Work-Life Balance: It’s All About Choices!
Remember the news stories about people suing fast-food companies because they were responsible for the fact that they were now fat? Or the friend who hasn’t taken a vacation from work in 15 years? Or how you keep saying, “I just don’t get enough sleep?” Choices…it’s all about choices.
Each day we make choices that influence our pace and quality of life. And, many of the choices we make are unconscious. While it’s a good thing we don’t have to think about every little choice we make due to the abundance of energy it can take. It is important that we make good decisions when it comes to creating balance between our work-related activities and the rest-of-our-life activities. Otherwise, we can find ourselves living with the effect of our choices such as feeling overwhelmed or out of control.
Research on work-life balance shows us a picture that’s probably not too surprising: We work while we’re on vacation. We call in with a fake sick day just to take a breather, reflect, or catch up on sleep. This kind of lifestyle can lead to physical and emotional illness. That’s not what we want and is a lifestyle that becomes increasingly difficult to wake up from.
Better work-life balance though, is high on the priority list for many workers, especially the generations following the Baby Boomers who see quality of life as a top priority, not monetary compensation. Companies are starting to realize the benefit of providing actual work-life balance training for their employees making this an increasingly hot topic.
But the sovereign architect of the quality of our work-life balance is, and will always remain, you and me. It comes down to the choices we make. Every hour of every day. To slow down … or to speed up. To take time to smell the flowers … or not. It’s not that one or the other is good or bad. It’s about making conscious choices with an awareness of what’s needed or wanted at the time. To live in a way that allows us to be present to ourselves, to our lives, and to others.
There was a photo once in a magazine ad that showed a father and little son in ski outfits on the slopes, with big smiles on both their faces. The caption read, “No one ever looked back and wished they’d spent more time at work.” As you contemplate your own work-life balance or imbalance, know that it is possible to build a balanced relationship between the two if you are willing to take the time to examine your current priorities with honesty, craft a plan for changes and implement it, and remember that small changes often yield big results.
It’s your choice.
Dr. Marla Enhelder, Working Mom Coach & Mentor, is the CEO of Take Charge Mama, a company devoted to empowering working moms to effectively manage their time and energy, create balance between work and family, and ultimately live a life that they absolutely love! To get your FREE Audio CD by mail and receive Marla’s weekly newsletter packed with tips that you can implement immediately, please visit http://www.takechargemama.com