Updated: Dec 17, 2020
Forbes projects that by 2025 the millennial generation is supposed to take up 75% of the work force. Work-life balance helps reduce stress and as the years go by each generation evolves what work-life balance means. Needs of our family, our communities, jobs change as well. We have to change with the times while still maintaining peace and stability in our lives. What does work-life balance mean to you?
We hear this saying often, ”Work, life balance, but what does it mean, and is it possible?
The meaning of work-life balance, simply put, is to manage a healthy life between your day to day work and your life. Is there a way to find a healthy symmetry, not to cheat your employment, yourself, spouse/girlfriend, children, maybe even a pet? Let's make sure you aren't shortchanging them. So we know it isn't feasible to give 8 hours precisely to work and 8 hours home and try to divide the hours in the day equally. Life isn't made up that way. It isn't possible to live this way, and if so, please do tell. I'm all ears. As we wait for that answer, even if possible, who would want to live like that? I am all for being organized and knowing where my hours are going throughout the day, but let's assess how to tackle this beast.
I say yes, it is possible to have a work-life balance. I know most people would shake their heads or even ask how. I understand you have your job, the kids, their after school activities and lets not forget your own aspirations. Everyone wants to know if there's a secret sauce or a magic pill to get you to manage. The only magic is balance, and the talent of knowing your threshold or life has a funny way of slowing you down.
This question will be answered differently by many people on how they can find the balance they need. If you're married or single, it will be a different answer. It may even be a different thought process on the management of one's time. The level of care or energy one may put in their lives. Also, your balance may change day to day based on the needs of your family, your employer, and even what you need for yourself.
I am a full-time mom; my daughter has extracurricular activities that I have to take her to; I am an active duty service member, real estate investor, property manager, I am in college currently taking two classes, and I go home everyday make dinner, I make breakfast and pack lunches in the morning. I go to yoga three times out of the week. I might be missing a few things off the list, and I still need to find time to decompress and meditate. I share this list of things in my life because it isn’t impossible to manage work and life. I was a single mom for a long time, and I had to figure out quickly that my time wasn’t mine, and I had to make the most of it, or it would pass me by. We all know how time can pass us by and before we know it 5 years have passed and we still have not accomplished what we wanted.
Every day isn't flawless. I don’t wake up jumping out of bed with the energy of a three-year-old. I toss and turn an hour before I physically get out of bed. I am prepping my mind and my thoughts for the day. I sit up and say something positive, and I say a positive intention for the day. I am always thankful that I can open my eyes and given the gift of life again. I take care of my hygiene, and I wrap my robe around my body and head down to make breakfast and pack lunches at five am-ish. I enjoy this part of serving my family and showing them love in a physical form of service. For me to pack lunch and have a hot breakfast for them in the morning brings me joy. This what starts my day. The love for my family and the joy it brings. I pull energy from this, and it is humbling to me that I can provide this to my family while on active duty and seeing them off.
Some may not pull energy from these moments. My point is that the strength and the motivation and organization comes from you. There are plenty of books and blogs written to give you guidance on how to manage your life and your schedule, but it comes from you to add that unique touch of who you are and how to handle ”Your” life. There is no book written entirely made for you, titled with your name. There are excellent maps for success, but there isn't one right way, but many. As long as you keep that in mind you will be not put yourself in a restricting box.
Your balance, your perfectly imperfect life can and will work if you know you are managing it the best you can. Its whatever works for you. Some days laundry may get washed but not folded. Dinner might not be made, but ordered from the favorite local restaurant, but make it intentional to eat as a family. Work, life balance is exactly what it is, a balance. One day it will go smooth, and other days the schedule may need to be adjusted, and that is okay.
The main thing is to find the beauty in something you do and make sure you take the time out to smell the roses.
Here are some books that can help with your work-life balance: