In today's every changing climate, work-life balance can seem like an impossible feat. Modern technology makes you accessible around the clock. Fears of job loss incentivize longer hours. Studies by Harvard School of Business show that 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week. Experts agree: the compounding stress from the never-ending workday is damaging. This type of schedule leads to trouble with relationships, health and overall happiness. Checking email in bed, tweeting throughout dinner, and taking work calls on the weekend have become common practices - often diminishing time to spend with family or to decompress.
I often find myself wondering what exactly is “work life balance”? Work-Life Balance does not mean an equal balance per say. Trying to schedule an equal number of hours for each of your various work related and personal activities is unrealistic. Life is too short and should be more fluid than that. After much thought and research I have came to the conclusion that there is no one-size fits all answer. The best work-life balance is different for each and every one of us because we all have different priorities and different lives.
As a mother and professional, I am often faced the dilemma of whether taking me time is acceptable at times. Do I provide myself the freedom to stop answering emails once I’ve left the office, or am I becoming a slave to my email? I was always taught the “12 & 24-hour rules” - that all correspondence and emails should be answered within 12 hours of receipt on a weekday and 24 during the weekend - no matter what. Reality is, now that mobile devices and tablets have email capabilities, this rule is severely outdated. The business world doesn’t wait for you while you are sleeping, walking your dog, or just spend a day in the park with your baby.
When evaluating the role that overall well-being plays in success, it seems there are only a few options: take care of yourself and be around longer to rule the world or stress yourself out? As for me the best choice is to stay in the game, and I’m exploring work-life balance for not only myself, but for my family and clients. Here are a few of the things I am working on to achieve work life balance:
Take Time to Go Silent - Technology has helped and hindered our lives in so many ways. Mostly it has also created expectations of constant accessibility. The work day never seems to end. I won't take your text when I am at Disneyland with my baby girl and won’t send work emails while hanging out with family. Make quality time true quality!
Manage Time Wisely- If you are going to truly set your priorities, you need to dedicate time to them. I took a weekly calendar and mapped out my priorities including: bible class, exercise, work, family time, and more.
Not Everything is Going to Perfect- A lot of us “overachievers” develop a need to be perfect at everything we do. It’s easier to maintain that perfectionist habit as a kid, but as you grow up, life gets more complicated. Just know not everything you take on will be perfect.
Multitasking is a Must- I love to get the opportunity to overlap task. My daughter love to go to the park, and Mommy loves to exercise. So I created a workout I can do using park equipment. My daughter is hooked, she loves to be able to play and “exercise like Mommy”
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