Sunday, November 28, 2010

Work Life Balance - In Search of the Secret Formula

Can anyone really define what work life balance means?

(If you think you can, I would love to hear from you, please).

I think it means very different things to different people, and at varying stages of their careers or career progression.

I know, for instance, that for me, especially early on in my career, my thirst for knowledge and progression was insatiable.

Learning, development, and personal growth remain at the top of my priority list and even now I am in the final days of completing my Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management.

I love to learn, I love to be challenged, and as I once said to a friend of mine, I am happiest when I have about 20 things that all need to be done, simultaneously.  

I prefer to be going 100 miles per hour with my hair on fire – giddy up.

But, I also love my kids, and I love my down time, when I can get on my motorcycle and take off for hours, with no particular destination in mind.

I think the key is to be committed to whatever you’re doing at the time, without guilt or regret, and, to be “present, truly present.”

What do I mean by that?

Well, as an example, you can’t be trying to get 20 things done at work, simultaneously, if you are distracted by the fact that you should be at your daughter’s ballet recital right now, and not at work.

Or, if you are feeling guilty about something that happened yesterday, and now you are stuck in the would of, could of, should of cycle of second guessing yourself, or regretting your actions and feeling guilty about how you handled something.

And in either case, you are not truly “present” to what IS going on at the time, and that, is the worst part, especially when it is time to spend some quality time with your kids for example.

How present are you, for example, at that ballet recital if you are already thinking of where you need to be tomorrow, what you need to get done, what you didn’t finish, etc.?

You’re not.

You may be there physically, but you sure as heck aren’t there mentally, you aren’t “present.”

People miss a lot when they aren’t present, and it’s my observation at least, that that shows up more so in peoples’ personal lives than it does at work, although it shows up in your work as well.

What’s the bottom line?

Find your own balance, establish your own priorities, but once you do, be happy with your choice and live in the present.

Don’t live in the past, it’s gone, and don’t live into the future, who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Live in the present and be present.  

I promise you, if you do, if you really commit to being present, you’ll notice a whole new level of what’s possible at work, and, the people in your personal life will notice that when you’re with them, you really are with them, and they’ll appreciate it.

If you think I’m mistaken, ask your wife, your husband, or your kids, if they think that you are fully present when you’re with them.

I guarantee you’ll be surprised to hear that they have noticed that your head is elsewhere much of the time when you are with them.

You want work life balance?

Get present. 

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