Everybody has lofty goals for work-life balance. Many a blog and even books have been written about the subject, but can we really achieve it and how important is it anyway? The fact is that only you can decide how important it is to you. And, like everything else in life, the priority level you place on it will determine whether or not you can achieve it.
We could give you a list of ten tips on what to do, but that’s already been written and in the end, having all the tips is like building the walls of a home before you lay the foundation.
Let’s talk about that foundation.
Work-life balance revolves around principles – get a grasp on the principles and the changes in your behavior patterns will naturally occur.
Finding balance centers on respect
Respect for yourself: a lot of tips talk about eating and sleeping right, getting exercise, and taking time to do something you enjoy, but the bottom-line to all of those is respecting yourself enough to take care of you – emotionally , physically, mentally, and spiritually
Respect for others: you really don’t need tips on how to carve in more time for family and friends. Instead, do some self-evaluation. Do you really respect your spouse/children/friends enough to make them your priority? Are you willing work less – even if it means earning less – so you can be with them? Ask yourself hard questions and be honest with your answers.
Respect for employee/employer: If you are the boss, do you respect your employees enough to refrain from demanding workaholic behavior before you’re satisfied? Do you provide adequate PTO, vacation time, and flexible hours to accommodate their nonwork-related responsibilities and activities? If you’re an employee, do you respect your boss enough to give him your best by taking time for refreshing? Do you respect him/her enough to be honest about your needs, while remaining committed to your responsibilities?
Finding balance takes discernment
Discern what really matters: Time is one of your most valuable commodities. Don’t waste it on stuff that has no long-term benefit. Ask yourself, “Will my actions right now make a difference in the business?” Will spending an extra hour at the office really change tomorrow? Will dotting every I and crossing every t six times mean more in ten years than the memory of time with friends or watching your child play ball? Make the your minutes on the job count each day – and then close the door at the end of the day so you can make the minutes with family, friends, and just being alone count.
Finding balance requires awareness
Be aware of the people and happenings around you. Sometimes this means shutting down your electronic connections with people elsewhere so you can fully connect with the ones across the table. Sometimes it means being aware of the needs of others and of yourself. Sometimes it means stepping back from a situation so you can be more aware of the big picture and make wiser decisions, which turn into more time for what matters the most. Sometimes it means being aware of yourself, so you know when to pace yourself – when to go full steam ahead, and when to slow down.
The fact is, developing work-life balance isn’t following a set of must dos and never dos. It’s learning what works for you and your situation. Of course, all those tips out there can be helpful, but in the end, they won’t mean much if you don’t develop a healthy respect for yourself and others, discernment of what matters to you in the end, and an awareness of those you want to find balance with.
At Springborn, we specialize in matching the right Bangor Portland client with the best candidate. We work to find matches that promote work-life balance for all involved. Contact us today – we will take time to specialize in you.