Healthy work life balance, is it a complex challenge or a manageable routine? It all depends on you.
When you think of a healthy 'work life balance', what image comes to your mind? Is it the serene picture of calmly attending to your professional tasks while taking time out for personal activities? Or does it evoke a sense of managing various aspects of life such as 'work,' 'family,' 'personal time,' 'health,' and 'fun,' all at once?
Finding what a healthy work-life balance is a concept that shows up everywhere. But discovering what it means to you, is our primary focus today.
Work-Life Balance represents an ideal state that we understand we should strive to attain in our daily lives. But is it a mere illusion, a strategic motivational concept, or a realistic target? One that we can achieve with an adequate understanding of our needs, some planning, and a bit of determination? [Spoiler alert: I think it’s #3, the “all about you” choice. Read on if you do too.]
Conventionally, work-life balance has been viewed as evenly distributing our time and energy between work and personal life. The goal was to ensure that one aspect did not encroach upon the other, maintaining distinct categories in our day-to-day routines. Better known as compartmentalizing. Work is in one box, family in another, your own needs in another, and so on. But even in the days of a strict 9-5 work day, the compartments did not receive equal attention.
As we've highlighted in the first post in this series, technology has made this balancing act more porous. Devices like smartphones and the ubiquity of the internet have blurred the boundaries between work and personal life. And while we often talk about managing our work 24/7, we also now manage our lives 24/7.
This doesn't mean that achieving work-life balance is an insurmountable task. Rather, it has evolved for most, from a simple sharp line to something more akin to a Ven diagram with smudgy lines.
Today, the focus is not on maintaining separate compartments of work and life, but on how to skillfully navigate the interplay of both responsibilities and fulfillment that each sphere offers. And to understand when and how to place boundaries where needed.
For more on boundaries see The Soul Spot’s series on spotting unhealthy boundaries at work by starting with this You-Tube post.
Work-life balance is essential. It contributes significantly to mental well-being, fosters stronger relationships, and enhances job satisfaction. Finding things you enjoy doing both on and off the job is key to a healthy work-life balance. The more you bring fulfillment into all spheres of your life the more balanced you will feel.
If you need some prompting to get your thoughts flowing here’s a downloadable pdf that might help.
Download the PDF. It's free.
In our next post we’ll delve into a newer concept: work life integration. Until then, if you’d like to start thriving at work and in life, check out our programs, workshops (they’re free) and classes at The Soul Spot.