I knew exactly what I wanted to write about when my turn came around. It’s something that I have been battling with for the past few years – balancing work & life. We hear and read about this all the time; you have to find that perfect balance that pleases everyone. With two young daughters at home, a loving wife who is in the work force as well, along with other friends and family relationships that I value, it can become difficult to allocate sufficient time and energy to everyone. This is especially true at a time when I am looking to advance professionally and take on more responsibilities at work. I’m sure there are many people out there who can relate to my dilemma!
I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to really sit down, do some research and hammer out a perfect strategy to balance my time appropriately between work and my personal life. A perfect balance seems nice, so let’s look at a 50/50 split. No, I need to commit more time to work if I want to advance so perhaps 70/30 – heavy on the work side. But my wife and kids though; perhaps 60 work / 40 life. Wait, it’s still warm out and the kids want to do so many activities! Better go 60 life / 40 work……… This is impossible.
I soon came to the realization that there is no such thing as a perfect balance. It’s a myth! I’ve thought about it over and over again. The phrase “work & life balance” is flawed. It implies that work and life are on opposite sides of the spectrum but to me, they are not. I would suggest that your career is a very important part of your life and in order to keep yourself sane and satisfied with life, it is imperative that you are able to BLEND your work life and your personal life together.
The best way to do this is embrace what you do for work and become passionate about it and ensure that you communicate this with your loved ones. Having an open dialogue with your spouse, kids, family and friends about what you are working on and how much you care about it will help build a level of respect about whom you are and what you love to do!
Do your best to succeed on the flip side as well – that is, be sure to integrate your personal life into your work space. We are not robots that are simply completing the tasks that we have been assigned. Be dynamic! Be flexible! Interact with those around you. Take interest in what your coworkers and clientele are up to. Be genuine! Hang photos of your family and friends in your office as these are excellent conversation pieces and serve as the perfect reminder of why we do what we do. If we make our work place a fun and interesting place to be, I swear we’ll all be better for it!