It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” ~Henry David Thoreau
Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing to have you work and life just fit into each other? Working full time it may seem impossible achieve a healthy this. But it’s not and you can do it!
Why work-life fit and not balance? Work-life balance is the most common way we tend to identify with balancing what we do inside our normal life and what we do outside by way of work, recreation, taking care of family. When people think about work-balance, they think about spending less time on the job, and having more time free. Balancing work and private life, or family time is never easy, after all we only have 24 hours in a day and 8 of those hours should be reserved for sleep!
How can you advocate for something you don’t have? For so long we’ve been forced to accept the term work-life balance, when we should be conditioning ourselves to being work-life fit. How can your work and life fit together to give you your best life experience both on and off the job? Our work and life realities are not the same. Work-life fit is active and flexible. It acknowledges those realities are going to change, day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year, and there is no right answer.
There’s no 50/50 split between work and life that we are all trying to go for and never achieve, and because there’s no right answer, there’s no judgement. No one’s right, no one’s wrong, because knowing how to manage your work-life fit is a modern skill set we all need to succeed but no one teaches us.
Here are 4 ideas to help you bring a little better work-life fit into your life:
SCHEDULE DOWN TIME
Block out time on your calendar for family up front or it will most likely would never happen. The important thing is that you treat your family as if they matter just as much as the most important business person in the world, and don’t miss your scheduled meetings you have with them. Block out dinner on your calendar. Block out Saturday family events. Always keep Sunday as a sacred time with your family. Block out date night if you are married. Block out a once-a-month father/daughter or mother/son , mother/daughter or son/son date with your child. Put these things on your calendar in advance of each month and then treat them with the importance of any other meeting. Schedule that time with them. They need you.
LEAVE WORK AT WORK
I know this may be hard to do especially when you have a deadline to meet. But do you take your child to work when they’re sick? Of course not! So why steal time away from your family by bringing work home? If you can delegate, and if you can’t, there’s always tomorrow. The reason why we run out of time in the first place is because we have poor time management, learn to manage your time at work the same way you do at home. Set reminders of tasks that needs to be done; even if that meeting is not until next week, during lunch or that free time you have to chat with colleagues, use that to catch up on points needed for that meeting.
CUT OUT THE THINGS THAT DON’T ADD VALUE TO YOUR LIFE
There are a lot of things we waste time on in life. Too much television, Internet, etc. I know because I am as guilty as many of you by allowing these things to overtake my family time! If you have distractions in your life that take too much time away from family then pull yourself away from wasting time when you could be spending it on quality time with your family or significant other.
TAKE FIVE FOR YOU
In all the talk about maintaing work-life Fit we forget that part of that is also taking time for yourself. It is the very first thing that always goes – you. Women are especially bad at this. We are so worried about everyone else that we forget about us. Everyone – men and women – need a little time each day just for them. Time to read a little, time to take a hot bath once in a while, time to swing on a swing and look at the garden. No matter what you choose to do with your five minutes, it needs to be time that is just for you. Meditate. Write in a journal. Pray. Just take that time for you – it will make you a better person to the ones you love, trust me. I can’t wait for my spa days!!