Finding Balance

… a core concept in Leadership Skills and Atlas 109

WorkLifeBalanceConcept description

One of the most important matters in managing oneself is what has come to be known as work-life balance, defined by Workplace Mental Health Promotion (reference below) as a state of well-being that a person can reach or can set as a goal in order to allow them to manage effectively multiple responsibilities at work.

The Canadian Medical Health Association has an online Work-Life Balance Quiz (reference below) which asks the following 15 questions:

Agree Disagree
1. I feel like I have little or no control over my work life
2. I regularly enjoy hobbies or interests outside of work
3. I often feel guilty because I can’t make time for everything I want to
4. I frequently feel anxious or upset because of what is happening at work
5. I usually have enough time to spend with my loved ones
6. When I’m at home, I feel relaxed and comfortable
7. I have time to do something just for me every week
8. On most days, I feel overwhelmed and over-committed
9. I rarely lose my temper at work
10. I never use all my allotted vacation days
11. I often feel exhausted – even early in the week
12. Usually, I work through my lunch break
13. I rarely miss out on important family events because of work
14. I frequently think about work when I’m not working
15. My family is frequently upset with me about how much time I spend working

Scores are interpreted as follows:

  • 0 – 5: Your life is out of balance – you need to make significant changes to find your equilibrium. But you can take control!
  • 6 – 10: You’re keeping things under control – but only barely. Now is the time to take action before you’re knocked off balance.
  • 11 – 15: You’re on the right track! You’ve been able to achieve work/life balance – now, make sure you protect it.

Its tips for staying in balance are:

Tips for Staying in Balance

Take control – there are ways to help bring yourself into balance!

At work
  • Schedule brief breaks for yourself throughout the day. Your productivity and effectiveness will increase if you take even a ten-minute break every two hours and overall, you will get more accomplished.
  • At the end of each day, set your priorities for the following day. Be realistic about what you can achieve in the time you have available.
  • Only respond to email once or twice a day. Then, shut off your email program to avoid being distracted as messages come in.
  • Make a distinction between work and the rest of your life. Protect your private time by turning off electronic communications. Don’t be available 24/7.
At home
  • Create a buffer between work and home. After work, take a brief walk, do a crossword puzzle, or listen to some music before beginning the evening’s routine.
  • Decide what chores can be shared or let go. Determine which household chores are critical and which can be done by someone else. Let the rest go.
  • Exercise. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes at a time, you’ll feel more energized and refreshed.
  • Create and implement a household budget. Start by setting aside some money from each pay cheque for the future.
In your community
  • Make choices. Social, community and volunteer obligations pull us in many directions. Choose the ones that are most fulfilling and learn to say “no” to the rest.
Sources

Workplace Mental Health Promotion, A How-To Guide, Work-Life Balance, at http://wmhp.cmhaontario.ca/workplace-mental-health-core-concepts-issues/issues-in-the-workplace-that-affect-employee-mental-health/work-life-balance, accessed 21 February 2016.

Canadian Mental Health Association, Work-Life Balance Quiz, at http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/work-life-balance-quiz/#balance-quiz and Work-Life Balance: Make It Your Business, at http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/work-life-balance-make-it-your-business/, accessed 21 February 2016.

Atlas topic and subject

Managing Oneself (core topic) in Leadership Skills.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 21 February 2016.

Image: Ace Concierge, at http://aceconcierge.net/15-tips-to-finding-the-unicorn-of-work-life-balance/, accessed 21 February 2016.