Establishing Your Balance at Work
It is very common for this to be the most unbalanced part of you. In both my single and married life, I stayed very focused on keeping this balanced and centered. You can’t be successful if you work towards your own personal development at the expense of your company’s success. In the end, if you view work not as a means to escape from everyday life but instead as a means of enriching it, work-life balance becomes much easier. I have the mind frame that I ‘Work to Live’ – I do not ‘Live to Work’.
Life is a beautiful gift. How a person spends his or her time determines the quality of their life and who they become as an individual. Many people these days have grasped that there should be a balance between work and life, but some fail to understand their obligations towards both. Too often, people want to have a work-life balance, but fail to acknowledge their commitment level to an employer. In order to do a good job at a workplace that’s demanding of more from its employees, it is important that both parties commit to the expectations of one another.
When we think of careers now, especially since COVID-19, there are 2 very common work environments – outside of home and at home. Even though I have worked full time virtually since 2013, I have also worked outside the home full-time previously. For the most part, establishing your balance shouldn’t be that much different regardless of your career environment. Think of it more as a commitment level to your employer, while also keeping a commitment to yourself.
What is the work-life balance?
Work-life balance is a term that often comes up in job interviews and employee benefits. It refers to the idea of finding a happy medium between your work life and your personal life, or finding a way to balance the time you spend on your work with the time you take for yourself.
Work-life balance is a growing concern for everyone. Many individuals feel they are trapped in their busy schedules by having to fit life around work. Some employers are not teaching workers the value of self-care to keep up productivity. For workers to have a work-life balance, they need to find the investments in personal time that counterbalance the investment made towards their job.
3 Things to Consider When Balancing Your Work and Home Life
Accept that there is no ‘perfect’ work-life balance.
No two people are the same. Not married, single or in a relationship, work schedules and personalities vary. However, one thing that cannot be argued is that there is not really such a thing as a perfect work-life balance. It’s pointless looking for the ‘ideal’ time to stop work and start play, so instead, choose components to draw from in your own life.
I feel balanced when I achieve giving 100% focus and attention to work when I am at work and 100% focus to my personal life when I am off of work. There will be some days you will be more distracted with work, there will be days you are more distracted with your personal life. (It is called Life, right?).
This balance isn’t exactly about balanced hours with both sides, it’s about meeting the demands and priorities of both sides.
Find ways to transition between work and leisure time.
- your commute
- work out
- take 5 deep breaths at the door.
These are just a few ways to begin your transition from one to the other. Think about your day as a whole. What are the few minutes each day that bring you joy and can help you transition to being 100% focused?
Even when I began working virtually in 2013, I still found many things to begin my mental transition. I used to heavily rely on my commute for that quiet time to prepare. I took what I appreciated most (coffee and the quietness of the commute) and applied that to my current virtual work day. I didn’t turn on my computer until I had my coffee, and when I turned off my computer I immediately did something for myself (quietly have a cup of tea, take a bath, go for a walk, etc.).
You might find it more difficult to transition between work and leisure when working virtually. You may not have a designated work space you can close off. You might have the same phone for professional and personal use. You might find it more difficult to leave work at work. But stick with it. Take little steps each day to ease your transition.
Goals Goals Goals
Know your goals, write down your goals, work your goals. Just as I do in my personal life, every Monday morning I make a list of what I want to accomplish at work for the week. I always notate more goals than I will accomplish for the week (believe it or not, it’s okay). I usually start my list with the goals I didn’t complete from the week before. As other things come my way during the work day, this allows me to also keep focused on other tasks and not get too distracted. As the week goes on, I can see what will get punted to next week, what I can absolutely accomplish, and also see what could become a ‘monthly goal’ or a ‘quarterly goal’.
A white board/cork board really helped me keep my goals in my viewpoint to keep me centered and focused. As I became more ‘tech-savvy’ I did begin using digital notes, however, I still like my main top goals for the day/week right in my point of view. It’s like a nagging voice reminding me what I really need to do. Nothing is more satisfying to balancing out your work day than marking 2 things off your goal list! Even my hubby knows I had a good day when I say at dinner, “I felt really productive today!”
Just as with everything else in life, you want to do 5 things in a day, but then 10 other things come up. You might feel frustrated, but don’t feel defeated. We all have our own plans, but life also has its own plans too.