Is your firm’s partners and employees producing low productivity, burnout, unhappiness and illnesses caused by stress, due mostly from a lack of balance between their work and personal lives?
The people in your firm are your key asset. Your firm needs to look at how to create a greater balance between the work and personal lives of the people.
Each person has different values and goals, and certain meanings of success to them, so what looks like balance to one person may differ for another. Let’s look at three definitions of work and life balance which will help gain an understanding of the issue of work and life balance:
- Knowing there is enough time in the day to successfully achieve work-related tasks.
- Being able not to feel drained when having to get through our daily work and family responsibilities.
- Regularly participate in activities we enjoy.
Work-life balance is the following:
- Accomplishment: completing what needs to get done.
- Enjoyment: being able to have the time for loved ones, fun, rest, exercise and hobbies.
Creating a balanced life isn’t easy, but it is worthwhile.
To assist you on the journey toward life balance, here are six steps to follow:
1. Decide What Your Values and Priorities Are
Often, our time and energy are spent on things that aren’t important. Once you understand your values and priorities, you can start no to those things that push you further away from your values and priorities, and yes to things that are in association with your values. You can begin to arrange your life so it supports the personal and professional goals you want to achieve.
Knowing the goals, you want to achieve, and the life you want to live, will help bring you closer to figuring out what balance looks like for you.
2. Identify Your Balance “Blockers”
Balance blockers are those things that we either think or do that are in the way of reaching balance. It’s a perspective we hold about why we can’t pursue balance-related goals. Some examples of blockers are:
- Living by the expectations of others at work and at home
- Consistently putting the needs of others before your own
- Afraid of change
- Stuck on appearances
Watch when you use your blockers as excuses to justify why you can’t achieve balance in your life. Look at ways to achieve your goals, even though the balance blockers exist.
3. Balance Your Mind
Begin to think differently as the key to balance is in your head. Accountants feel bad about focusing on work-life balance, or they believe taking time out for themselves – away from work – is a bad use of time.
Living a more balanced life is about filling your “tank” just as you would the tank of gas in your car when it needs to be filled. Those initially cynical accountants, who hesitantly agreed to living a more balanced lifestyle and now report that they are more relaxed, have more time for themselves and haven’t sacrificed their jobs, or their level of professionalism, in the process!
4. Create “Non-negotiable” Time Blocks in Your
Schedule at least Two Times Per Week
Non-negotiable time is personal time that you designate for yourself that you will not reschedule, cancel or postpone. Give yourself at least 30 minutes to these time blocks. Enter the appointment as you would for any other appointment. This time if for non-work-related things so that you can focus on you. Go to the gym, get a massage, take yourself to the park or just do nothing! It may feel strange when first starting out but commit to doing this for at least six weeks and it will get easier.
5. Consider Hiring a Professional Coach
It’s tough to keep focused when you’re trying to accomplish a more balanced life and everyone around you is being rewarded for working round the clock. Making a change that will affect you personally and professionally can be difficult, even when it’s a positive change. This is usually because familiar patterns are hard to break. We all need someone to talk to, whose only job is to help you plan your career, manage your life and set goals to keep you on track. A Professional Coach.
6. Create a Vision
Write down your vision of a more balanced and fulfilling lifestyle, as having a vision of your achievements is a key tool to helping you achieve your goals. When designing your vision, consider this: If your life was more balanced than it is today, what would you have time to do? What would you no longer do? How would your career improve? What impact would a more balanced life have on your relationships and your quality of life?