As much as we’d sometimes like to, drawing a thick line between work life and personal life is impossible. Our work is inherently personal. And our work is a big part of life. So how can we begin to talk about a balance between the two?
Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer out there. But it is important to address it. After all, we are a group of crazy, passionate, and creative people, who needs both our heads and our hearts at work. Our personal lives intensely affect the quality of our work. So keeping things in check there will give us the freedom to be more creative and productive in front of the screen or sketchbook (and vice versa). And if you’re in a left-brain mood, studies show that people who work for organizations that provide work/life benefits are more productive and loyal.
We’ve all learned by now how to make a list of priorities and, unfortunately, how easily it gets tossed by the wayside in favor of more pressing daily activities. Don’t get me wrong, doing an exercise in defining your priorities is important, but what about some practical ways to achieve them?
Here are a few ways to become who you want to be and achieve that elusive equilibrium. We are going to focus more on outlining the demands of your personal life, since most of us have career responsibilities that are already fairly well defined.
There are a few things that you need to commit to examining in your personal life to achieve a healthy balance:
- Your family. Communicate with them as far as their needs and commit to meeting the ones that are at all possible. After all, you keep your family for life.
- Your health. Schedule blocks of time for physical and mental well being. We all know how essential that is.
- Your social life. Staying in touch with friends is essential for mental health.
- Your habits. Be honest with yourself, and set limits on anything you do in excess. This might be work, internet surfing, TV, etc.
- Yourself. Make “me” time, which is healthy for relaxation and personal reflection.
Now comes the part that might be hard for some of us. Ask for advice from someone close to you; it could be employees, family members, or friends. Have them help you point out anything to change, and then have them help you stick to your plans.
Once you’ve determined the needs of your personal life, consider your work responsibilities. Could you adjust your schedule in any way to balance both sides of the demands? Could you commit to being more productive at work in order to make more time for other healthy pursuits? (Tip: there are lots of productivity posts here!) Talk with your team to develop an environment that accommodates both work and personal development. In the creative environment, everyone will benefit.
Work/life balance might be a bit of a moving target, but the more effort you put into achieving it, the closer you’ll be to achieving it. What’s worked for you in your pursuit toward balance?