Do these scenarios sound familiar?
If you have experienced these feelings then your work-life is likely out of balance, which is quite common. A recent study quoted by Randall Hansen, PhD on quintcareers.com reported that two of every five workers out of 50,000 were dissatisfied with their work-life balance. They quote long hours, lack of boundaries between work and home and increased work pressure.
How to get it under control?
The first step is admitting that your balance is out of whack and giving yourself “permission" to take action. I often find that acceptance is the needed first step before you can take action to solve the issue. Many are paralyzed by fear - fear of failure, of taking a step backward or simply fear itself. I always find that this type of fear is not rooted in any fact, but a fear of what could happen, not what will. If there is a burning desire in your heart to change, you will find success.
With your new “permission" follow these steps:
Pinpoint the problem(s)
At first glance, most look to their job as the root cause of work-life imbalance. In many cases, this isn't true. Oftentimes, the issues driving this imbalance are in the home or outside activities. The best way to identify where the real problem persists is to take an inventory of your activities and schedule over a five-day period. Write down what you did, your work hours, meetings at work, time checking your email, your home tasks, events, etc. Be very detailed-you only need to do this once.
At the end of the week, look at your list and assign each activity or action you listed to:
As you look at the list you will see where the imbalance is being fueled and this should be your focus to change.
Another key step is to prioritize what is important to you and let go what is not. You might find that a time-consuming activity you engage in may not be as important as you thought nor does it deliver value to you. You might also find that some priorities in work that at first glance look to be very important, aren't. You will also be forced to prioritize your work and personal life and determine what is most important. That may be hard and eye-opening, but is part of the process.
With a better understanding of what is causing your imbalance, you are ready to plan and put change in action.
At home: Get help. If you are feeling overwhelmed with your family responsibilities, find a sitter for your children, explore options for aging parents and seek counseling for yourself. Also, ask your family or partner to share the load and take some responsibilities off your shoulders. Simplify your life, learn to say no, de-clutter your home and your mind and don't sweat the small stuff.
At work: Make changes. The good news is that employers recognize the importance of employees who are balanced in their work and life.
Many options exist that you can negotiate with your employer including:
This change may involve working with your current employer to identify a new position, it may involve a full job search, or it may involve securing temporary employment, becoming a consultant or starting a home-based business.
At the end of the day, employers want employees who have life-work balance; business owners need this to survive. Stressed out, unfocused and tired employees do not serve a business well. And for you, it just isn't good for your health. Commit to finding your balance!
Dan Moran is President & Founder of Next-Act, a career management & transition firm located in Colonie. He specializes in helping people make career choices, and seek new jobs. He is also a Certified Facilitator for Get Hired Now! and Get Clients Now! programs which helps those in career transition and companies get results. You can reach Dan at 641.8968 or email@example.com On the Web: http://www.next-act.com