Work/life balance involves you maintaining a supportive and healthy work and home environment. KIRSTY O’CALLAGHAN looks at how to achieve a good balance between your work and personal responsibilities.
According to a major Canadian study conducted by Lowe (2005), one in four employees experience high levels of conflict between work and family, based on work-to-family interference and caregiver strain. If role overload is included, then close to 60 per cent of employees surveyed experience work-family conflict.
You may have many competing responsibilities: work, children, housework, volunteering, spouse and elderly parent care. This places stress on individuals, families and the communities in which you live. Work-life conflict is a serious problem that impacts everyone.
It seems that this problem is increasing due to high female labour force participation rates and dual-earner families, increasing numbers of single parent families, and emerging trends such as elderly care. It is further exasperated with globalisation, an aging population, and historically low unemployment.
Work/life balance is meeting everyone’s needs and wants, including your own, in a realistic way. It is an intentional state of harmony, satisfaction and wholeness within the life areas of:
Health and self-care
It allows you to enjoy the satisfaction, peace and harmony that come from living a balanced life, from focusing your time and energies on the things most important to you and not just those that yell the loudest for your attention.
Use this formula to create the meaningful balanced life you desire:
A = attitude: do you have an attitude of gratitude, are you hopeful, do you adopt a never give up and determined focus?
I = inspired energy: who are you around regularly, do they sustain or drain your energy, do you drink enough water, eat high energy foods and get enough rest and relaxation?
M = meaningful order: what are your key life result areas, what are you passionate about, what are your desires, what routines, lists, time management techniques and plans will work for you and your unique family?
Balance is the opposite of feeling overwhelmed and stressed. It is feeling purposeful, being in the now, doing your best and following what you truly desire, maintaining a connection to what is important to you and knowing you can overcome obstacles placed in your way.