There is no such thing as work-life balance. There is only life balance. Seeing these two things as opposing forces is part of the problem. Ever feel like going to work is more of a break than being home? Part of the reason for this is that the working environment is a controlled structure in which most people, if not all, are working toward a common goal. The goal: making the company or organization successful or getting a paycheck. Hopefully, you do not have to ask your co-worker for a report you need three times before it gets to your desk, like you have to ask your children to pick up their shoes. This feeling of structure and control can lead you to being at work longer than you have to, or should be, because it’s easier in many ways. If this is the case, ask yourself, how can I give those who I love and who live with me the same vision I have? Yes, I know people are stubborn, especially children, but, the vision for your family should be clear to all it’s members. If it is not, this may be why you are coming up against so much force at home.
Sometimes the vision or goal for the family doesn’t even have to be spoken. It can be expressed as an expectation. For example, everyone has breakfast, or we all sit around the kitchen table, and have dinner together with no cell phones or electronic devices. We have to begin to detach from media, and attach to those in front of us. Stating expectations does not have to be a forceful act, which deflates all members of your family as they pout around the table you requested them to sit at. I have found a more passive way, but equally effective, is to provide opportunities to be together. I’ll cook breakfast for my kids in the morning, but often they would rather have cereal. I leave the food on the kitchen table with the bowl and spoon sitting out for them. At some point in the morning, we all come together, but not always. I don’t make a big deal about the times when we don’t all get together.
I know that many of you say there is no time for breakfast. Make time. I asked my boss if I could come in at 8:30am instead of 8:00am, I am blessed to be able to do this. If I couldn’t, I would do what I could to work out a strategy so we could all eat together. Family meals are a good way to get around the table and talk about our family’s vision. We have discussed where we would like to vacation, homework assignments, philosophies about life and shared our experiences of the day we just had. At work you have meetings. At home you eat meals. If you are seeking to reduce stress at home, I would start by having meals with your family. There are no excuses that are valid. Crock pots and crock pot liners make any meal possible in rapid time, if planned ahead of time.
Sometimes it’s not your choice to stay at work longer. It’s a requirement of the position. Maybe you are an entrepreneur, and if you don’t do it, it doesn’t get done. If this is the case, set aside time to work, and actually work. Of course when you are off, actually stop working. It’s difficult, and you may even need to force yourself not to work. Turn your phone off, or set it on do not disturb. Know that you are going to come back to this task later. It is important to remember you cannot force something into being. There should be a certain amount of trust in your own ability, if you are putting forth effort, your work will be accomplished. If you are not getting the success you are looking for, research that, seek help of others, hire someone to evaluate your processes. But don’t sit there and fret while you are trying to watch your toddler eat peas with her hands. Be there with her and for her.
Work and home life don’t need to be balanced, you do. If there is an anxious feeling inside of you, whether it is at home or at work, something is wrong. Feeling this way is not a requirement for a successful life, it’s a choice that makes you unhappy. Examine your behavior, and be honest with yourself. Start today being present in all you do, and you will begin to experience calm in your life. Make things happen that you want to see happen. You have the ability to do this at work as well as at home. Don’t be forceful, just be what you want in order to see change. Only change one thing at a time. When this change comes into your reality, and you’ve maintained it for a while, then move onto the next thing. In doing this, you will begin to see that work and life are not separate, but a continuation of you. Flow from one environment to the next having a shared vision and goals with those around you.
Create your balance with these six steps.
Step 1: Identify where you are feeling the most stress or anxiety. Is it at work or at home?
Step 2: Identify what makes life at home different than life at work.
Step 3: When at work or at home, be present. Is your mind always somewhere else?
Step 4: Create a common vision with those around you.
Step 5: Trust in your ability to accomplish tasks and affect change.
Step 6: Be the change. One step at a time.
Knowing these six steps and knowing how to do them are different. For more tips and tricks for achieving life balance, check out my blog at www.brightminds.online.
Author: Stephanie Curry
Author Bio: Life after divorce is defining. It’s can be a catalyst for the moment when you take a long hard look at yourself, and try to determine what went wrong. Not what the other person did wrong, but what you did wrong. When I started to ask myself this question, I went on an amazing journey of self-discovery. I realized I had a lot of room to grow. But beyond growth, I wanted to be happy. Truly happy, like I had never been before. This site is about my continued journey to achieve life balance, and find happiness in the wake of having a full-time job, raising kids, writing a book, starting a blog, and going on romantic excursions with my loving boyfriend.
My masters in education has served me well in my role as an eLearning Developer for the past decade for various corporations. I have had the opportunity to speak in front of various groups as a National Training Capacity Building Initiative instructor for the National PTA, been an active Toastmaster for the past three years, and spoken in front of various volunteer organizations as a leader. I have been a certified Krav Maga instructor for the past three years, and appreciated my role in building others’ confidence and self-defense skills. My focus for training now is in helping others achieve life balance to affect positive change in the world.
Link to social media or website: http://www.brightminds.online