Finding work-life balance – welcome to the ultimate no-win guilt trip. Too much work time, and you wonder, “What am I missing? What am I working for? When will I be able to live? And what if I die tomorrow?”
And in the midst of leisure, the nagging little voice says, “You’re falling behind. Associates who expect to make partner put in at least 60 hours a week.”
For most of us, there never seems to be enough time. We want more than we can fit on our plate. We get trapped on the treadmill of endless activity, and it seems to be going faster and faster. We lose track of what we’re doing, and why, and whether or not anything makes sense. So how can you get a life, work toward your goals and stay relatively sane and happy?
A Work-life Balance Template:
- First, set your goals in four categories: Career, Financial, Relationships and Personal.
- Second, determine what you need to accomplish this year to meet each of these goals.
- Third, review the list. Some items might be in direct conflict. Others may appear unrealistic or extravagant, when viewed in the context of the whole.
- Fourth, refine your list. Do you have the balance you want? Don’t give up on your priorities, but move to develop a set of goals which work together.
- Fifth, look for synergies and efficiencies. What actions can you take to accomplish your goals most efficiently? How can you best structure and manage your time?
- Sixth, take balanced action. Nothing will happen unless you get moving. Be aware of the time and resources you are committing to each of the four categories. While you may have spurts of activity in which one category is dominant, stay on track to maintain overall balance.
- Seventh, be accountable. Review your goals and accomplishments at least monthly. Constantly seek new opportunities and options to help achieve your goals. Keep moving.
Finally, be kind to yourself. Finding work-life balance is an ongoing task. Keep things in perspective. Options are infinite; time is not. Consciously choose how you spend your time and achieve the work-life balance that is right for you.