Sometimes our purpose at work and our purpose in our personal lives are in conflict, leaving us to seek balance continually. The very concept of balance implies there is some perfect ratio of time and energy to spend in critical areas of our lives. Or if you spend more time and energy in one area, that means you are compromising the other. The reality is the quality of our work is often dependent on the quality of our personal life and the other way around.
What makes balancing our lives even more challenging is that there is no longer is a clear boundary between work and home. Today, the boundaries for both are blurred. While technology provides us with constant access, this constant access brings home into work and work into home making it even harder to compartmentalize our lives.
Some believe that work-life balance is something that is the responsibility of our employers. Your company can create a culture that promotes balance. But our organization's support is a small part; individual accountability is the most important factor. There is much we can do to create the space to have a more fulfilling life such as aligning work with core values; setting and communicating boundaries; managing stress; knowing the difference between urgent and important, and paying attention to what we are doing while we are work.
Instead of striving for the perfect compartmentalization and balance between your work and your personal life, try moving toward finding balance in the moment. Your mindfulness practice can help you live in a state of evenness and balance. Many describe this sense of balance as equanimity in that what passes through your mind is held with spaciousness. From this place, you are better able to choose your response to emotional triggers and stay focus on what is important in that moment. That’s what it feels like when we are balanced in the moment. Finding balance in the moment starts with observing where we are placing our attention and making deliberate choices about what our presence looks and feels like in each moment.
Here are a few ideas to help you find your balance in the moment:
1) Manage transitions. Create a little time and space to leave the past behind you. For example, try a relaxation practice such as a breathing exercise to transition from different aspects of your life such leaving work and going home.
2) Organize household tasks efficiently. Running errands in batches. Do what is necessary and let the rest go.
3) Learn to say no. When you quit accepting jobs from guilt or asense of obligation, you'll have more time for activities that are meaningful to you.
4) Leave work at work. It is up to you to create boundaries that meet your intentions. Make a conscious decision to separate work time from personal time.
5) Make time for fun and relaxation. Schedule time just for you to do things that you enjoy during even if it is just a few minutes. Maybe even find things you can do with your partner, family or friends.
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