Juggling the demands of a personal life and a career is a constant challenge for most people. Gone are the days when the boundaries between home and work were reasonably clear. Today, our work is likely to overrun our personal lives. Work-life balance is no longer a simple task especially with the constant layoffs and restructuring.
I for one have felt the pangs of an imbalanced work and personal life? Every now and then, I fall into the traps of prioritizing one over the other, especially when faced with looming deadlines and priorities. Whilst setting up, managing and growing my company I’ve realized one thing – work-Life balance is crucial for business success and it isn’t out of reach.
Almost all of us work at home to a certain extent. Some of us spend our evenings preparing for the next presentation or brooding over spreadsheets. In today’s competitive world, how can one manage family and career, and feel contented with both? There are certain tips that can help us in achieving better work-life balance, from setting boundaries to respecting our needs. Here are some strategies that have helped me, try these and enjoy the balance that will follow unquestionably.
The Art of Respecting Your Needs
The first thing you need to do is recognize what truly matters to you and be open about your needs. Don’t expect others to presume what makes you feel fulfilled and balanced. I’m basically asking you to be more assertive. Assertiveness involves holding everyone’s needs with care including your own. Perhaps you need to leave work early to have dinner with your family or you need to step out in your lunch break to attend some recreational classes – no matter what your sweet spot is, you need to discover it and be clear and open about it.
If you’ve spent a better part of your life being a people-pleaser, then this concept would seem a bit farfetched and impractical, however, if you include assertiveness in your life you’ll live a more empowered and authentic life. Assertive people are always vocal about their needs; they communicate clearly and are rewarded with improved quality of life and a better work-life balance.
The Art of Respecting Boundaries
To master the art of respecting boundaries you need to embrace the off-button. Practically every piece of technology comes with an off button, so why don’t we use it? While it may sound difficult to many, and outright impossible to others, I’ll advice that you try doing this in baby steps.
Stop bringing your gadgets to the dinner table. When you are on break, be on a break. You don’t really need your laptop on the beach, do you? Once you practice these a few times, it’ll become easier for you to push the boundaries. When you step back and unplug you will experience one of life’s ultimate treasures – ‘perspective’. You will begin to see everything with greater clarity.
You won’t be able to achieve your balance if you don’t master the art of respecting boundaries. It may be a bit difficult in the start but with time you’ll realize you need to respect your boundaries because if you won’t then you can’t expect others to it either.
The Art of Respecting Priorities
For years, I have observed that most people spend a lot of their time working on things that don’t matter much. Time is our most valuable asset; it is the one thing we cannot buy more of. So, instead of wasting time, we should focus on what really matters. What moves the needle for your business? Are you working on priorities that boost your bottom-line and drive the goals of your business or are you just wasting your time making white noise?
To master the art of respecting priorities start scrutinizing your day and focus on the key outputs by creating a list of things you consider as your priorities – it could be anything – career, family, health, faith etc. Once you’ve prepared your list, contemplate your list, pick out your number one priority and think about what you have to do to honor this priority.
You’ve identified your needs – ✓
You’ve established boundaries- ✓
You’ve categorized priorities- ✓
You are on top of things- ✓
You are enjoying a life with work-life balance – ✓