Hallmarks of a Balanced Life
Balance will mean something different to each person with multiple roles to juggle. However, there are several common indicators of balance that can help you structure a pathway to better work and life balance.
- Knowledge of self: create a list of goals and priorities, and then rank the items on your list. Priorities should be broad and general topics while goals should be specific and realistic. Align your to do list with your priorities and acknowledge that you can’t have it all, all the time. Naturally, more time should be invested in those tasks that align with the highest ranked priorities. Remember to reexamine your list regularly as goals and priorities change more regularly than you would think.
- Healthy boundaries: when you are feeling especially taxed, say “no” to those things that don’t help you achieve your goals or align with personal priorities
- Organization: be constantly ready to move completely from one task to the next. Keep the information and materials you will need at hand so that your time and energies are not wasted on unproductive tasks, like looking for that permission slip at the very last minute. Also, know exactly what you have going on whether at home or at the office. Keep work and home responsibilities on one calendar. Schedule time to transition between tasks. And try not to over schedule yourself.
- Focus: stop multitasking! How can you pay attention to your daughter’s dance recital when you are constantly checking your blackberry? Or get work done when you are constantly reading email from home? Leave work at work. Leave home at home. Don’t take your laptop on vacation. Don’t eat lunch at your desk. You will be happier, more productive, and will feel more balanced.
Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.