In today’s dynamic world, it is challenging to find a balance between personal life and career. Most people carry work home, and private problems reflect on professional growth. When there is no balance between personal life and career, stress with all its destructive effect happens.
What does it break the balance in our lives?
Ten years ago, we knew exactly how many working hours should we have at a company. Back then, people could easily set the boundary between private and career. Nowadays, the situation is different. Most people work for huge companies with a couple of thousands of employees. Working in these conditions carries a lot more pressure than working in a small company.
Smaller companies are still working on the old principle – 4 PM means running away from the office. But, those who work at a big firm know what it means to work even after working hours are over.
Balancing between private and business life is a double-edged sword. If you are concentrating on your career and spending more time at your office, you are sure to miss many beautiful moments with your partner and children. In the second case, if you are preoccupied with problems at home, you can hardly concentrate on work.
This struggle leads to a loss of priorities in life, reduced efficiency at work, and deconcentration. That is why it is essential to know how to achieve harmony and reduce stress in your life.
Is a work-life balance possible?
Achieving a work-life balance can seem impossible, especially in this day and age when we are overwhelmed with information, commitments, and constant haste. And worst of all, as time goes on, it gets harder for us. Of course, it would be best if we had no business and had money, then we would not have this problem. We know it’s not realistic to expect and we probably wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves because of boredom. So, what works?
How to deal with not having a balance?
We need to draw the line. Drawing the line is not about productivity, time management, or delaying commitments. These things only make us more efficient. We often think that if we devote enough time to the business, we will be able to finish everything. It’s an illusion. We will never finish it until the end. The happiest people are not the ones who don’t care about anything. They are bored. Researchers say the most fortunate are those people who are busy but not in a hurry. When we have a sense of control, we reduce anxiety. And then what does research say about work-life balance? Same thing – a sense of power is the key.
How do we sort out our priorities?
We must decide what is essential and what is not. How do we draw that line? By asking ourselves a simple question several times a day: What is the most important thing for me to do right now?
The main problem many people have is that they try to do everything and treat everything as necessary. We can’t do everything, and it’s not all that important. So how do we determine what is the most important thing we will do right now? By knowing what we value the most.
What are our values?
Clay Kristensen, a Harvard Business School professor, is an author of the book named “How Do You Measure Your Life?”. In his book, the author writes about his values. Clay identifies what he appreciates the most. For example, he works Monday through Friday. Saturday is a day for family, and Sunday is for God. No work on weekends, no matter what. Is this effective for anyone in any company? No, but we should start by knowing what is most important to us and drawing the line accordingly. After all, we are what we repeatedly do.
What brings us disproportionate results?
We have to face one fact: we often start with the tasks that lie ahead. But just because something lies right in front of us, it does not mean that it is our priority. Gary Keller applies the so-called Pareto’s principle on working days, in one of his books. He says that many of us achieve 80% results, with 20% of the work done. Well, focus on that 20%. What makes progress and what doesn’t? What gives disproportionate results? You do this first and more often, and the results will come.
What is the one thing that only we can do well?
If anyone else can do the laundry in the house, let’s do it. If someone else can do some of the work, let’s do it. But if we are parents, we have to go to parent meetings, and if we are also the head of sales, we have to go to business meetings. Let’s ask ourselves: What are some things I do with relative ease, while difficult for some other people? Management guru Peter Drucker says we need to focus on things that only we can do. Let’s delegate the rest, give it to an agency, or ignore it. What is the most important thing right now? We have a good feeling when we are waiting for many things from our to-do list. But have we wondered if these were the things that were most important or urgent? This is what matters.
Finally, let’s summarize how we can best balance the work-life balance.
Here are five key steps:
- Not everything is equally important. Just do some things and do them well.
- Decide what your values are – they take precedence.
- You do things that bring disproportionate results.
- Focus on things only you can do.
- You do the important things that have to end now.
This is not simple and will not solve the problem immediately, but given this, we can be much better with time. What is the most important thing to remember? We can do anything once we stop trying to do everything.