How do you define work life balance? One work life balance definition describes it as where you feel satisfied in the amount of time, commitment and involvement you give to all areas of your life.
Your work life balance definition is unique to you and does not necessarily mean an equal split between work and non-work activities.
I Can’t Get No…
- Do you feel that the issue is about not having enough time to get everything done so are you trying to do too much?
- Is everything you do truly necessary, e.g. how clean does your house need to be?
- Do you really need to spend so much time working – perhaps you work far from home, could you work closer; maybe go home earlier?
- Do you have others selfishly demanding more of your time than you have to give? Set your boundaries – you only have one shot at life.
Often lack of satisfaction around the commitment we give to aspects of our lives is tied in with lack of time. It is worth asking yourself whether this lack of focus indicates deeper problems.
- Are you avoiding working on your career because you’re tired of the job you do?
- Do you avoid spending quality time with your nearest and dearest because there are issues that need to be worked through?
- Is your lack of exercise just down to laziness?
This may take a little soul searching and just a teeny bit of self honesty.
- Are you as involved as you want to be in all aspects of your life?
- Do you find yourself thinking ‘I wish I was more involved in…my children’s lives/my community/sport…
- Is this a genuine need for involvement or just something about control? How involved should you be or do you need to be? Do you already get more involved when others could take a turn and then you can get back to those things that really need your attention.
- Do you feel frustrated at your lack of progress in your career or a sport you enjoy?
Find Your Work Life Balance Definition
Define Your Priorities
To try and find your work life balance definition you will need to start by thinking about your priorities in life.
What is most important to you? Are your career ambitions more important than having a family? Do you value the time spent as a stay at home parent as more important than having two incomes?
Decide on these priorities as areas of your life such as family, community, status, career, wealth, health, sport, close relationship. You will probably have around 6-10 areas.
2. Watch That Clock
You will now have a clear idea of what you value in life. The next step is to analyse how you spend your time. One way to do this is to consider keeping a time log for two to three weeks. Record everything you do in half hour increments and then review this against your defined life categories to see how your time maps out. You may be very surprised when you discover how much time is wasted on areas you won’t have classified – TV, online games, social media and so on.
3. Quality Control
Once you have an idea of the time breakdown you can consider the quality of your commitment and involvement in your life categories. There are some aspects of how you spend your time that will not be easy to change but the important thing is to consider how to use the time you do have smartly.
- Eliminate time wasters within your control. Drop unnecessary or lower priority activities.
- If you want to be more involved with your children then have family meals and engage with them then. Use car journeys to talk to them.
- Use charity events through work schemes if you want more involvement in the community.
- Have a date night with your partner instead of spending yet another evening in front of the TV.
- Need more exercise and a better social life? Join a sports club.
Making the effort to look into how you spend your time on your priorities will give you your personal work life balance definition. Then focussing on working smartly to maximise what you can do will allow you to get your work life balance right based on your needs and desires. When you feel you are giving as much as you want to everything important in your life you will know that you have achieved a great work life balance.