By Tamra Runnels Briley
I don’t know about you, but work life balance has been something I long to achieve but seldom do. I had the fortunate opportunity to hear a Senior Vice President and Former CMO at another global organisation, speak at a local women’s event where she shared a personal story about work life blending. It was very thought provoking and quickly led me on a personal mission to try it out.
As a working mother, there are days I am a better employee than I am a Mom, and vice versa, so I do not claim to be an expert. Work/life balance is achieving a healthy mix of work/career and lifestyle – a blend. It’s personal, but most importantly, there is no perfect recipe for success in achieving a perfect 50/50 balance. There is not a “one size fits all” approach, but I am going to talk about best practices, share ideas, and resources on how we can best achieve a healthy blend of the two. I’m going to rely on my personal experiences as a working mom, while keeping in mind that while my life balance may involve a six -year old little boy, yours may be a parent, a pet, friends, a good book that has a layer of dust on it an inch thick. You get the picture…
So in as simple approach as I can share, here are my three basic tips for achieving healthy work life blending – the 3 R’s.
- What works for you – what is the ratio of work/life you need to achieve to be happy?
- What’s your noise? Are there things you can put on “pause”?
- What’s your motivation – where are you in your life and career plans? It might be ok to be a little heavy on the work side of the scale at this time.
- What matters most to you?
- What do you do to recharge? Find what works for you. For me, it’s golfing, playing the piano or singing. Yours might be reading a good book, taking a long hike, or simply sleeping in.
- Schedule down time if you’re a slave to your calendar.
- The key to recharging is being there in the moment without distraction, i.e. pause.
- You should constantly be revisiting the mix of work/life you have for the stage of life you are in. Think of it like a target – the center is what matters most – could be you, family, or career at any given time. Then work your way outside the target with items or activities where you spend your time. This is a good start to identify those items that may be distracting you or preventing you from achieving your healthy blend of work life balance.
Whether you are able to apply one or all of these tips, most importantly, I hope that I have opened your eyes to the reality there will never be perfect balance of work and life. It is a give and take, and if you can set your goals on a healthy blend, the pressures of work life balance will be less, and hopefully, as a result, allow you to achieve happiness in both your career and life. As I mentioned at the opening, my reality is there are days I’m a better mom than employee, and other days I’m a better employee than mom.
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