Do you love your work to such a degree that you enter into a mindset of hyper-focus?
Do you love your customers so much that you place their needs above yours?
When was the last time you took a mini-vacation or truly took a rest day?
The key to work-life balance is to make certain you set healthy boundaries.
First, let us discuss…
What Nobody is Telling You
Two weeks ago I wrote a post about being immersed in email. The main point of that post was not having balance and being consumed by e-mail. Balancing email wasn’t even the issue, but an indicator of an even bigger problem. What I omitted was the disproportion in my own life. I spent all the time applying myself to work. I took part in no outside activities. My family had dinner without me nightly and I worked 12-16 hour days. During a 3 year period I did not even take one vacation, because I was focusing entirely on my work and career. You’re probably thinking that I was extremely loyal to my profession or my work ethic was out of this world! My disproportion was masked by success. Everyone was speaking highly of me and my family took pride in the accomplishments. Aunts, Uncles and little cousins respected me, giving me this stoic feeling. I was lying to myself, believing I was doing it all for them. That these were the sacrifices that were meant to be made to become a success and that it was necessary. Do you think that anyone saw me neglecting other areas in my life? Can you believe that not once did anyone call me out on it? My boss, fellow employees or even family?
The promise of America has always been that if you worked hard, had the right values, took some risks, that there was an opportunity to build a better life for your family and for your next generation. – Mitt Romney
Life Is Not Always Pretty
Here is the question you must ask –
Can you have a work life be balanced?
The web is in operation 24 hours, 7 days a week. We are a high-driven performance society. Even your personal priorities get shifted or neglected. Is there really a line that divides the work-life balance? Many of you are passionate about your work and do not think of it as work. It is what drives you like it drove me. Are you really neatly slicing your day into 8 hour segments for sleep, work and life? Some of you have professions that are seasonal. Tax professionals are engrossed this time of year. Work and life cannot be balanced evenly. Work and life are intertwined and blended. The reality of separating the two is a fallacy. You can not stop being a parent, sibling or friend at work, and the same goes for your profession. The roles and responsibilities in your life intersect. It is who you are, it is in your character and your DNA. Your life consists of many layers of skin that shape you.
So, what is the formula for a work-life balance? There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Each one of you and your families have an unique blend. Be self-aware and recognize when you must shift your focus during changing seasons. Understand expectations and set healthy boundaries.
Rejuvenation Is Fuel For Productivity
The challenge for you today is to take a one day sabbatical from all productivity, focus and work. You have three choices:
1. Reconnect and build a stronger bond with a loved one or friend by spending the day with them.
2. Revive an old, fun activity from high school or college that you loved, but not longer do.
3. Give your time to a cause you love dearly. Something that is bigger than yourself that has no return.
Simply, just spend the day with the people you love, doing the things you love and for the reasons you love.