Whether you’re into work-life balance or work-life blending, here are six ways to help you achieve it.
- Have a purpose. What do you from life?You probably plan your holidays and even trips to the supermarket, so why not take the time to plan the most important event of all – your own life? A friend of mine spends every New Year’s Day at the beach with a pencil and notepad, updating her life plan. She writes all the words and phrases that describe her or that she would like to describe her. Then she selects themes and turns them into goals about the kind of person she wants to be and what she wants to achieve. And believe me, she achieves a lot and still manages to lead a well-balanced life.
- Work to your strengths.How do you like to learn and reach decisions? Are you a reader or a listener? Or maybe you prefer to talk it through or mull it over?
What are your natural skills and inclinations? Numbers? Logical thinking? Coming up with great ideas? Seeing the big picture? Seeing the details?
Are you a people person or a ‘Let’s get down to brass tacks’ person?Everyone has strengths. If you don’t know what yours are, ask a few people or monitor yourself and notice where and when you feel most comfortable, confident and competent. Once you know where your skills lie, you can concentrate on them and develop them further.
- Sort out your surroundings.Like strengths, we all have our own work style. What’s yours? Do you work best in a pressure-cooker or a stress-free environment?
A structured or a flexible environment?
With others or alone? If you like to work with others, in what relationship – a close-knit, mutually interdependent team, near people but as individual contributors, as a leader, as a follower?Once you know how you work best, you can seek out those situations and make your surroundings work for you.
- Concentrate on what’s important.My father used to say ‘If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.’ But perfectionism can be a stressful struggle. Here’s what I think: Only jobs worth doing are worth doing well. Jobs that add value to your life by moving you further along the road to reaching your purpose are definitely worth doing well. Jobs that add value to your work role or your work team are worth doing well. They’re the ones to put your energy and effort into. The others – those that aren’t worthwhile – you can dump or delegate.
- Make some ‘Me Time’.It might be the gym, doing a jigsaw, going for a walk – whatever it is that clears your mind and makes you feel alive. Plan those activities into your day.Snatch little opportunities for Me Time, too. I used to work with a woman who closed her eyes for 15 minutes during her lunch break, not to sleep but to ‘chill’. The point is to take time out so you don’t burn out.
- Dump the grumps.Some people bring joy whenever they go while others bring joy whenever they go. Who do you bring joy to? Hopefully it’s people who line up with your purpose and are important to you.And who are the people who bring you joy whenever they go? They’re the ones to dump. Complainers, negative people in general, sap your energy, block your fun and leave you unbalanced.