It’s not a new concept (and has perhaps become a cliché) but we still hear the phrase ‘Work Life Balance’ often enough. But is it our work that needs to be balanced? Or is it our lives?
If we define the work bit as the time we spend in gainful employment or on business ownership, then presumably life becomes everything else. Working 9 to 5 is no longer the norm and hasn’t been for decades, but are we really working harder or longer at work than we ever have? Some studies would suggest we are and I’m sure in many cases there is pressure to increase output or deliver more. But our working hours have become more flexible, with different industries operating on varied schedules to suit customers.
With constant access to communication through our phones, email, social media and the internet, our lives have become busier. Our home time is different (not necessarily in a bad way!) and we are under more pressure to perform outside of work. As a Gen-X parent, the engagement I have with my children on all levels is far greater than my parents ever had – their studies, their sports, their community, their social activities. Again, I’m not suggesting this is a bad thing and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed that time. The point is that our work is often not the issue, it’s our lives that are taking over and disrupting the balance.
A holiday used to be a time to relax, enjoy some family time and forget about day to day pressures. It’s now common for a colleague to say after returning from leave ‘I need a holiday’ with many of our trips more tiring than going to work! We try to do too much, we don’t breathe out, slow down and take a real break.
Forget about balancing life and work and instead think about what you need to switch off, recharge and recover your spark. Don’t sit up at night responding to all the communication just because you can. Sleep more and you will be more productive the next day. Plan breaks to take time for yourself and don’t use work as an excuse to ignore this. Work will be okay without you and your workmates will appreciate your presence and your absence. Balance your life and work will be more enjoyable!
Accru can assist you with many aspects of your business life. Get in contact with us today to help lead you into a stronger future.