Work:life balance is a commonly spoken about phenomenon. We are encouraged to ensure we don’t ‘work more than we live’ in order to be happy. Whilst there is a huge amount to be said for resting (read about the 7 types of rest you should be getting here), at Favourite Positions, we actively encourage a work:life blend which focuses less on ‘balance’ and more on intention.
The word balance insinuates equilibrium. In the context of work and life, balance is used to suggest that the two are opposing in their effects. We believe that work is part of life and is not to be seen as something that has to be separate to it.
We spend so much of our lives working, the majority of us cannot balance work with life equally with the amount of time we put in, so should we be balancing it with the amount of effort we put into either one? If that’s what’s implied then we’re wondering where this idea has come from because we all know how disheartening it feels to do anything in a half hearted way.
Here are our 5 points to consider if you’re looking to understand how your life, including work, can feel more inline with your personal values, more positive and more sustainable, too.
01. The right starting point
As we’ve outlined now, the term ‘work:life balance’ makes you believe there is a conundrum whereby you need to be splitting your time and energy in equal measures. That doesn’t need to be the case. What we're really looking for is a life aligned with our person values, helping us create fulfilment in what we do. The place to start with understanding what that could look like for you is imagining the future you want to see. How can you live and work in a way that contributes towards that becoming reality? It can be as simple as that.
You create happiness by maximising your focus on the things most meaningful to you. Practice gratitude and mindfulness to appreciate the little wonders happening in your life daily.
03. Be aware of the percentages and use them wisely
Seeking work:life balance doesn't have to mean quitting your 9-5, perhaps you really like the structure and security of your current set up. What it does mean, however, is understanding that around 80% of your week is spent working so you should be seeing how you can bring as much joy into that time as possible as it’s a large proportion of your life! With other the 20% of your time, identify what fulfils that doesn’t directly relate to your work and safeguard those hours and the people you share them with.
If you find yourself complaining about not having enough time, track how you spend your time. Take note of what’s most important to you then cut out whatever you can that doesn’t serve you in your mission to live the life you want to.
04. Embrace hardship
Sometimes, you do need to go through hard things. You can and your resilience will actually make you feel good about yourself. Embrace it, lean into it and you’ll come out stronger on the other side.
05. Seek silence
Regularly build in time to reflect. Life will always trick you into thinking ‘once I have finished this I'll be able to relax’, but unfortunately it's not like that. If you don’t observe where you’re going, you’ll end up on a path you don’t want to be on so take the valuable time to stop, notice your thoughts and feel into what your gut is telling you.
Here is a quote on life and work that rings true 👇
'Work life balance is not an entitlement or benefit. Your company cannot give it to you. You have to create it for yourself'
– Matthew Kelly, Author