Get on Track with Work-life Balance.
Work-life balance can drive you crazy. There never seems to be enough time to do the things we want to do. Things take twice as long as we anticipate. And regardless of the number of hours spent on the job, there is always more that could be done. No answer seems to fit. We constantly juggle commitments, hoping to avoid catastrophe on either front.
The quest for work-life balance can feel like you’re stuck on an accelerating treadmill. Coordinating calendars, making tradeoffs, or trying to be at two, or three, or more places at once is overwhelming. You’re racing in traffic to get to kids’ soccer practice, after staying late to finish a critical report at work. Or your workday is fully planned and running on schedule, and at 10 a.m. a water pipe breaks at home, flooding your basement. Or it’s your day off, to spend with the family, and your biggest client is flying in for an urgent meeting today.
Life isn’t going to be perfect, but wouldn’t it be nice to feel more in control of both work and life? A little less scrambling can be a real boost to satisfaction and peace of mind. When you’ve set your priorities, how do you find time to achieve them?
There are no magic bullets, but there are strategies to handle the unexpected, as well as to carve out time for the things you want to do.
Tips for Work-life Balance:
- Know where you stand. Take an objective look at how you really spend time. How does this compare with your perfect work-life balance? How far are you from where you want to be?
- What can you do to minimize last minute scrambling? Can you build buffer time into schedules, or manage expectations or set clear interim deadlines?
- Look for opportunities to streamline, focus or eliminate tasks. What can you restructure to improve efficiency and effectiveness?
- Be purposeful in how you spend time. Say “no” to some things, to make room for your priorities.
- Identify tasks you can delegate or share. A carpool can be a win-win.
- Multi-task selectively. Not everything is a good candidate for doubling up. Answering work emails while waiting in the car for your child to finish piano lessons can be a win-win; answering work emails while your child is making the game-winning basket in triple overtime is not. Be aware.
- Create or find a peer group, and share best practices. You’re not the only person facing these challenges. Discover new approaches without re-inventing the wheel.
Work-life balance is unique for every individual. It can vary with the seasons, health status, personal preferences or stage in life. No one is going to rebalance your life for you. This is totally your responsibility. Find your unique opportunities; be purposeful, and manage your personal work-life balance.