What is Work-life Balance and How Do You Achieve It?
WorldExecutivesDigest.com | What is Work-life Balance and How Do You Achieve It? | Some people live for work. A successful career is what drives them to get up every day, taking precedence over all other things in their lives. Others only work so they can live. The paycheck they get is just a way to make ends meet, an inescapable responsibility necessary to pay the bills and enjoy a few comforts in life. There is a third group of people: Those who manage to strike a harmonious balance between career and personal life. They are the fortunate few.
How hard is it to attain a healthy work-life balance, and how important is having personal growth goals to achieving it? To answer these questions, first, understand the definition of work-life balance and how it evolved from generation to generation.
Work-life balance over the years
The generation of Baby Boomers are those born from 1945 to 1960, right around the time of WWII and its aftermath. They were exposed to the harsh and violent realities of life at an early age. Not surprisingly, when they reached their employment age, today’s version of work-life balance instinctively took the backseat to work stability. To them, the opportunity for stable employment and the ability to provide for their families was the balance they seek in life.
The Gen Xers, children of the Baby Boomer generation, watched their parents work and toil for hours on end. They witnessed the effect it had on their household, and this prompted them to prioritize time with family when their turn came to join the workforce.
For today’s generation of millennials, the predominating assumption is that work ethic is not as important. However, seeking stable employment still remains their top priority, motivated by a desire to support a certain lifestyle outside of work, not necessarily for family reasons.
Achieving work-life balance across generations
Whatever your concept of work-life balance is, it is near impossible to achieve without having personal growth goals. Personal goals are the beacons that guide you to what is really important to you in life. It enables you to focus all your efforts on achieving only these instead of wasting your energy on non-value adding activities.
It is important to set priorities, but for you to do this, you must first know yourself. Start with your values and principles in life, your passion and interests, habits and temperaments, and strengths and weaknesses. It will help you determine what is truly important to you and where you are most likely to succeed.
If you find yourself overwhelmed with the many things you want to do, prioritize them. One way to do this is to gauge them in terms of importance and urgency. The things which are both important and urgent must be at the top of your list, followed by those that are urgent but not important, and important but not urgent.
The ultimate dream is landing a job you like so much that you are willing to do it for free. The chances of this happening, however, are astronomically low. Instead, you can start looking for happiness in the little things that would not make you dread waking up in the morning and going to work.
Having a better mindset will help you become more productive and be able to do more with less, both in time and effort. You will eventually have more time and more energy for other things that are equally important to you, like being with family and pursuing personal interests. You might even come to realize that the job that you hate so much may not be that bad after all.
Being more proactive
If you want something to change for the better, waiting for it to happen will not make it so. Taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves is important, but sometimes you need to create these opportunities yourself to make things happen. Being proactive puts you in a better position to succeed in life, both at the office and at home.
Work-life balance does not hold the same meaning for everyone. What is true for all is that it cannot be achieved in one day but over time. It is a way of life and not something that can happen overnight. Having meaningful personal growth goals and consistently being true to them is your best chance at sustainable success in both your career and personal life.
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