Do you have work life balance? Do you have multiple demands made of you on a daily basis?
Work, children, elderly parents, partner, housework, voluntary work and/or study?
When there are multiple competing responsibilities weighing on you, this places huge amounts of stress on you and your family.
Work-life conflict is a problem that impacts everyone.
According to a 2012 Canadian study of 25,000 employed participants on work/life balance, (“The 2012 National Study on Balancing Work and Caregiving in Canada” by Linda Duxbury, PhD, Professor, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University and Christopher Higgins, PhD, Professor, Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario), onein three respondents were considered to be in the ‘Sandwich Generation.’
The Sandwich Generation is the one that spends time each week taking care of both children and aging parents. Balancing that plus work and all other demands in their lives has made the balancing act between work and life balance extremely challenging.
This problem seems to be one that is growing despite more awareness of the importance of work/life balance.
Two important demographic factors contributing to the growth of this Sandwich Generation are that people are waiting until their early thirties or older to have children and life expectancy has increased over time.
This means that the number of employees who are faced with balancing the demands of the three high energy roles, Employment, Childcare and Eldercare is likely to increase over the next decade.
With this being a reality, employers need to give more tangible attention to work life issues in order to remain competitive.
So, what is work/life balance? It is being able to meet the needs and wants of those who are important to you, including your own, in a realistic manner.
It’s a state of satisfaction and harmony within the areas of your family, work, social, health, financial and spiritual well-being.
Work/life balance means that you are able to enjoy the peace and harmony that comes from a balanced lifestyle providing you the opportunity to focus your energy and time on what is most important to you – not just what is urgently requiring your attention.
So where do you start? There is no quick fix for those who are pulled in multiple directions however keep in mind G.E.M., the following 3 mantras:
Gratitude – Energy – Management
Adopt an attitude of gratitude for what you have rather than what you have not. Be hopeful, never give up on what you are determined to achieve for yourself.
Surround yourself with people who provide you with energy rather than draining it away from you.
Maintain your physical energy by eating a healthy diet, drinking enough water, and take time to rest and relax.
Remember that YOU are the most important person in your life no matter who else is demanding your attention.
Adopt the most effective way to manage your time.
Prioritise and schedule in specific times for your physical and mental recuperation.
Whether you follow the insights of Steven Covey with his First Things First principles or another method, find one that works best for you and stick to it.