Work Life Balance: Is it Possible to Achieve?
24 hours. 1,440 minutes. 86,400 seconds. That is ONE DAY. In any given day, if you sleep for the recommended 8 hours (ha!), that leaves you with 16 hours to do the following: shower/get ready, perform morning family duties, work for 8.5 hours, eat 3 meals, commute to/from work, exercise, perform nighttime family duties, take care of your pet, communicate with family/friends, spend quality time with family/friends…and….and…and….
How can a person truly balance it all?
Truth is….you can never have 100% perfect balance, but I think it’s important to set a standard for what is acceptable to YOU and your family. Everyone’s priorities are different depending on personal beliefs, family situations, age and outside commitments. Over the last 15 years in the workforce and after two maternity leaves, I have compiled a couple tips and suggestions when looking at your work life balance. By no means am I an expert, but I have gotten much better over the years!
Write your priorities down on a piece of paper and put it somewhere that you can see it every morning. Whether it is family, exercise, hobbies, God, etc, it is important to keep this top of mind EVERY SINGLE DAY. It is important to revisit this list often because over time, your priorities will change. Every life experience shapes and shifts your priorities.
Give Yourself Grace
Some days, you will feel like you’ve gotten this balance thing down, and other days you will feel like you have FAILED miserably. That’s ok. If it was easy, everyone would have accomplished perfect work/life balance (if that is really such a thing). Give yourself some grace, and start fresh the next day!
Enlist your Support System
Whether it’s friends, family or co-workers, encourage your support system to keep an eye on your balance and let you know if they see you leaning off course. Sometimes, when you are in the thick of it, you can easily overlook a misstep. It is easier for an outsider to give you a nudge if you veer off course. That’s what friends are for!
Take Care of Yourself
You cannot help others if you aren’t healthy yourself…period. If you are worn down, overworked and stressed, you are unable to be the leader, employee and friend you want to be. Whether it’s exercise, healthy eating, time with friends, self-care or just vegging on the couch, DO IT! You cannot pour from an empty cup, so make sure to refill yours.
Bottom line: your life will never be perfectly balanced, and that is ok. As long as you can accomplish a balance YOU are happy with, then give yourself a gold star! That is an accomplishment to be proud of!