Coming from a public accounting background, one of my biggest struggles was to define my work life balance. All my coworkers talked about it, and the bosses preached about it, but nowhere did I actually see it defined in a more logical way.
Having gone through many iterations during my career due to exhaustion and low morale, I finally had to take an introspective look and see why my career kept getting derailed .I could only make it about a year before I got burnt out. I am not the only one feeling this pain in my life. A work/life balance survey conducted in 2002 by TrueCareers states that 70% of more than 1,500 respondents confirmed that they don’t have a healthy balance between their personal and work lives.
Based on my experience, I reorganized my time and attention to achieve better balance in a model I like to call the work-life balance triangle.
The Work-Life Balance Triangle
This work-life triangle has three components and each one of them is as important as the other. The work-life balance triangle comprises three cornerstones: career, relationships and activities. The one constraint that everyone faces in their life is time. There are only 24 hours in a day and a normal person sleeps 8 hours of that time. It’s cogent that the rest of the time is used as effectively as possible while increasing satisfaction. In a given day, a person needs to touch all three corners of the triangle to achieve a true work life balance.
- The career side refers to a high paying job or starting a new business or side hustle.
- The activities side refers to hobbies or interests like gyms, playing music or going to concerts.
- The relationships refers to fostering interaction with your family, coworkers or friends.
Career is by far the most important aspect when it comes to time commitment. However, a major part of time is spent on work while ignoring the other two corners. This could eventually lead to burnout, resentment, bad health and a whole host of issues. For many people, examples of work-life balance would be freedom to pick up kids from school while juggling your work. For others, it could be taking long lunches with friends catching up on life and work. For my work-life balance, it is having a flexible career that will allow me to focus on health while giving me space to talk with my parents and siblings.
Use the Work-Life Balance Triangle to Win Back Your Time
For many, this sounds like a pipe dream because it sounds impossible. However, I have spent the better part of my life understanding the shortcomings and why I have not been able to get there. In the last few years, I have worked on my career and side hustles to enhance my career. I have used that financial flexibility to focus on my health by going to Crossfit and eating healthy and the extra time I have, I use to have long phone calls with my parents and siblings.
While there is always a constraint on time, I want to effectively use whatever time I have left on things that matter. For me, it’s my career, health and relationship with my family. In recent times, I have worked hard on my career growth by looking for opportunities that will give me flexibility and payoff. I am using that financial flexibility to get help in areas like health and wellness. This has contributed in making me feel fitter from outside and emotionally stable from inside, and if you follow these tips, the same will happen for you.