Recently we’ve been getting a lot of requests from companies to come in and talk about work-life balance. So, we decided that might be something you need to hear about this month as well!
The good news is that more and more employers are realizing that it’s important to make space for people to live their lives outside the office. But with email on our phones and constant connectivity, it’s getting harder and harder to disconnect.
This constant connection is making it harder to find balance, even though almost everyone we know is looking for it.
Balance is Personal
What does work-life balance even mean? It means something different to everyone! We each get to decide what that balance looks like for ourselves, and do our best to achieve it.
What works for you might not work for me, and vice versa. This can get tricky when what seems to be working for your office colleagues doesn’t work for you, but try to pause to think about your ideal and then redesign your life (and act!) to honor it.
Unfortunately, many of us (myself definitely included) often feel like we don’t have enough time for work or life. When we’re working we wish we could be hanging with our kids and when we take time during the week to exercise we wonder if we should be getting that proposal finished instead. Read on to help figure out how to get in better balance.
Take a Reality Check
The first step to finding balance is to figure out what’s really taking up your time. I tell my clients to write everything (yes, everything, even Netflix and naps) that fills your days.
It’s important that you look at all the categories: professional, personal, recreational. Think about things you have to do, like laundry and dishes, along with leisure activities that you want to do.
When you write it all down, you have the opportunity to see visually what’s taking all your time.
Define Your Ideal
Does the list you just made look like your ideal balance of activities? If so, congratulations! You’re done. But if not? Well, then it’s time to write down all the things you would ideally spend time on.
If you designed a future life that felt balanced, how would you spend your time?
This is a great time to remember any hobbies that fell by the wayside, routines that may have slipped, and new things you want to explore.
Want to try it? Download our free Work-Life Balance worksheet!
Set Some Boundaries
If your reality and your ideal are looking pretty far apart, it might be time to set some boundaries. Remember that these boundaries should focus on your own actions, rather than telling other people what to do.
For example, rather than say ‘Don’t email me after 7pm’, you can tell your co-workers ‘I will not be replying to email from 7pm to 7am’. No need to stop them if they love emailing at 11pm, just let them know not to expect a response.
Make Space for What’s Missing
In your continued quest to make your reality look like the ideal, you’re probably going to have to let things go. If all you do is add a bunch of activities I can almost promise you won’t be getting closer to the balance you’re looking for. In addition to letting go of tasks, you might also need to let go of the fear and/or guilt of letting others down.
I encourage you to make a list of things you want to stop doing, things you want to start doing, and things you want to continue doing. The stops will help make space for some of the starts!
Obviously there are some things you can’t just stop doing, like showing up to work on time. But with some carefully crafted boundaries and a willingness to say no, you will get closer to finding your ideal balance.
And that elusive quest will have been totally worth it!
Download our FREE three-part video series, Getting Through Crisis with Thoughtfully Fit, and start your journey to being more intentional and bringing your best self to every situation!