“It’s all about quality of life and finding a happy balance between work and friends and family. “ – Philip Green
Quality of life and a happy balance sound like good things to have. Things that YOU want to have on a consistent basis. Maybe you already have achieved this and it is simple for you. If not, continue on to consider how to keep your life in balance.
Based on your observations of your family and friends, do you think that most people have achieved this happy balance? I have to say no. And also to confess that just recently I took a look at my schedule and realized that I was out of balance. I needed to take a step back and revisit how I was approaching my work time and my friends and family time. This seems to happen about once every year and a half.
This has given me the opportunity to really analyze and work on the magic formula to work/life balance. Now I suppose I could treat this as proprietary information and ask you to buy it from me. But I am not going to do that. I am going to give you the formula right now.
The formula is …
The formula is what YOU make it. I cannot tell you exactly how many hours to work and how many hours to play or spend with family. It is a personal decision. It depends on your values and it changes. Perhaps this is why I revisit my own work/life balance formula. My lifestyle and how I want to spend my time continue to evolve.
For example, when I was brand new in the workforce I was eager to work and to learn and to get ahead. I worked many hours. My co-workers were my friends and when we were not working we went out after hours. Almost all of my time was just one long workday. And often weekends too.
There have been times in my life where although I enjoyed my work it was more important for me to spend time with family and friends away from the office and away from my electronic leashes.
There have been times where I worked 70-hour weeks and was completely happy and there have been times when I worked 40-hour weeks and was completely happy. The key was that my workweek fit my definition of work/life balance. Of course it is easier to be happy when your definition of work/life balance fits with those who you are closest to. When your idea of work/life balance does not consistently match to the idea of those you love, you might look up one day and find that you have work, but no life.
You have more control over this than you think.
I am not promising you that you will never be asked to work more hours than you want. I am not promising you that you will never have to work late or to work a weekend. YOU can decide what is acceptable to you and then make your choices accordingly.
There was a time when I was interviewing. I visited one potential employer after lunch on a Friday. The elevator was packed with employees from this specific organization. MOST of them were expressing unhappiness at the thought of working yet another weekend. They were comparing notes on how long it had been since they had an entire weekend off. I don’t think I am a slacker, but I also knew that at the time in my life, that type of demand was not appealing to me.
Think about what YOU want. And then work on prioritizing your time accordingly.
The magic formula to work/life balance is yours to own and to define.