For years and years, "work-life balance" has been tossed, tumbled, rolled up, and thrown into our faces and earholes. During my research phase of writing this post, I've seen that the word "elusive" is always associated with it.
Sadly, most people never truly achieve that balance.
Here's a cool link to a survey done regarding work-life balance. It's pretty interesting; you should give it a read.
WHAT IS WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
Work-life balance is the idea and method of how you manage the time you dedicate to your work and the time you dedicate to life outside of work. Generally, these are rigid boundaries, especially if you work from home, and it goes like this:
Work = work time
Anything outside of work = life
That was that.
And I admit, I followed those rigid boundaries not too long ago, too.
Not gonna lie, though…it never really felt right for me because there was always…overspill from one into the other.
About a month before writing this post, I came across a term while I was reading a book that makes waaayyy more sense:
*sidenote: I seriously can't think of the title of the book because I honestly can't remember where I read it; I can't even remember if I read it on my Kindle or if it was in one of my physical books. SORRYYYY!! If I can track it down, I'll be sure to update this post.
WHAT IS WORK-LIFE HARMONY?
Work-life harmony is the idea and concept that recognizes that different situations will take priority at other times and that the two (work and life) may be interwoven; it combines work into the rest of your life in a way that boosts happiness and satisfaction at home and work.
HOW DO I FIND WORK-LIFE HARMONY?
First, I feel you must look at how you integrate your work life into your personal life, or if you do at all. Your work life and personal life shouldn't compete with each other.
They should coexist.
This is a perfect time to pull out your journal and really explore with yourself what work-life harmony means to you. What does it look like? What does it feel like?
3 SIMPLE STEPS TO START YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY TOWARD WORK-LIFE HARMONY
1. Be present in whatever it is you're doing.
Be fully engaged in your tasks at work, and when it's time to "clock out" and live your life, make sure you're fully present for that. This may sound familiar to you, mindfulness.
2. Set priorities
It's helpful (and productive) to set goals and priorities for work and home, but don't forget about any creative outlets or passion projects you may have or want to start! Doing so helps you focus on the task at hand. You can even ask yourself, "Ok, self, what are 1-3 achievable things I can do today to get me 1-3 steps closer to my goal?"
3. Enjoy what you do
If you aren't doing what you're passionate about, I want to challenge you to find a purpose in what you do; if you can't see and embrace your purpose in your current job, then maybe it's time to brainstorm and plan to explore another career or academic adventure. If you find you don't have enough personal or family time, make some changes or move things around so you can get those irreplaceable experiences in!
Oh hey, I want to remind you that your job is just that…a job.
It doesn't have to define the amazingness of who you are.
Work-life harmony works for me and the way that I function. It's easier to see my work life coexist with my personal life because I have very little separation between the two.
My office space is part of my dining room and kitchen.
These damn open floor plans, SMH.
I'm not a huge fan of them in general.
The current view from my desk...hey, could be worse. I am totally transparent in how I present myself online, and this is the state of my house at the moment, and that's fine. I usually save my 15-minute tidy-up for the afternoons anyways.
A lot of times, as I'm doing work, my husband or my daughter will chat with me, so the line between CEO, solopreneur, and coach Allison definitely gets blurred with mom and wife Allison. But this is where setting boundaries comes in when I need to focus on a task for work (heyy, like writing this post!) I put on a particular set of headphones that they know when I have them on, I'm doing deep focused work and can't be bothered at the moment.
And there are other times when motherhood comes first (like today, my daughter is home sick, so my work for the day consists of this blog post), and that's fine.
It works for me because my definition of work-life harmony is that sometimes I'll need to focus my energy on work, and other times my energy goes to my family because:
Harmony here means harmony there.
And that's my motto for work-life harmony that resonates with me.
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