Career Woman

Things you should know about work-life balance


Finding balance is one of the hardest things to achieve if you have a family and work full time. You want to be there for your spouse and children, but you also have a responsibility to your place of employment to contribute your best as well as provide for your family.

Although people may identify you as just a mother or significant other, you are your own person with unique dreams and ideals as well. It’s not fair to yourself to discard them so you can commit 110 percent of yourself to your loved ones. It’s also not fair to your family to immerse yourself into your work and reserve little to no time for them.

A happy medium is needed to find fulfilment and joy in both your work and personal life. Is there such a thing as a work-life balance, though? If there is, how can it be obtained with your job, family, and your own endeavors? Maybe you just need to look at it in a different way and learn from people who’ve done it themselves.

Is there such a thing?

Most people can’t even recall a time they felt like their life was in balance. We live in a world where you’re expected to do a million things at once and do them well. There’s just simply not enough hours in the day to get everything you and others want accomplished. How can someone even begin to talk about balance?

The best thing you can do for yourself right now is realize balance is a myth. Women are expected to be responsible for many things, including household chores, errands, cooking, and so much more. On top of that, some employers still want mothers to be over-the-top employees who put in early mornings and long nights.

With picking up and dropping off kids from school, recitals, and practices, it’s highly unlikely you’ll have the time to work extra. The only thing that is certain is life is always in flux. Sometimes work will demand more time from you, and other times it’ll be your family who needs more attention.

No two days are truly the same. So instead of striving for an unrealistic work-life balance, find harmony instead. Ask yourself if you’re happy with the choices you make and what you can change so that you are satisfied with how your time is spent.

Keep in mind that your answers and priorities will alter as you grow older and gain new perspectives. Harmony is not a static thing, but ebbs and flows with you. Only you can decide if your actions contribute to a piece of mind or a lack of it.

Learn from others

Sometimes all it takes is to learn from someone who has found harmony in their own lives. Everyone is unique, though, so what works for one person may not work for you necessarily. What’s important is to find tips and lifestyles that inspire you and experiment with them to find your own routine.

Who can you look to for this inspiration? If you’re having trouble finding people in your life to emulate, try imitating what nurses do. Long work days and compassion fatigue make it essential for these professionals to find ways that bring them peace and contentment. In order to live a more harmonious life, nurses follow these practices that you can easily use as well:

  • When you need a break from work, take it. Although you’d think that time away would result in lower levels of productivity, the opposite is actually true. Research has shown that breaks offer mental rejuvenation, helping you to think in more efficient and creative ways.
  • Keep your work and personal lives separate. It can be all too easy to bring work home with you and vice versa. You need time for yourself, but focus at work is important as well.
  • Learn to say “no” If you have the tiniest hint of doubt that you can’t fulfill a commitment, it’s best to decline than accept and put extra stress on your already busy schedule. Say “yes” to the things that truly matter to you, but say “no” when you know you already have enough on your plate.
  • Try timing yourself to see how long it takes you to complete certain tasks. You may discover you’re spending too much time in certain areas and not enough time in others. When you learn how your time is split, look over your schedule and see if any adjustments need to be made.

Follow your dreams

We all have dreams of our own — something we’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done yet. A dream for many people is to go back to school or own and run a small business. However, making time for your aspirations can be even more difficult when you have a full time job and a family to care for.

It’s completely doable, though, to find the time to be an entrepreneur or go to school while being there for your loved ones and place of work. First, decide what you actually want to do. Mentally picture what the success of your goal looks like. Even imagine scheduling your day.

This will help you figure out how to make your dreams happen and prepare yourself for the work that will be involved. Having a clear image in your mind will also motivate you to keep going when you feel discouraged or worn out. Gain back some of your time as well by downloading apps that take care of the simple tasks that fill up your day.

Automate processes that don’t need a personal touch and use cloud-based technologies to sync your devices together, helping you find needed documents and notes no matter if you’re on your phone or laptop. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Surround yourself with people who will encourage you and lighten your load when needed. Instead of worrying that you’re not spending enough time with your family, have them be a part of reaching your goals. It will not only help you, but also give them the inspiration they need to reach their own dreams.

A perfect work-life balance may be unattainable, but you can certainly find peace and acceptance in the choices you make in life. Take a hard look at yourself and determine if you’re spending your time the way you want to. If you’re not, make the changes you need to bring harmony into your schedule.

You can learn from others who have mastered this and even apply their advice to achieving your own goals. Life is messy; there’s no doubt about it. However, you can find satisfaction in both your work and personal life amidst the chaos.

About Avery Taylor Phillips

Avery Taylor Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.

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