Work Life Balance - how does yours look?
If you feel like you work to live, rather than live to work you may want to take a step back and examine your work/life balance ratio. It’s a fact of life that a lot of us spend a good proportion of our day working. If you love your job, find it fulfilling and rewarding, then its easy to spend 8-9 hours a day doing it.
But what if your relationships with family and partners are not what you hope for? What if you have little time to catch up with friends or pursue other social activities or hobbies? Could this be a sign that your work life is dominating the other areas of your life. A lot of us grow used to this situation and therefore accept it. Think about how this will look in 5 or 10 year’s time? Are you happy with the effect your work could have on your home life, your family and your friends over the long-term?
Life can be a juggling act but taking time to think about ‘your ideal’ without barriers will give you a benchmark which you may want to consider working towards. The options available to reducing the hours you spend in the workplace may seem fairly limited but are all worthy of serious consideration:
Consider your options
- Develop a home business, becoming self employed. This will give you more flexibility to be around the home and to juggle your commitments easier than if you worked an inflexible 9-5.
- Have you considered changing from a fulltime role to a part-time one? Depending on your financial circumstances this may well be worth considering and part-time workers as well as having equal rights to fulltime staff, make up a large proportion of the workforce these days. Because you are entitled to a pro-rata amount of holiday you usually find that you get the same number of days off a year as a fulltime worker.
- Does your work offer flexible working / flexi time? Local authorities have introduced flexible working and flexi time to allow people to reduce their working hours or adjusting their working day to suit the hours they prefer where possible.
- Job sharing can be another option available to consider if you can afford to reduce your salary – why not top it up by finding a way to make money at home as well?
- Dependent again on your financial situation, some employers will offer work sabbaticals, a period of unpaid leave that could be up to a year long. This might give you the opportunity to spend some time with a sick or elderly relative, or young child before they start school, give your home a make-over or do a course that gives you new skills and the opportunity to change your career.
Allowing time for you
Do you give yourself time to relax and be alone or do something you really love on a regular basis?
Some of us need regular time alone to reflect and relax, some of us thrive on regular social contact with groups of people. Doing something that we love is good for our health, finding out what we love to do is one of the greatest joys in life and can help us stay fit and well, releasing endorphins and lowering our stress levels and blood pressures.
Commit to giving yourself time at least once a week, preferably once a day, doing something you love.
The Best things in Life are free
Even if your finances are not what you would like them to be at the moment, it’s still possible to make the free time that you do have, rewarding and uplifting.
|Its true what they say, the things that really matter in life don’t cost anything – time with family, enjoying our beautiful countryside, relaxing on a summer’s day playing with our children / grandchildren, taking a picnic somewhere, swimming in the sea, reading a good book, walking the dog or looking at a fantastic view. None of these things costs a penny and are available to us most of the time – but do we make time for them? Do we appreciate the freedom that we have to access these wonderful pursuits and do we allow ourselves the time to regularly enjoy them?|
If you are working the hours you are because you feel that you need certain things in your life, ask yourself what are the most important things in life to you:
- Your house
- Your car
- The status your job gives you
- Possessions – special things to you
Or are they:
- Your family
- Your health
- Your mental wellbeing?
If it’s the second list, then the good news is – these things dont cost anything except maybe commitment from you to make time for them. You may need to consider the fact that your current work/life balance has the potential to damage these things (that are precious to you) in the long run.