Did you say time? If so, you are correct. We cannot create more time. There are only 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week, 365 days in a year.
It is important that you spend your time in the most beneficial way possible. By beneficial, I really mean beneficial to YOU. Spend your time in the way that will bring you what you want from your life.
It is time to talk about work/life balance.
In fact, if you are ready I would like to share with you the secret formula to work/life balance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It is up to you to decide what your definition of work/life balance is and then to manage your work and your life in such a way that MOST of the time you achieve work/life balance. And know that it will change. And that is OK.
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. But
if you do not think about what you want, you do not know how to put yourself in the right situations.
You teach people how to treat you. Here is a story that will help illustrate this point.
A client of mine was unhappy because her boss would text her 24 hours a day, seven days a week. She felt like he was being too demanding and she was tired and stressed. If she heard a text come in at 2 am, she would jump up and respond to it.
We talked about her job description and about the expectations that had been mapped out for her when she started. I asked if everyone in the office answered him 24/7. Her reply to me was that she had always done this from the first day because she wanted to impress him.
Sure, some people do expect you to answer them 24/7; but sometimes you set the example by being available 24/7. That is exactly what my client had done and then she became afraid to change the nature of her communications relationship with her boss.
She had taught him that she would be on call 24/7.
In this instance she defined her on work/life balance and what she really defined was work and life OUT OF BALANCE.
The secret formula to work/life balance is yours to own and to define.