Work-life balance continues to be a hot topic of conversation around the drinks machine at work and on the sofa at home, in the evening. In this age of ‘always connected’ can you really control your work-life balance? Craig says, ‘Yes absolutely if you want to!’
It seems that the more people I talk to about work-life balance, the more it seems to be turning into an unachievable goal. Inevitably as our lives increase in busyness the thought of protecting our time to switch off and be away from work, (this includes checking emails on devices) becomes ever more distant.
But it doesn’t need to be like this. Sure, I’m writing this on a Sunday morning with music playing in the background. However, this is a conscious decision; one that I planned to do and am happy to do, as it doesn’t take away from ‘me’ time.
Maybe the concept of work-life balance is taken too literally. Does it really mean no work at home after 5.30pm? Maybe for some, it does, but maybe work-life balance is how we choose to view it.
If you’re clear about your definition of a healthy work-life balance and you’re achieving it, then fantastic. What I challenge you to consider is the following:
• what’s your definition of a work-life balance?
• where does your definition serve you well?
• where does your definition not serve you well?
• what do you need to shift in your definition to improve the positive impact on you and others around you?
• what are you going to do, to make it a reality?
As I’m sure all of us can think of someone in our lives who has been affected by an unhealthy work-life balance that has led to stress, is this, therefore, a focus that isn’t a ‘nice to get right’ but a ‘must get right’?
Work-life balance can be different for each person. You may get home from work and spend quality time with your loved ones and friends. Then you may spend an hour checking emails, to enable you to have a productive start to the next day. You may switch off at 5.30pm and not focus on work until the next morning. Or if you’re like me, you may choose to work for a few hours on Sunday morning, with music in the background and a decent coffee on the go! It’s the choice we make and thinking about the impact of our choice on ourselves and others around us, that’s vital.
How do you check in with your work-life balance? What works for you? We’re curious to know, so please add a comment, as your thoughts may just help someone else, especially during this National Work Life Week 2019. #WorkLifeWeek