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Work Life Balance Part 2

In October we talked about the value of Work Life Balance with the thought that we’d discuss Part 2 of that notion in November, but in my own balance of things, that thread got misplace so here it is ~ Part 2. My apologies for the delay!

As we previously discussed there are any number of positive outcomes to getting more balance, clarity and focus on what is important to us and how we’re going to make that work for us personally; yet somehow this is acutely difficult to achieve.

“Seven out of ten American workers struggle to achieve an acceptable balance between work and family life, reports a new study published in American Sociological Review, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That number has been climbing over time, to a point where employees — especially parents — feel stressed, overwhelmed, and maxed out.” Harvard Business Review, June 10, 2014.

I’m just curious ~ do we need that number to be nine out of ten before we get to be more focused on this? I’m also wondering if you’re one of the seven or if you’re working hard to get to the three out of ten who aren’t reporting that?

There was a study recently completed that looked at what changes could be made in the workplace itself and the results are nothing short of super interesting. .The study, “Changing Work and Work-Family Conflict: Evidence from the Work, Family, and Health Network,” in a nutshell, looked at a group of over 700 workers at a large Fortune 500 company. They were broken into 2 groups, randomly.

Half of the workers had no change in their work environment and the other half were given more freedom about how to complete their jobs as well as receiving more support from supervisors. Don’t overlook the fact that 25% of the workers averaged over 50 hours a week at their jobs, which means all of them worked long hours in general. Care to guess the results?

The ‘freedom’ group reported feeling less overwhelmed and more in control.

How can you get some of that feeling? Priorities, thoughtfulness and allocation of energy resources are the place we discussed starting in October.

Here are some other useful tools:

  • Ditch the guilt. If you can’t get to a co-worker’s birthday bash or weren’t able to make homemade cupcakes for your child’s classroom party it is not, repeat, NOT, the end of the world.
  • Find out what your company’s HR policies are and then exercise that information to your advantage.
  • Communicate. Tell your manager or supervisor what’s going on if you’ve got an issue at home to deal with. Their support will go a long way to helping you feel more in control and less overwhelmed than you might imagine.
  • Technology is your friend so please use that too. It is not however, your master. Put the phone or tablet down when you’re seeking to build memories and enjoy the company of those you’re with.
  • Perfect isn’t possible. Take a lesson from the Amish on this one who believe that no human being is perfect and therefore it is impossible to achieve perfection. Roll with it. A super spotless house all the time just tells me you’re not in the present moment.
  • Cherish and protect your private time. Small pockets of time are yours and each second of those that you spend in gratitude expands the feeling of relaxation.

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