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Balancing Act

Photo Credit: Audrey Hepburn | Breakfast At Tiffany's (1961)

Are you struggling with your work-life balance?

Getting our work-life balance into better equilibrium is a challenge for anyone. In fact actually using the phrase “work- life balance” is enough to send you running.

Work schedules, changing seasons, relationships at work and home and many other factors can influence work-life balance positively or negatively. You can usually tell when you are not in balance anymore because things just don't feel right at home or at work. For those who run their own businesses or have jobs that consume their lives, those feelings associated with being out of balance happen much more frequently and often with greater intensity.

Without time and focus to restore balance, we find ourselves experiencing symptoms of stress, dysfunction, relationship friction or just plain burnout. Those who might feel out of balance and that work has become the very dominant component of that delicate relationship between work and life, you may want to ask yourself these key questions that will help you diagnose your work-life balance and identify strategies of coming back into a positive state of life equilibrium.

1) Are you out of shape? If the extra hours and your poor eating and exercise habits have been taking their toll, you may be finding yourself packing a few extra pounds and getting out of breath just going up a couple of flights of stairs. Letting yourself get out of shape can impact your quality of life negatively and lead to feelings of being out of balance.

2) Are you constantly overbooked? When a friend calls to chat, do you tell them that you just don't have time? Maybe you find yourself not being able to fit in that trip to the gym or cinema date night because your schedule is just too tight. If you are finding yourself with an unmanageable schedule and if the really important things are getting lost in the shuffle, you need to really sit down and work out what is important. You don’t live to work.

3) Do you focus too much on getting it just right? A big part of learning to better balance life and work is to be willing to sacrifice a few good things for a few better things. If you spend a lot of time and energy on getting a lot of little things "just so," you may want to rethink that strategy. Tending to be a perfectionist can get in the way of better life balance.

4) Do you stay at work late just to prove your worth? In today's competitive work environment, sometimes we fall into the trap of staying late (or coming in early) to impress others with our commitment and dedication. Even when it’s your own business you extend the working hours to make sure you get everything done and not let anyone down. But for every positive impression you are creating with that strategy at work, you are creating a negative one at home. It is not all about the hours you spend, but how effectively you perform during the hours you have. Bosses tend to be more impressed with performance than long hours. So work a little smarter and check out these ideas for being a more productive employee/ business owner.

5) Do you have a hard time sleeping, or sleeping well? We find that when life is out of balance and we are worried about work more than we should be that our sleep is not restful or we stay up too late either working or trying to unwind. If you are finding sleep hard to come by or just not finding enough hours in a day to sleep well, you are selling yourself short and may need to evaluate your life balance.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg for some, its often seen as easy to sit and examine how someone should make changes but only you, yourself can make that happen and if it isn’t an option with the current job its often about establishing a new role/ direction or a complete overhaul of your career.

Don’t put off what is plainly obvious and put you and your family first, not the job!

Kelly Wood is Create & Develop Resourcing's Candidate Manager. Kelly has an impressive background - an accomplished Area / Training Manager within Fashion and Beauty retail, Kelly also has previous success in Fashion Recruitment. Kelly brings extensive People Management, HR and Resourcing knowledge to the team in her role as Create & Develop's main point of contact for our candidates.

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