Work-life balance is one of those recent buzzwords that seems to have sprung up alongside the likes of collaborative work spaces and “moving the needle.”
But while the term itself may be new, the concept is an elusive one that’s been sought since the beginning of time.
For the most part, we have to work. It’s how we provide for ourselves, our families, our communities. If you’re lucky, you like what you do. But no matter how great your job is, it’s like anything else: it can’t be your entire life. You can’t spend every waking hour working because it’s never healthy to spend every waking hour doing only one thing. You’ve got to strike a balance between what you have to do (even if you love it) and what you like to do.
Luckily, there are thousands of ways to balance your life so that you can live to the fullest while also providing for everything thing you and your loved ones need.
Take the time to sit down and plan out your days, weeks, months. Know where you plan to be and what you plan to get done every day. Then, stick to the plan. Don’t get derailed by things that don’t need immediate attention.
Scottish poet Robert Burns famously wrote, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” No matter how hard you plan, you’ve got to be prepared for just about anything.
So while planning is important, you’ve also got to be able to think on the fly and be able to decide if a sudden situation needs you to drop what you’re doing, or if it can wait until later. Don’t lose sight of your goal, but also don’t lose sight of importance of new circumstances that may crop up.
When setting out your plan, it’s easy to over-schedule yourself and fall short of your goals. When you don’t (or can’t) reach your goals, you may become discouraged and completely derail your entire plan. Be realistic when you’re planning your time and know the line between challenging and impossible.
Schedule Your Fun
Don’t mistake this step for taking all the spontaneity out of your time off. Knowing in advance when you’ll be taking time away from the office will allow you to wrap up things at work so that you can enjoy your time off. Take a Friday off every now and then and enjoy a good, three-day weekend. But knowing in advance that you’ll be out that day will help you leave your office worries behind.
The ESA Advantage
Executive Scheduling Associates is a proud supporter of work-life balance. Our team of expert schedulers works daily on your calendar to make sure that you are meeting your biggest producers and brightest prospects, while keeping your meetings geographically close and planning your days two-to-three weeks out. Taking these things off your plate gives you more time to focus on your career and personal goals…and take that vacation you’ve had your eye on.
Share your best work-life balance tips with us in the comments below.