It’s one of my big beliefs in life, it also one I constantly have to watch, review and remind myself it’s hugely important. After working with so many people with this issue, I can honestly say balance is the key factor to your health and fitness.
No, I don’t mean being able to stand on one leg for hours on end. That may be useful, but I don’t think it would be a key to your success. I mean the work-life balance that everyone is constantly juggling.
Let’s start with the first definition of balance, just so that we are all on the same page (we will look at another definition later) –
‘a situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.’
Yep, it’s pretty bang on in my opinion. There are elements in our lives that require time allocations to maintain some form of homeostasis within our work-life balance. Everyone is different however here are four main segments of life we are trying our best to balance:
- Social Life
You don’t necessarily have to allocate equal time to each element, instead, the time allocations should be in the correct proportions to the level of importance that element currently holds within your life.
For some people, balancing each element is easy, it comes naturally to them and they don’t see a problem with any of these elements as they are nicely balancing those which are important to them. For others, it’s not so easy.
Many people out there admit on a daily basis that life seems like a constant juggle and they are either failing at balancing their life or working damn hard to keep it balanced.
In my experience, people who are in the currently failing are those wanting to progress/improve in certain areas of their life. The desire to progress or achieve in these areas overpowers the other areas and you begin to neglect them. E.g. you wish to progress your career by taking on new projects or more responsibility, and at the same time as trying to improve your fitness for your own personal wellbeing. Then comes the question of where does your family or partner fit in? When do you see your friends? This is where the second definition of balance comes in –
‘comparing the value of one element with another.’
The only way you will find balance is to compare the value or current level of importance of each element, so you can proportionally prioritise them. When you have them proportionally prioritised you can allocate dedicated time and specific goals.
Please note the term ‘proportionally prioritise’, meaning to understand how much or how little you prioritise one thing over another (that’s my take on it anyway).
Here are a few questions and actions that may help you on your way to achieving a healthier work/life balance –
1 – What goals and achievements do you have for each of your life elements? Write them down.
2 – Which one of those goals and achievements is most important to you? Prioritise them.
3 – How much do you value it over the other goals and achievements?
4 – Is it urgent? Or can you allocate a little extra time over a longer period?
5 – Set a timeline for your most prioritised element. This timeline will provide you feedback on adjustments you may need to make:
- If this timeline is on target you have the work life balance,
- If you are ahead of the timeline, you can allocate some more time to other elements,
- If you are behind your timeline, you’ll need to reassess and make a plan B so that the work life balance can be protected.
Step 6 – Revaluate your proportional priorities regularly.
Don’t think you are alone if you really do struggle with balancing work and personal life. Don’t be afraid to admit there is a problem, talk to people and you will soon find pearls of wisdom that work for you.