People often ask me: How do manage your work-life balance? Truth is! A work-life balance on a daily or even a weekly basis? Forget about it! It’s not possible, when you choose career and kids. If I struggle to achieve it, I would stress me even more!
What is work-life balance?
I turned to Wikipedia for a definition. Work–life balance is a concept including proper prioritizing between «work» (career and ambition) and «lifestyle» (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation). This is related to the idea of lifestyle choice.
My work-life balance trick!
So, it’s not possible to meet a work-life balance on a daily or weekly basis. My goal is to balance my life like this:
If I look back on my last week, it looked like the wheel on the left. Fortunately, the next week will look like the wheel on the right.
My trick is to not be to strict on myself, but to make sure that I dare to make some choices every week.
For me, the important is to have a work-life balance over time and try to follow a set of «rules».
- Weekends! I got a great advice from a colleague at work, a mother of three. The weeks are super busy. Weekends are dedicated to family time! Few plans, just the family of four hanging out at home or going on trips.
- The flexibility of being a management consultant! Many believe that being a partner in a global managing consulting firm and a mother of toddlers make it impossible to have any kind of work-life balance. Since I work on projects, there are periods, when I have less client work. Then I must be cynical and use the flexibility. Take some shorter days, take a long weekend, work from my home office or a snowy mountain. Thank god for WiFi and Skype!
- Don’t be online all the time! I try to not be online all the time. No one expects you to answer e-mail instantly. If it’s urgent, I expect people to call. You should also think about, how you structure your day. Check out my blog post about the magic hours!
- Make some sacrifices! I cannot have it all. Sorry friends, I’m afraid that I don’t see you guys too much these days. Alexander and I have little time, just the two of us. My parents in law bought a cinema gift card for Christmas. We still haven’t used it. Maybe Jason Bourne will the movie to see sometime this autumn!
- Have a fun passion project! Well, this one is easy, but it’s hard prioritize it. It used to be my volunteer political work for the Norwegian Snowboard Association. These days, it’s this blog ;).
What Can You Do?
- Draw your own work-life balance wheels. Your goal balance and the weekly real balance over a period of a month.
- Compare your life wheel? Are there big gaps?
- Make a list of what brings energy to your life and what drains your energy.
- Take some time to reflect.
- Do you have enough energy sources, can you enhance some or create some new? How can you remove or reduce energy drains?
- How can you close the gaps? Write down some specific action points. Who can help you? Your partner, your boss, your colleagues? I advice you to be open about your planned changes. Still, remember this:
If you want to meet the person who will change your life? Take a look in the mirror!
- Remember, this is not a quick fix. You will have strict on yourself to escape the habit loop. A study shows that you will need more than 65 days to change habits.
This was my story. Over to you, dear reader! What’s your best advice for work-life balance? Please share it!
Balanced wishes for a great week! I look forward to some work days and the a long weekend up in the mountain.
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