Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Creating Good Work-Life Balance

"Life's demands may not slow up any time soon,and learning life balance is an ongoing art.If you think one day you will get it all done,and then you can relax, you are bound to be disappointed."
As we move up the success ladder of life, we may sometimes find ourselves full of more responsiblity and not enough time for ourselves. Like any addiction, if we consume ourselves even with work, it can bound to reap negative effects on our well-being especially if we don't take time to strike a balance and do something other than work that brings us fulfillment as well. Some of you may be lucky that you're doing what you love, so each day is pretty much a blessed day because you're serving your life purpose and doing something you enjoy. But even you need a little break sometimes to recharge your batteries so you can return to your job with more vigor, creativity and even new ideas!
That's why creating better work-life balance is always a good thing in the long run. You will get to enjoy all the rewards your hard work has been able to provide for you! Let's first define what work-life balance is not.
Work-Life Balance does not mean an equal balance. Trying to schedule an equal number of hours for each of your various work and personal activities is usually unrewarding and unrealistic. Life is and should be more fluid than that.

Your best individual work-life balance will vary over time, often on a daily basis. The right balance for you today will probably be different for you tomorrow. The right balance for you when you are single will be different when you marry, or if you have children; when you start a new career versus when you are nearing retirement.
There is no perfect, one-size fits all, balance you should be striving for. The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different priorities and different lives.
However, at the core of an effective work-life balance definition are two key everyday concepts that are relevant to each of us. They are daily Achievement and Enjoyment, ideas almost deceptive in their simplicity.

Engraining a fuller meaning of these two concepts takes us most of the way to defining a positive Work-Life Balance. Achievement and Enjoyment answer the big question "Why?" Why do you want a better income...a new house...the kids through do a good job come to work at all?
Most of us already have a good grasp on the meaning of Achievement. But let's explore the concept of Enjoyment a little more. As part of a relevant Work-Life Balance definition, enjoyment does not just mean "Ha-Ha" happiness. It means Pride, Satisfaction, Happiness, Celebration, Love, A Sense of Well Being ...all the Joys of Living.
Achievement and Enjoyment are the front and back of the coin of value in life. You can't have one without the other, no more than you can have a coin with only one side. Trying to live a one sided life is why so many "Successful" people are not happy, or not nearly as happy as they should be. You cannot get the full value from life without BOTH Achievement and Enjoyment. Focusing on Achievement and Enjoyment every day in life helps you avoid the "As Soon As Trap", the life dulling habit of planning on getting around to the joys of life and accomplishment "as soon as...."
"You know, I just want to achieve something today and I want to enjoy something today. And if I do both of those things today, I'm going to have a pretty good day. And if I do both of those things every day, for the rest of my life... I'm going to have a pretty good life."
And I think that's true for all of us. Life will deliver the value and balance we desire ...when we are achieving and enjoying something every single all the important areas that make up our lives. As a result, a good working definition of Work-Life Balance is:
Meaningful daily Achievement and Enjoyment in each of my four life areas of most people's concern: Work, Family, Friends and Self.

Ask yourself now, when was the last time you Achieved AND Enjoyed something at work? What about Achieved AND Enjoyed with your family; your friends? And how recently have you Achieved AND Enjoyed something just for you?
Why not take 20 minutes on the way home from work and do something just for yourself? And when you get home, before you walk in the door, think about whether you want to focus on achieving or enjoying at home tonight. Then act accordingly when you do walk in the door.

At work you can create your own best Work-Life Balance by making sure you not only Achieve, but also reflect the joy of the job, and the joy of life, every day. If nobody pats you on the back today, pat yourself on the back. And help others to do the same.When you do, when you are a person that not only gets things done, but also enjoys the doing, it attracts people to you. They want you on their team and they want to be on your team.

Simple concepts. And once you focus on them as key components of your day, they are not that hard to implement. So, make it happen, for yourself, your family and all the important individuals you care about...every day for the rest of your life... Achieve and Enjoy every day of your life!

Rock on!