This article was originally featured in http://www.woman.com.au/real-problem-work-life-balance-possible/
Work life balance is like the Holy Grail of the modern working family and according to life and confidence Lisa Phillips, it’s completely attainable.
I often hear people complaining that they their workload is too great, their working hours too long and they don’t have sufficient time to do things like go to the gym, spend precious time with family or meet up for dinner with friends. This is particularly true for entrepreneurs and business owners. Ironic really as many of us launched our own businesses in order to create more balance in our lives!
Achieving work life balance can often be such a simple goal to achieve, but why does it come so easy to some people and yet others spend each day wishing they had more of it?
One of the reasons is our value structure. We often behave in certain ways and do certain actions based on what our values are. For example, an individual who has high values relating to family and fun will often find it much easier to obtain a good balance between work, rest and play! That is due to these areas are more of a priority to them than then perhaps working up the corporate ladder. However, if an individual has a value structure which has ambition, career and achievement at the top of their value list, they may find it more difficult to achieve that work life balance as these values have become the main priority in their lives.
I am a realist and know that there will be times in our lives when we need to work longer hours. But what can we do when this behaviour becomes ‘ the norm’ and we find ourselves spending more time working than doing the things we really want to do?
The first step is to quit whinging about it and make a conscious decision to do something about – take action! In my experience, people are very happy to complain about their lack of work life balance but in practice, are not willing to do anything about it as they prefer to point the finger of blame at their individual circumstances, their boss and their workload.
In reality, most people will come up with excuses as to why work life balance isn’t a choice that they have. Common excuses include:
• I can’t finish up early as I will never get all my work done
• If I don’t do it, then who will?
In making these excuses, we disempower ourselves and become the victim. We are basically saying that we have no choice in the matter. In actual fact, we are basically saying that work is far more important than we are as people.
Here are three practical ways to address work life balance:
If you are a small business owner, look at outsourcing. You can only the best that you can with the resources that you have. Stop beating yourself up if you don’t get everything done in a day. It will wait. Seriously, I doubt the world will end if you are a day late with that report.
If you already have a backlog of tasks, learn to say no to new ones. Don’t be a people pleaser at your own expense. Extend lead times if you need to.
Schedule it in
Go for a walk or just sit and relax in the sun for 15 minutes a day.
If you work from home, limit the amount of time you spend on the laptop or internet to free up more time. Stick a post it note on your laptop to remind you when to shut down. Most things can wait until tomorrow.
Lisa appears regularly in the Media, on TV, Radio and Print.