Monday, 7 September 2015

Myth or Reality: Can you really find the perfect work-life balance?

With most people coming to the end of their much deserved summer holiday break, you may find you’re either in the camp of returning to work feeling fully refreshed or dreading the thought and telling yourself things need to change.  

If you’re in the latter camp, you’ll be trying to figure out how to stop working long hours, weekends or reading emails late at night. You’ll be wanting to work out how to create more time to take up exercise, or to eat healthier and spend time with your partner and family. Perhaps you just want to take time for you in an effort to reduce stress. The way you deal with your situation will either exacerbate things or help you achieve a good work-life balance.

One of the quickest things you can do to move towards a better balance is learning how to say no. You may believe you have no choice, but if you really think about it, you do.  It’s not about flatly refusing, but instead saying no in a more empowered way. Here are some options:

  • -          Negotiate deadlines
  • -          Delegate more
  • -          Leave the office 1 day a week at 530pm
  • -          Work from home

What’s stopping you? If you answer honestly, this is the real contributing factor to your state of work-life balance.   If we don’t proactively manage ourselves, that’s when our work-life balance gets out of kilter and stress can become chronic.  Human energy is the most critical resource we have. Energy diminishes both with over use and also under use. Energy expenditure must be balanced with intermittent energy renewal.
Some new workplace practices are increasingly being utilised to proactively manage stress and improve work life balance.  Some of these include:

  • -          Taking recovery breaks every 90-120 minutes
  • -          Increase your capability to think clearly and rehydrate the brain - reduce caffeine and increase water intake
  • -          Eat slow-release energy food
  • -          Limit meetings to 30 minutes

Four things I’d like to ask:
1. What could you do to maximise your energy?
2. What are your barriers?
3. What are 3 options to overcome these?
4. What will you choose to do differently?

By enacting just one new step over 30 days, you’ll develop a new habit that will benefit your working career. Before you know it be on the path to less stress and better work-life balance.