You’ve heard it before – Work/Life Balance is up to you. But how do you effectively sustain this and still create impact?
A few things about Work/Life Balance…
First, I do think it exists. But you have to work at it really, really hard. Second, I do think you create it for yourself – companies do not give it to you. Organizations will often say, “We have great Work/Life Balance” – I actually think it’s the individuals who make this a reality. Third, I do think there are times when it gets out-of-whack. And that’s ok.
Let me explain further:
- Work/Life Balance Exists (but you have to work really, really hard at it). It’s hard to juggle everything (especially this time of year), but I do think it’s possible. And what does it look like for me?? Super-duper, Type-A organized. In my experience, it’s a daily exercise – you have to constantly set yourself up for success. It’s not a monthly review, a quarterly review and certainly not a yearly review. You have to work at it every day. And for me, it’s all through calendar invites and check-lists. Did you expect anything less??
- Work/Life Balance is something you create for yourself (companies don’t give it to you). For me, Work/Life Balance is all about creating space in my day. I do that through a highly organized, check-list approach. For you, Work/Life Balance might mean dedicated time to think. It might mean working from home once a week. It might mean happy hour on Thursday. It might mean a class at Soul-Cycle twice a week. Whatever the mix, you have to create it for yourself. And that takes dedication and time to figure out what’s important to you.
- Work/Life Balance gets out-of-whack (and that’s ok). When I was in the corporate world, I used to beat myself up when my calendar got crazy. I prioritized other stuff and didn’t manage my check-list like I wanted to (Did I mention I’m Type-A!!). Looking back, this was the right thing to do for the business and my professional journey; however, beating myself up for it wasn’t good. Now, I know when things might get crazy and I work that thinking into my Work/Life strategy. It shouldn’t last forever, but a little UNBALANCE is ok some of the time – it’s life and that’s ok!
Work/Life Balance is an important ingredient in the Professional Dashboard. It’s important to know what you want to achieve and how you’re going to get there. It could also be an important part of your Professional Story – especially if you’ve struggled with balance in the past. Want to work on this together? Let’s chat!
Your homework this week: Get clear on how you want to define Work/Life Balance for yourself. Try to go beyond “Leaving work early” or “Working from home on Mondays” (those are ok, by the way). Get creative in your approach and think about your path to professional engagement. How you define Work/Life Balance and help you get there sooner rather than later!
Coming-up next week: How do you know you’re doing a good job with Work/Life Balance? It’s more than a feeling in my experience … I’ll write more on measuring Work/Life Balance Success beyond “I’m feeling good…”
Here’s to your Engaged Pursuit!