Work Life Balance – An Impossible Dream?

Work Life BalanceI have given up counting the number of clients who want to work on their ‘work/life’ balance. I would estimate that 80% of my clients have wanted to work on this area of their lives as a goal with me.

What is work/life balance and why do we think we need it anyway? Is it an unachievable dream that we have been told to chase after by the personal development gurus? A nirvana that we will know we will have reached, when we arrive.

I think going after a work/life balance is destined for failure! A work life balance assumes by its very name that everything will be in balance every day, every month and our time and energy will be equally spread between our work and our life.

The fact is, things happen. We can’t have the same balance or routine everyday, as an event will come along and smash it up! Great plans will we pushed aside by a brilliant opportunity, an unmissable invitation or an unforeseen accident.

You don’t want to be a robot about your life, so ease up on your quest for work/life balance

A more realistic and attainable way to think about this concept is to consider having a series of accounts for your life, that you think of like bank accounts. Sometimes they are all abundant with high balances and you are feeling fantastic, inspired that your life is full and rich in all areas. But at other times you may feel depleted in one area, and you have dipped into a negative balance there.

Try these four steps to achieving a balance in your life, the way you want it.

Step 1: The big four

Think about the four most important areas of your life. Those areas that you know when you spend time on, replenish your energy, add value to your life and well being and make life worth living.

Limiting it to four areas gives you a chance for focus. We want to make this as easy as possible, so you can succeed! if you had an account for the different areas of your life… what would they be?

Mine would be:

  • work
  • family
  • friends
  • health

I have a client who is studying to be a gemologist to start a jewelry business, so hers are:

  • family
  • work
  • friends
  • education

Create the four accounts for your life.

Step 2: What’s my account balance?

Then just like your bank account, ask yourself, for each area, am I in credit, enjoying a rich, abundant balance, or am I sucked into overdraft, feeling withdrawn, depleted and under resourced in this area?

Give yourself a score for each area ranging from -10 to 10.

Step 3: What affects my account balances?

Our account balances can go up and down. Once you know what impacts these balances, then you can manage them. To find out what impacts your account balances, consider these four questions for each account:

    1. what adds to this balance and makes me feel great
    2. what depletes this balance and depletes me
    3. what do I need to do more of to increase the balance
    4. what do I need to less of to ensure the balance stays positive

 

Step 4: Take time to review

Each week, take 10 minutes to review how your account balances are. Where are you at in each area, and where would you like to be.

Plan what needs to happen next week for you to get the balances where you would like them to be.

Then every week, continue to review. Life isn’t perfect, many different things happen at different times which upset our plans. Reviewing the accounts weekly embraces this reality, and allows you to feel like you are moving in the right direction of creating the life you want, in those areas that are most important to you.

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