In today’s hectic world, there is a lot of conversation about the need to find your work/life balance. While there are plenty of articles available to help, you assess your priorities, there isn’t a lot out there that talks about what balance really means.
What does ‘balance’ mean?
If you don’t define what balance means to you, how will you find it?
Like success, ‘Balance’ means something different to each of us. Some of us live for work, others for their families. Only you know what’s right for you.
I believe that to define your balance, you need to be very self-aware. You need to understand what’s important to you and how it makes you feel. Only then will you be able to define and maintain life balance.
Here’s a simple way to start defining your personal vision of balance.
This process may take some time to complete, and that’s a good thing. It means you’re really putting some thought into it. You’ll probably find ideas pop into your head when you least expect it, so keep a notebook or your phone close by so you can make quick notes.
I suggest you do this in a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted. You don’t have to complete all the steps at once; just keep working through them as you can.
- Look back over your life and try to pinpoint the moments that made you completely happy. What was special about that time? Who were you with? What had happened?
- Look back and think about the things you are proud of. What are they? Are they personal achievements? Are they work-related achievements? Did they involve others?
- Where have you felt the most comfortable? At your happiest?
- If you could design your perfect life, what would make it special?
- What would you like to be remembered for? If you could make a difference to the world, what would it be?
- What would make you proud if you achieved it?
What are the common factors?
This isn’t easy to do, but now you are going to look at your list and try to spot the factors that are common on each list. For example, your past and future moments might all relate to work. Or perhaps each of the answers involved family or even your health.
If there are common factors, note them down. They are obviously significant to you.
Working out priorities
By now you have a lot of information in front of you and instinctively you will see some as more important than others. Identify your top priorities. These are the things you can’t do without. Try to keep your list to a maximum of five.
Striving for balance
By identifying your priorities, you have pin-pointed the keys to your life balance. Now it’s time to make sure you keep those priorities at the top of your list.
- Think about the way you are currently living. Are your priorities receiving your top attention? If not, why?
- What needs to change in the way you manage yourself and your life so you can ensure the things that are most important to you are respected and given the attention they deserve?
It’s so very easy to lose sight of what’s truly important to us as we feel the pressure of life and work. Yet those are the things that will sustain us when we need it.
Be kind to yourself. Find some quiet time and work through these questions. Your life may look very different when you finish.