Work / Life Balance
Once upon a time there was a clear boundary between work and life. We got up and went to work. We put in our time. At the end of the work day, we went home. That was our home life, spent with family.
Then technology moved in on our lives. First pagers and then cell phones and now our phones are mini-computers, with wi-fi everywhere. It’s nearly impossible to be out of contact!
Work hours also morphed over time from the 8 hours per day (that our grandparents fought for) to 10 or 12 hours; it has become the exception to leave work on time, rather than the rule. People are working on the way to work, yammering on cell phones as they commute on buses, trains, cars; they are on their phones through lunch and dinner; they are skyping with clients at night. The boundaries have blurred.
This means that people are really working 24/7. Their brains never really get a break from work. It’s is stress x STRESS x 100! It is bad for your health, for your relationships, and for your family (if you have time to have one)!
And those are the people who work at their office!
For people who are working at home, the lines are really blurred!
For most people, the biggest hurdle to working at home is setting boundaries. It is too easy to either work ALL the time; or get so distracted with personal stuff, that no work at all is getting done.
Organizing is key. Prioritizing and time-management are imperative. And single-tasking. Yes. Single. Multi-tasking does not work for anyone.
In the end, achieving a good work / life balance will make you happier, more content and more successful in both your professional and family lives.
Let’s consider what balance looks like for you.
- Are you married? To your spouse? Or to your computer?
- Do you have children? How often do you see them? Are you missing out on milestones because you are at work all the time.
- Do you still have friends?
- Are you tired? Are you working too late?
- Are you working late, getting home and then feeling that in order to have some sort of life you have to visit with friends or watch some t.v. or something so that you are going to bed too late?
- How’s your health? Working too long, not letting your brain get a rest, feeling that you are being pulled in all directions is very stressful. It will affect your health eventually and if your health is already effected, it will make you feel worse.
You know the old saying that “we are all given the same 24 hours in a day.” It’s true. Some people are simply much more effective at how they use those hours. Some come by that naturally. But it can be learned!
Where one person finds the solitude of working at home a joy, others find it isolating and lonely. Check out my post on Work At Home Doldrums here!
Some find freedom and exhilaration in being self-motivated. Others lack discipline and find not having a boss driving them that they can’t find any motivation.
Some find the hub-bub of the office to be constant distractions; others find the quiet of home with the lure of the Netflicks and laundry and garden and chores to be too distracting.
Some don’t know how to get started and others don’t know how to quit!
We will explore different ideas on how to find and maintain balance so that your working at home is productive and fun, always in the dream-come-true category and always OUT of nightmare realms!
Here’s a post on using your sense of smell to your advantage in making your office productive! Check out the post What’s that Smell here!