Life and work, by design
Our work should – at least, for the most part – interest and energise us. But it should also leave us time enough to pursue other interests. Because we perform best when we’re in balance.
Balance means different things to different people – and at different points in their lives and careers. As your coach, I respect whatever balance you feel is right for you – just so long as it’s one of your intentional design and choosing.
All-too-often, though, our balance is not of our conscious design. So here are 5 thoughts to promote awareness and responsibility in us; and help us to achieve a more intentionally-designed balance.
#1 Don’t live the deferred life.
Things are really hectic now, but it’ll be different next year. I’ll do that at-home project when I’m on top of work. All this hard work now will pay-off soon – and then I’ll really spend some quality time with family/friends/loved-ones. Sound familiar? Don’t live the deferred life. Ask: what am I foregoing in the present? Do what you always wanted to do, right now.
#2 Create a work/life balance goal.
Not just a vague “oh yeah, I need to do that” goal. A written-out, well-formed goal that you make part of your other goal work and that you schedule-in to your routines. Then give it the attention it deserves. Treat your balance with the same importance and dedication you would your work and your goals.
#3 Go looking for fulfilment outside work.
Whatever it is that we’re finding (more) fulfilling at work can be a clue to what’s not happening outside of work. Perhaps we’re overly focused on work because that gives us a sense of satisfaction – or community, or challenge, or momentum, or whatever – that we’re not getting from life outside work. Think about your values most-expressed at work. Use that evidence. Start a non-work project or activity that expresses your values.
#4 Point self-discipline at what you want.
Most often, “self-discipline” is thought of as that which gets us through the less desirable tasks. The things we would ordinarily postpone or procrastinate over. But what if we re-thought self-discipline to be about “forcing” ourselves to focus on non-work? What would you push yourself to do differently? What would you start doing? What would you stop? Use your self-discipline to focus on … you.
#5 Remember: you are not your work.
Many of us are so committed, that soon our work begins to define our entire identity. But we are not our work. It no-doubt forms a portion of our identity. But there are many other ingredients in the mix that make-up our whole self. Go looking for your non-work identity everywhere and anywhere. Have the source of your identity be many things.