I read an article recently that got me thinking about a trend that is fast emerging as one of the most important questions on the minds of workers across the world. I’m talking about the ever elusive “work-life balance”. It was made even more vivid to me, when I visited a few branches of a well known national brand, and the same question was being considered. Is it possible to build a competitive edge with people when work and life are not balanced? Are we seeing more burn out and stress because we have paid little attention to balance in people’s lives? These are important questions for any boss to consider. More importantly, when you sit back after a long day’s work, do you ever consider the other aspects of your life that may be out of balance? The real issue here is that work perhaps is not the only reason your life feels out of sync.
It’s important to realise that work-life balance does not mean an equal number of hours spent on all aspects of your life. That would not always be practical. But if you consider just two factors when you evaluate your balance, you may find it easier to adjust your activities. The two areas are Achievement and Enjoyment. Take any aspects of your life and run them through the achievement and enjoyment test.
Let’s just take 3 aspects. Work, Family and Self. If you had to ask, “how much have I achieved in these three areas?” Or, “how much enjoyment do I feel in these three areas?” What would your answers look like? This is a good place to start wondering about your balance. So, we’ve worked out that balance is not a time issue, it’s more meaningful and substantial than that. It’s about achievement and enjoyment. Whatever your answers were, you will know deep down where you need to pay attention.
After all, who wants to be spending all that energy in areas where you not achieving anything, and where enjoyment is a distant, elusive dream? Pay attention to the important stuff. You owe it to yourself. And maybe balance in work and life could be attainable, who knows?