Personal Development, Productivity

The work-life balance challenge

Work and Life Balance
Your plan to move ahead and achieve better results

The work-life balance mantra is very popular these days. People often talk about burn-out, demotivation, lack of energy for decent tasks etc. Business leaders “show” their followers what it means to balance between work and personal life. HR departments execute projects and strategies to overcome the burn-out syndrome, companies build different facilities or start variety of activities, costing their budgets a big sum of money to retain people.

And all these to show engagement to a very difficult to solve challenge, closed in each person life.

Do we really need to talk about work-life balance? What are all these discussions solving. Is there a real positive effect for the people inside organizations?

Remote working or home-office is often seen as a very good example to hear people needs and give them space to work as comfortably as they want, outside of the crowded office environment.

Companies sell remote working as a benefit to attract employees. But what often is sold is only the shiny part of a two-sided coin.

Can you imagine working from home or the coffee shop when all your relatives are in the office. How long would you feel comfortable to talk to them only via some office software?

 In his book “The Social Animal” the american psychologist Elliot Aronson wrote: “People are social animals. They need to be around others, they need to interact in person with others, they need to see other people’s reactions and emotions.”

The work-life balance mantra depends on the person itself. The long hours workday is personal choice. Even if you think that there is someone else to blame for these long working hours, and for your exhaust, think again, because your 100% wrong.

YES, there are some minimum hours that you dedicate to your work and employer, but above them you should prioritize your time to use it as wisely as you can. Because time is the most precious resources we all lose.

And If you want to achieve your work-life balance, you have to stop listening to others and look at your work and life priorities.

Others have gained their experience, they have found their way, but is this way your way. Is your work the same as their? Are your connections and needs the same as theirs? – Well if you think about all these questions you will probably come out with a simple NO as an answer.

Today there is an urgency for each task to be completed as soon as possible. Speed often defines success. Look at the smartphone manufacturers. They bring products to the market with satisfactory level of performance and then, when people start talking about issues they have found, these same manufacturers start issuing software fixes or offer additional paid or free services. And all that because these same manufacturers miss the moment, they will lose market share, profits etc.

People often fall in situations where balancing between work and personal life seems almost impossible. And then comes the exhaust, followed by “sickness”, disengagement, low power level etc.

In similar situations  people often move fast to the last step – giving up, or quiting. And the loss here is for both sides companies and people

That is why it is important to find your work-life balance. And by yours I don’t mind any bestselling author or CEO  model, but the one that works for you

Achieving work-life balance is more an effect of the planning process. So here are some steps to help you build your own work-life balance plan:

 1. Analyze the tasks list you have – group your tasks in groups based on the level of urgency and importance;

 2.  Analyze and define time needed for each task – knowing how much time you will invest in a task helps you plan your day better;

3. Regroup tasks – based on your analysis group again tasks according to your daily schedule;

4. Plan breaks – you cannot work constantly. Plan small breaks to ensure time to recharge, refresh and energize during the work-tasks schedule;

4.  Plan additional time – there is nothing like a perfectly planned day. You always have distractors during the day. Plan time for distracting factors based on the environment you’re your habits;

5. Set clear limits for the workday – sum all the time needed for your day including time needed for tasks schedule, breaks and distractions;

6. Stick up to your plan for the day – try to follow your plan for the day as strict as you can;

7. Learn to say NO –  think how you can politely say NO to everyone, even people positioned higher in the company ladder.

Useful tip: When saying NO, offer suitable option according to your plan for the day/week to the person.

 It doesn’t matter if you are working in the office or from a different place you have chosen. Following the tips will allow you to build your own work-life balance system.

Violating your own system and flow doesn’t help you neither others. It only leads to higher level of exhaustion lower level of productivity and satisfaction. Instead of blaming others for your own choice, focus on ensuring best results in a productive and positive environment defined by you.

Are you ready to try building your own work-life balance mantra?….

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