For most people, juggling the demands of a career and a personal life is an ongoing challenge, especially at a time when many companies have slashed their ranks–and expect more from the survivors.
Achieving the elusive “work-life balance” can often feel like an impossible goal, especially for people who strive to give everything 100%. In today’s “do more with less” competitive reality, how can we manage careers and families, and feel satisfied with both?
Keep it Simple
The real key to managing all the craziness in your life comes from you—no tools, no rules, just you. It’s all about keeping your priorities straight and feeling confident about your choices. Life can be wonderful, exciting and fulfilling, but it can also be confusing, stressful and even messy. Still, with all that and more to contend with, life can also be pretty manageable, and achieving that infamous work-life balance doesn’t have to be difficult. This crash course will help achieve a good work-life balance. It’s simple, just three steps, easy to follow and pretty general, so customizing it and implementing it in your life will seem almost effortless.
1. Operate on Your Own Energy Level, Not Someone Else’s
So many times we give our power away and we don’t even realize it. As an adult you’re capable of making responsible decisions and making them work for your life, so don’t let someone else’s agenda become yours. The minute you let someone else’s energy take priority, you’ve lost. Everyone operates on their own agenda, and they’d love to pull you into their world so you can make them the priority too, but you have your own priorities. Allowing someone to zap your energy will just leave you feeling frustrated, and trying to achieve a work-life balance when you’re frustrated is next to impossible. Maintain your own energetic level for balance.
The most important thing to remember is that this is your life, your career, your family and your goals. You know better than anyone what your priorities are, where you want to be, with whom you want to be and when it needs to happen. Whether it’s taking time from work to attend a family event or vice-versa, state what you’re doing rather than asking anyone for permission. In doing so, you’re definitely acting as a person of importance and conviction, and who can argue with that? Being definitive and direct empowers you and it shows that you have a good work-life balance, a good handle on your obligations and priorities, and it takes the word “no” out of the equation.
3. Be a Juggler, But Know Your Limits
Stay on top of your own priorities; know your limits and you’ll avoid a lot of grief. Most people are pretty good at juggling their schedules when they have to, but juggling can build on itself (much like a lie needs another lie to cover the first lie). Overextending yourself can leave you exhausted with nothing left to give to anyone, not even yourself. Here are some tips for expert juggling:
• Ask others for help when you’re stuck between obligations. Splitting the load can cut your time in half. Plus, it’ll be easier to find the time when you need to return the favor.
• Attend events and be social, but don’t stay out so late that you suffer to get things done the next day. Sometimes just showing up is enough.
• Don’t juggle your calendar for others who are irresponsible. You’ve worked hard to get into the groove of obtaining balance. Be their example, not their crutch.
• Learn to say “no” and mean it. Don’t operate from a place of guilt or a sense of duty at your own expense. “No, I can’t just drop everything and come over, but I can stop by after work for a little while.”
Achieving a good work-life balance will seem effortless if you just honor your own needs first. Making your life the priority doesn’t mean you’re being selfish. Operate at an energy level that’s calm, cool and collected—not panicked, guilt-ridden or stressed out. Know what you want and need in order to make your life more balanced and everything surrounding you will naturally resonate to your vibration.