A 'Life' at Work??? Here is What You Need to Know About Work-Life Balance

In the past it was always that there is life, and then there is work.
Somehow in recent decades it seems they can be so intertwined that you ‘live to work’ rather than the other way around and ‘work to have a life’.

The term ‘Work-Life Balance’ seems to be all over the place now and usually closely related to preventing 'Burnout’.  As a professional coach focusing on personal development I have been lucky to work with many Millennials. (Apparently these younger generations X & Y, are now all mixed together and make up ‘Generation Stress’!)

What I have learned from these young, motivated and focused young individuals is:

  • Not only is it important to them to achieve their goals, work/life balance HAS to be in the mix. A good life means quality of life both at home and at work. This is what they strive for and frequently the goal in our coaching.

Work-Life Balance An Essential Ingredient to Success

My younger clients are inspiring and fun to work with. I value being by their side supporting and witnessing their growth as they strive to reach professional goals and enjoy their life at the same time.

The fact that these younger generations reach out to seek professional help and support impresses me. The thought to ask for help never would have occurred to me when I was their age –I believed I had to handle everything myself!

Younger generations can have an ingrained emotional intelligence. Asking for feedback – constructive feedback is not regarded as a weakness but rather a strength.  Older generations can struggle with overcoming this feeling and expectation of “I should be able to......... without asking for help or support”.

Looking to Understand and Achieve Work-Life Balance?

Here is what you do:

  • Examine what feeling balanced means to YOU.
  • Know your core values – create your life based on what is important to YOU.
  • Acquire the skills necessary to cope with and handle difficult situations.
  • Time management to make sure you know how to plan and create a REALISTIC schedule.
  • Priorities – know how to prioritize in the moment. If in a difficult moment and needing to take a few minutes to get a clearer picture, then buy yourself some time to do so.
  • Stress management – skills to help you ‘put fires out’ and ‘talk yourself off the ledge’ when the pressure is high and you are feeling stressed.
  • Health management – get to know your body. Learn to respect good eating habits and what foods offer you energy rather than drain you.
  • Exercise – find out what gives you pleasure, challenges and energizes you.
  • Motivation to achieve a healthy and realistic work-life balance. Without motivation, you will find it difficult to succeed. You might reach certain goals but it is possible you will keep going in circles. Make sure you know what you have to gain and what you have to lose.

Here is what you need to know:

  • It will require patience to change certain behaviours. Everybody has self-sabotage routines. With patience you can unravel these and replace them with healthier ones.
  • Just like in sports ‘practice makes perfect’
  • Reward yourself with a compliment when you achieve a benchmark or goal. Your brain likes to be rewarded; compliment yourself and in turn it will release a nice feeling. Again rather like in sports. You do sports, the body releases endorphins = you feel better!
  • “Where there is a will, there is a way.”
  • Stick with it, be kind to yourself and be patient. Change takes time if you want it to be sustainable.

My clients are not only from the ‘Generation Stress’ but also more experienced managers/executives.  Everybody is aiming to find a healthier, less stressful daily life by improving their work-life balance. I would say that once a good recipe is found then it is all about maintenance! What each person of any generation benefits from is finding what their own individual way forward is. There is no universal answer.

Get to know yourself and meet your needs. The choice is yours.