Is your personal and work life in perfect balance?

We have been oriented from young age that work should be seen as the most important aspect of our lives. Growing with this picture in mind, it is not surprising that we find ourselves lopsidedly pursuing our careers while our personal lives fade into the background. The imbalance thus created shows its impact sooner or later through failed marriages, restlessness at home, inability to connect with one's family, especially children, etc. In other words, since we focus so much on the professional aspect of our lives, we forget to exist outside it.

Identifying the Conflicting Convictions

It is important that you understand there is a problem when work life and personal life are not balanced. Unless you recognize that the imbalance is a problem, it will not be possible for you to seek redressal measures. These are some questions that you could ask yourself is you need a guide.

  1. Are you happy when you stay at home with your family?
  2. Do you find that you carry more and more work at home, making the latter an extension of your office?
  3. Are you able to relax in the company of your spouse and children?
  4. Are you able to take impromptu offs to humor the children with an unscheduled outing once in a while? Or it could be for a romantic day with your spouse?
  5. Do you have clear demarcations about your job and home responsibilities?
  6. Do you have the time to do nothing, sometimes? Do you have anytime to pursue your hobbies?
  7. Are your commitments contributing to the growth of your overall personality?
  8. Is your work bringing you joy?
  9. Are you able to 'close shop' at the end of the day, or you carry the worries of your work home (not work, thought of your work)?
  10. Are you having a definite career growth plan which is feasible as per the path you are presently walking on?

Once you take this test, it will be clear for you where you stand. Most of these test end with a pronounced dip towards work life. Many prefer it that way, justifying it by saying that it pays the bills and keeps the family comfortable.

They justify it saying that it is for the family that you tend to neglect the personal side of life. But look closer. Is that true?

On a closer look, we will be to see some disturbing details:

  1. We work hard because we find it difficult to stop and relax
  2. We work hard because we feel that work should be given more importance
  3. We work hard because we feel that our importance will diminish if we do not overachieve professionally
  4. We work hard because we take our personal lives and family for granted
  5. We work hard because we choose to do so

The first step to stop this snowballing effect is to recognize which 'justification' you are choosing. Accept the fact that you need to give more time to yourself and your family in order to be happy. Then draw up your plan on paper so you can see it for yourself where you need to give more attention.

Work life Personal life Working 20 hours per day Ensure you have at least one evening if not one day for yourself and your family Are your commitments only about work Your family life is as important; identify the areas where your family needs you and where you would be happy to contribute Do you give your 100 percent to your job ? when you are on the job you think of nothing else till it is done Give at 20 percent to yourself ? allow yourself regular breaks when you push out all the thoughts of your work out of your mind and relax Are you able to say 'no' Your ability to say 'no' in your professional life will open doors of opportunity in your personal life Do you love your work ? do you find yourself obsessed with what you do; are you at it every moment of your waking moments Love yourself as much ? give yourself a chance to unwind and start afresh; take off time to do nothing Can you find something that can give you as much pleasure as income Search for a job which allows you to connect with your family and self What is the importance of your job in your life? Does it pay your bills, does it give you your identity or does it make you happy? Identify a job which makes you happy. This does not mean a change in your career; just some tweaking in making it a pleasure Is your job no 1 in your life? You should be no 1 in your life. Check out how the outlook changes, once the priorities in your life change Do you work well when the deadline is close? What if something goes wrong at the nth hour? Never procrastinate Learn to organize yourself and do things within realistic time frames. Less stress at work will make it easier for you to unwind at home Delegate, delegate, delegate. Sharing the workload does not make you less efficient; it makes you smartYou cannot ever accomplish everything on your own. Learn to let go of control ? you will learn to relax Do you always feel you have no options? Look again. There are choices out there all the time. The world does not end if you miss a deadline; if you say 'no'; if you forget something; if you make a mistake Once you realize that you have and can avail of choices, life will be different. You will learn that life can be enjoyed as well Reconnect with your career priorities ? see if what you are doing is leading your there. Many times, our thirst for financial freedom takes us away from our original goals Reconnect with your personal life. Feel the importance of being there for your family, for yourself

Life can be pretty rewarding when we learn to balance our work life and personal life. Though it looks difficult to do so, in reality it is not so. It only takes your willingness to look into it, and then you will be surprised how acknowledging the problem, can change your perspective and behavior in your day to day life. Take back your life from your career. Your career is part of your life, not your life part of your career. Understand the difference.

The most important thing is to acknowledge the problem of the imbalance between your work and personal life. Are you ready to do so?