For most adults, work is a significant source of stress. In fact, research suggests that it’s second only to money, and it’s followed closely by family issues. Unfortunately, the stress we experience at work doesn’t stay at work. It affects our friends, our families and communities — not to mention our long-term health and wellbeing. If we want to keep our heads and our hearts while keeping our jobs, we have to manage stress. But how?
Estimated reading time: There’s never enough time, is there? You work, you sleep, you schlep the kids to all of their activities, you fit in a meal here and there, and you might even find time to get to the gym. And yet, everywhere you turn, there’s some time management or work-life balance expert like me telling you that you can do more. It’s insanity, isn’t it? Actually, no. Even though time is the only one of your four resources that is truly non-renewable, you have more time than you think. But don’t take my word for it. Let’s look […]
The quest for work-life balance too often turns into a finger-pointing exercise. “I’d have better work-life balance if it weren’t for my unreasonable boss.” “Life would feel a whole lot more balanced if my kids weren’t committed to dozens of activities.” “My clients won’t let me have even two hours of downtime.” The truth, however, is that we’re more responsible for our own work-life balance than we’d prefer to claim. And we have to set up a cadence of accountability if we want to stay on track.
Wouldn’t it be great if work-life balance just happened? You could just wake up one day and suddenly feel like you loved your work, loved your family, and loved your life — your time and energy perfectly and magically distributed among all the important domains of your life, giving you simultaneously the satisfaction of being a great parent, an excellent professional, and a luxuriating person of leisure. Yep, that would be great. But it’s not gonna happen. Work-life balance is a verb, not a noun. It’s something you do, not something you acquire. It requires planning, action, discipline, and follow-through. […]
Estimated reading time: Sir Richard Branson posted a blog on June 1, 2016, detailing his adventures in Australia. In that blog, he included a cheeky photo of himself with a sleeping employee at the airport. He reposted that photo to his Instagram, and, as of this moment, the photo has 17,968 likes and 612 comments. The majority of those comments are some variation on, “That poor guy! I’m sure he was fired the moment after that photo was taken.” Sleeping on the job? How shameful!
If you’re trying to integrate your work with a meaningful, fun, and fulfilling life, you know that managing your time is one of the keys to success. But if you’re like most of us, you’re not actually managing your time well. This series of articles gives you a system to fix that, so you can focus on what’s most important.
Last week, a friend of mine drew my attention to an article entitled, “The Cities with the Best Work Life Balance.” As your humble guide through the weird world of work-life balance, I like to vet these articles to determine if there’s anything you and I can learn from them. In this case, there’s definitely something for us to learn. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s what the authors intended.
If you’re struggling with work-life balance, you know that one of the most frustrating feelings is knowing you’re not getting everything done. Your to-do list just seems to keep getting longer, and the things you really want to do are getting no attention at all. You know how it goes. There’s something wildly important you need to do, but you just never seem to get to it. Whether it’s starting a new business, plotting your next career move, or planning a vacation, the most important dragon you want to slay just keeps getting pushed aside by all those annoying gnats of urgency. […]
In the struggle for work-life balance, we often find ourselves trapped between the urgent and the important. The urgent always wins, and the important gets shoved aside. But if we want to take control of our professional and personal lives, we have to turn this around.
The path from being a guilt-ridden “working parent” to being a fulfilled career-loving parent isn’t an easy one. It requires getting really clear about your values, about your goals, about what’s truly important to you. And that’s just the beginning. But, as we’ve discussed before (see What’s your work-life style?), a key step is simply understanding yourself. After all, work-life balance (or better yet, work-life balancing) means different things to different people, and how will you know if you’ve got it if you don’t know what it is?