolts of putting together my work-life plan – and allocating real hours and real time to real things on both sides of the work-life equation – I realized that getting true work-life balance might not mean doing all of the fun things but instead was about having the right amount of time to put into the most important things both at work and at home.
Sometimes these things were not fun at all but were incredibly meaningful and important.
Once I got my work-life balance right, I thought about the fact that I now had the time to spend with our teenager during some crisis times. I now had the time to spend with our two-year old son as he worked through a speech challenge.
Neither of these things would fall into the category of beach relaxation or the world’s best vacations, but I had created work-life balance to allow me to do those things. And that’s what work-life balance might really be about.
2. Work-life balance does not always mean a 50:50 split between work and life activities
Maybe I was being a bit literal, but seemingly every visual depiction of work-life balance (including the one for this article) showed a scale with equal amounts of things on each side of the work-life see-saw.
This kind of made me feel like it had to be a 50:50 split in terms of how much went to each side.
What I started to realize on my own journey was that very rarely is it ever 50:50. Maybe more importantly, it is perfectly fine if it isn’t.
For me at this point in my life, my work-life balance scale is skewed to about 65:35 on the “life” side of the equation. If I looked at a scale, that could appear like imbalance and make me feel like I hadn’t succeeded in getting balance. But in reality, it is perfectly balanced for my current wants and needs.
Until I came to terms with this, I kept feeling like I had to eliminate certain elements of the life side of my equation to get it to a perfect 50:50 balance.
If you are on the quest for your own holy grail of work-life balance, try thinking about these two misconceptions and applying different thinking about them to your own situation. I know that I got stuck halfway down the road until I figured them out myself.