The Key to Finding a Work-Life Balance That Works for You

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SONY DSCThere’s a lot of talk about work-life balance these days. No doubt you’ve heard this term being tossed around in your office. To be clear, work-life balance is defined as “a concept including proper prioritizing between ‘work’ (career and ambition) and ‘lifestyle’ (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation).” For people who have an extremely demanding job, especially employers/those in management positions, this concept is laughable. Due to the demands of their career, they believe a work-life balance is not possible. However, this is simply not the case.

Work-Life Balance Is Possible for the Busiest Employer

A work-life balance is possible for employers, as well as every other employed individual. As is stated in the article Work-Life Balance Defined, “Work-life balance does not mean an equal balance. Trying to schedule an equal number of hours for each of your various work and personal activities is usually unrewarding and unrealistic. Life is and should be more fluid than that.”

Because work-life balance is not synonymous with equal balance, employers who work long hours can still achieve this ideal. How? You’ll be surprised at the simplicity of the answer: by implementing boundaries.

Boundaries Are the Key to a Balanced, Happy Life

Over half of all employees check their work email after 11pm at night. 30 percent of employees say they feel burned out. 50 percent of employed individuals claim their work interferes with life outside of their job. This is not a blame-your-job issue; this is a boundaries issue.

Above all, work-life balance is about boundaries. Setting up and sticking to simple limits can greatly reduce burnout and free up time for activities that are not work-related, thus improving work-life balance. For example, establish a rule that you won’t check your work email past, say, 8pm or earlier in the evening. (As busy as she is, the CEO of YouTube bans all emails between 6-9pm in her house. Obviously, she’s doing something right.) Also, do you have a work phone? If so, would it be possible and appropriate to shut it off at a specific time each evening?

Setting limits with technology sends the message to people that you are not available to answer their calls, texts and emails 24/7. If you want a better work-life balance, set reasonable boundaries in this area of your life.

You can also use boundaries to protect your connection with your family members. You may not be able to set strict limits on work phone usage when you are off the clock, but perhaps you can avoid using your work phone during your child’s basketball game or a date with your spouse. If you get creative with boundaries, your family relationships will flourish, and your work-life balance will increase.

How Do You Achieve a Work-Life Balance?

Most employers are beyond busy. Many have not mastered the art of achieving a balanced life, but some have. As an employer or manager, how are you doing in this area? How do YOU ensure a work-life balance that works for you?

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