I’ve been preaching the work/life balance message for more than 20 years now. When asked what one thing summarizes why I do what I do, it would be work/life balance. You see, I haven’t always been good at it. In my twenties, I was climbing the corporate ladder while attending night school to obtain my degree. Burning the candle at both ends and facing some challenging life events hurled me into complete burnout. Stress about killed me, and I have been passionate about helping others ever since.
Fast Company reports in their March/April issue that employees experiencing burn out are more likely to take sick days, visit the emergency room, and are less confident in their performance. This isn’t good for your company or employees. How do you know if someone is on the brink?
Look for these signs:
-Always running late
-Missing important personal events
-Working longer hours than usual
-Appearing exhausted, run down and out of gas
-Losing their temper
-Getting emotional over small stuff
-Getting sick all the time
The list goes on but keep your eyes on these for yourself and your employees. As leaders, we need to set the example of work/life balance. Each of us is responsible to monitor our own gas tank and fuel up before it is empty. How we do that depends upon our unique style. LINK Work/life balance is also going to look different for everyone. We cannot compare our life to someone else, nor can we blame others for our life.
If you haven’t specifically spelled out what work/life balance means to you, take some time. We can’t hit the mark if we don’t know what it looks like! Consider your entire life a pie that includes things such as career, family, friends, health, hobbies, spirituality, travel, etc. How big are the slices? Everything can’t be a full pie, and only you can determine how much attention to give to each slice. In all my years of work/life coaching, I find one common theme: people are giving away time to things that don’t matter to them. As result, their work/life balance is out of whack, causing disappointment, frustration, sadness, and sometimes even depression. So I say again, define YOUR work/life balance.
If we truly desire work/life balance, we will need to look at ourselves. We are often our own worst enemy.
Being honest with yourself, ask these questions:
-Am I a workaholic because I am addicted to the adrenaline or because I have low self-esteem?
-Am I passive/aggressive and say yes to everything then resent it?
-Am I materialistic and love striving for more money and stuff?
-Am I running away from or hiking from something at home?
-Am I egotistical and love power?
-Am I a control freak and unable to delegate or let anything go?
-Am I poor at time management, often causing my own time traps?
Don’t associate any of your answers as good or bad…just what it is. Then, look for solutions to overcome the barrier that prevents you from having the work/life balance you seek. Strive to enlarge the slices that mean the most to you and look for ways to decrease the others to manageable sizes…or completely eliminate them if possible.
Looking for additional help? Check my I Want My Life Back! and I welcome the opportunity to assist you find your balance through coaching. Here’s to work/life balance for YOU!