Achieving life work balance is one of the most daunting challenges of our time. A 2014 study published in the American Sociological Review indicate that 70% of American workers struggle with finding a work-life system that works for them. Poor work-life balance can result in work burnout which is usually associated with fatigue, frustration, chronic stress, loss of motivation, and even reduced productivity.
I recently became more enthralled with questions on how to carve out satisfying and meaningful lives outside of work. In my quest, I had the opportunity to interact and engage a number of friends both in the entrepreneurial and academic world. Below are some of my takeaways.
“You must learn to set your own parameters on what define success for
you” said Ramon Van Meer, the CEO of Soap Hub.
In my interaction with him, he stressed how important it is to develop a strong
sense of who you are, your values and what is most important to you to achieve
anything remotely related to life-work balance.
This also reminds me of the story shared by Mark Weinberger, the
Global Chairman and CEO of EY. Following a meeting in China, he was asked if he
would be taking selfies with his employees at the Great Wall. He said that
wouldn’t be possible because he needed to be back in Washington, DC, the
following day to take his daughter on her
His message resonated with employees. “Afterwards, he got hundreds of emails: Not a single person remembered the terrific speech I gave, but everybody remembered I went home for my daughter,” he tells Time.
One of the benefits of the digital age is the ability to boost work productivity with the aid of technology. We now have technologies like virtual assistant, Calendar App, and many valuable chrome extensions that could help boost productivity in different ways. However, technology should be used in a way that help make life easier, not control it. For many people, this might mean shutting down all form of technology when spending time with friends and families or when focusing on certain work. You can work smart by using technology to your advantage for the purpose of achieving the desired life-work balance.
Learn to communicate
It is important to communicate your plans
with appropriate people. For instance, if you won’t be available for certain
hours during the day or weekend, let people know. You can even set-up email
auto-responder to that effect. By so doing, you are putting up a “Do not
disturb” tag and asking for the permission to focus on what truly matters to
you, people will respect you for it.
In summary, have come to understand that achieving life-work balance is not an impossible task. However, for anyone striving for the balance, there are many things to learn and put into action.