We have all heard the term “work/life balance.” It’s a catchphrase that has been used to describe an individual’s ability to balance the demands of work and life. Chances are that at some point in your life, you have tried achieving work/life balance as a goal, and I could almost bet that trying to achieve this balance has caused you quite a bit of stress. It’s caused you stress because, in reality, work/life balance does not exist. I am here to invite you to stop stressing over work/life balance and instead strive to achieve life balance. You may think this is the same, but it’s not. Most people seeking work/life balance are overworked, unhappy with their work, or are struggling with difficulties in their relationships inside or outside work, sometimes both.
If your work feels completely unrelated to the activities that stir your interest, enthusiasm, energy, and sense of meaning, then it may be time for you to transition to the next step of your career. While your work doesn’t need to satisfy all of your needs for purpose, meaning, social connection, and challenge, you should expect work to provide you with moments of satisfaction, accomplishment, and connection. If it doesn’t, then you do not need work/life balance…you need a new job, or you may need to change careers.
However, if you are getting fulfillment and satisfaction from your work but feel that you just don’t have time for anything else, then that may mean you have to learn how to delegate or create boundaries. You may also need to establish priorities to learn how to integrate your personal and work life and ultimately find life balance.
Technology and work-from-home flexibility have contributed to much of this “off-balance” feeling. We work from home, and our devices are connected 24/7, which can adversely affect our mental health, emotional well-being, and relationships. So how do we disconnect, and how do we find this “life balance?”
Rewire Your Mindset:
Yes, mindset is key when seeking life balance. When life is busy, or all your energy is focused on a special project, it’s all too easy to find yourself off balance, not paying enough attention to important areas of your life. While you need to have the drive and focus if you’re going to get things done, taking this too far can lead to frustration and intense stress. We must understand that we are one person with many responsibilities and interests that can be balanced. The key here is that we are “one person” and to look at our life as one life vs. dividing our life into two different areas. You are one person that enjoys hobbies, family, a significant other, kids, pets, and work. Work is an integral part of your life, so why try to keep it separate? Keeping this division adds to our stress. Instead, I recommend integrating all of the areas of our life, including work and finding balance.
Life integration will look very different for all of us. Work-life integration involves blending both personal and professional responsibilities. Rather than viewing work and personal time as separate entities, is finding areas of compromise. If you arrange your work and home lives, so they fit together to fulfill all your needs, you can create a life with time for your work and relationships, family, and outside interests. The advantage of life integration is freedom. When we integrate our life, we feel free, and our stress levels decrease. Integrating means that you are scheduling hours around your priorities and when things need to get done. It also means understanding productivity times and setting boundaries.
When integrating life to find life balance, it is crucial to set boundaries. This means that to have work and personal life coexist, you must maintain firm boundaries between home and office, allowing you to devote your full attention to each at a given time. This means scheduling office hours, time for emails, and conference calls and the same goes for your personal items.
Prioritizing is key to a life balance. We must understand that sometimes our work will require a little more attention, and sometimes our home or personal life will require that extra attention. As one person, we could only do so much, so it’s important not to feel guilty when prioritizing what needs the most time and attention and enjoy the times when we are smooth sailing.
Here are some additional tips that may help:
🌟 Create time to reflect: go for walks after lunch, take advantage of slow periods, go on mini-vacations, turn off email notifications on weekends
🌟 Align your work with your purpose and passions: do work that moves you and understand you’re why
🌟 Utilize your talents: challenge yourself at work or raise your hand for a project that excites you
🌟 Find time for high-value activities: volunteer, run or walk a 5k, collect for your favorite charity, or take an art class
🌟 Invest in your relationships: create time for your family and friends; go to lunch or dinner; plan activities; make a phone call
🌟 Be flexible: know that life is not perfect and that even challenging times can provide a gift or opportunity to learn
The key to life balance is enjoying your life without having to separate or compartmentalize life.
Want to learn more about following an integrated life balance approach to work and life without stress? Schedule a free consultation: www.beproductivecoaching.com/contact
About Be Productive:
Founder Vimari Roman changes lives by helping professionals achieve peak performance and fulfillment through career strategies, coaching, professional branding, and mental fitness.
She began her career in Hospitality, and after over 20 years, she realized she had outgrown her career; in 2013, she transitioned her skillset, earned her Certificate in Meeting Management, and started her first company, Be Productive Meetings & Events. After a great start, she felt that something was still missing. She went inward and discovered that she missed the coaching and leadership of her teams. A year later, in 2014, she received her Global Certificate in Leadership Coaching and founded Be Productive Coaching, a boutique firm based in Miami, Florida. With over twenty-five years of experience in leadership, Vimari has mentored and coached hundreds of high-performing professionals in various industries, amplifying their unique talents and strengthening their mental muscles to help them achieve peak performance, fulfillment, and growth.
Vimari is a Certified Leadership and Positive Intelligence Coach who speaks on Mental Fitness, Professional Branding, and Career Strategies and Transitions. She is a proud and engaged member of the South Florida ICF Chapter, and in 2019 she was recognized by LinkedIn as a LinkedIn Career Expert.
Know someone who could benefit from working with a coach specializing in career strategies, professional branding, positive intelligence, and mental fitness? Personal Introductions are the lifeblood of solopreneurship! www.beproductivecoaching.com