Since just about every professional (both full time and part time) have some kind of life outside of the workplace, it makes sense to examine what balance is, what it isn’t, and how you can get it.
There is no magic involved and more importantly, what works for one person simply will not work for another. It doesn’t really make sense to compare your work/life formula for balance to someone else’s. Given the reality that work and life are in constant flux, creating different pressures on at different times, I propose this simple way to look at keeping a sense of balance in your life:
Periodically assess the demands on your time: What are the demands on your time at work and at home? What things are you involved in that are ineffective uses of your time at home and at work?
Prioritize the demands on your time: Are you doing the right things first? Do you know what the most important tasks are or do you handle the easy things first, the biggest things first, or the loudest things first?
Develop the skills you need to increase your efficiency: If you have a tough time ending conversations, you may need assertiveness skills. If you spend significant time worrying about things that may happen, perhaps some stress management training would help. If you miss deadlines, time management or project management skills are an area that might be to your advantage.
Techniques that can help create a sense of balance include:
- Positive Self-Talk can serve as a reminder that you have managed in the past to handle challenges and this is just another in the series;
- RET (Rational Emotive Therapy) can reframe beliefs you have that create emotional reactions into more logical beliefs that don’t create as much internal chaos;
- Letting Go of Perfectionism and not allowing “Perfect” to get in the way of “Good” – sometimes the only person who sees any difference between those two things is you;
- Protect the Essential things that are crucial to you because those are truly rare things and are critical to your values and standards.
- Supportive Relationships in key areas of your life (Work, Family, Friends and Community) reduce the sense of isolation that can lead to stress and frustration. Have 3-5 people in each group that you can go to if you are in need.
That elusive sense of balance will be created BY you FOR you. It isn’t always easy to manage the demands of work and home. Knowing THAT is an essential part of having some peace of mind.