Balancing Work and Life: Two Essential Elements
For many working adults, managing the demands of a career in addition to constantly having to juggle the obligations of a busy household is becoming more of a challenge. Oftentimes, the requirements that create a negative pull on a person’s time result in overwork, over-exhaustion, and high levels of stress.
The Balancing Act
It’s important to remember that the true harmony found in managing work and family life is not always a completely balanced equation. The hours you spend at work versus the hours spent with family may change from time to time, or even day to day, depending upon you and your family’s circumstances. Regardless of how your day is divvied up, there are two elements that should always take the center stage in your awareness and remain constant: Success and satisfaction.
All too often, society stresses the importance of success and achievement as it relates to financial gains, material assets, and career performance. In fact, that emphasis can be very important to many areas of life, including a healthy self-esteem. Success, however, is a relative term that would be better defined subjectively according to the individual person, rather than objectively, as classified by society. In the broadest sense, being successful is equivalent to reaching your goals. Yet, depending on an individual’s station in life, success is represented in a variety of ways. Someone who is single with fewer family obligations will have different priorities than a married person who has young children at home. Thus, success won’t look the same.
Achievement without the all-important elements of satisfaction and enjoyment are the reason that many “successful” people are out of balance. To experience and appreciate the full concept of satisfaction, the definition must be expanded to incorporate a number of related ideas like pride, pleasure, joy, delight, love, and well-being. An enormous part of being satisfied with life also includes developing, nurturing, and maintaining meaningful relationships with family, friends and oneself. The full value of putting effort into successful endeavors will be lost if it is not coupled with a comparable level of satisfaction and enjoyment to balance the scales between work and home life.
Benefits of Balance
Even though perfect balance is rare, making choices that maximize success and satisfaction is well worth the time and effort involved. Some of the benefits of a balanced life are as follows:
* Improved relationships with spouses, children and other family members
* Greater fulfillment at work and at home
* Increased peace of mind.
* Increased productivity at work
* Better physical health and mental clarity
Work/life balance boils down to allowing life to deliver value through meaningful achievement and enjoyable interactions. Striking a workable equilibrium between career and home life involves the constant evaluation of the meaning of success, as well as continually endeavoring to find satisfaction and enjoyment on a daily basis. Striving to fully understand your personal definition of success and enjoying the process of reaching your goals will make even the busiest life less stressful and much more rewarding.