By Eitan Sharir
I often hear people complain that work takes up much of their energy and effort, leaving them with too little time for their personal life. They describe work as a necessary evil that stands in the way of doing things that they really like doing and complain that they are trapped in a juggling act between responsibility and fun, burden and enjoyment, exhaustion and energy and yes…not living the life that they had envisioned.
So what can we do to achieve more balance in our lives? While most of us realize the importance of balance to our health and wellbeing, it is a state that we hardly ever experience. Life being a dynamic process – it is almost impossible to attain balance and remain in that static condition forever, but there are certainly actions within our control that can be taken toward achieving a healthier balance:
1. Being Present
We need to begin with the notion (wild to some…) that we CAN find fulfilment and enjoyment wherever we are, even when we are at work. We can do this by being present in the moment. Only when we truly live in the here and now, are we able to give 100 percent of ourselves and when we do that, we experience aliveness and engagement.
Living in the moment is a choice. What happens to many people is that when they are here, they want to be there and when they are there, they want to be somewhere else. This creates a cycle of dissatisfaction, frustration and conflict because no matter where we are, it is not the right place! When we choose to channel all of our focus to the present moment then we feel excited, alive, energized and passionate about what we are doing. This also applies to work. Since we are the ones who choose to go to work, we are also the ones who can choose to make the most of it! We are the ones who can choose to be here without wishing we were somewhere else, and to give our 100 percent right here, right now.
And when we utilize our best in terms of ability, excitement, creativity and energy it gives us a strong sense of purpose and by the time we finish our work day we feel totally satisfied, fulfilled and energized.
2. Separating between work and home
Now, we need to ensure that we don’t take our work home with us and are able to give 100 percent to our family. It is a good idea therefore, when we finish work and choose to go home, to evaluate our work day and ask ourselves questions such as:
· What worked well today?
· At which points of the day was I truly present?
· What did not work so well today?
· What could I do tomorrow to improve the things that did not work too well today?
After answering these questions, we can close the door to work behind us and ask questions that will prepare us to be 100 percent present for our family. These can include questions such as:
· How will I contribute to my family when I get home?
· What can I do to add more value to my partner today?
· What can I do to add more value to my children today?
3. Adding Value
The questions we ask make us aware of what is really important to us and help us become conscious of how we can add the most value wherever we are. They foster a positive mood that inevitably rubs off on those who come in contact with us.
They also lead us to perform caring acts that may not necessarily seem huge but add loads of value to our loved ones. Practicing ball games with our children or reading them a bedtime story in an exciting way, inquiring our partner about their day and really listening to the response, making clearing up the table fun-are all small actions, but when we really want to be there and are giving 100 percent of ourselves doing them-it means the world to those around us.
When we are adding value to our family and friends, our own energy level rises and so we have a better sense of well being, satisfaction and balance. Yes, we could be spending 8 to 12 hours at work and only two or three hours at home before our children go to bed and still feel in balance because we gave 100 percent of ourselves for those two or three hours at home. Making this shift in our outlook also leads to better health as opposed to people who come home drained and stressed and experience negative emotions that release catabolic adrenaline that can lead to weakness, ill health and irrational negative reactions.
By choosing to give 100 percent of ourselves we contribute more value to our work environment and our personal environment and feel alive, excited and energized wherever we choose to be, thus attaining the balance that may have eluded us until now.
Eitan Sharir is a business advisor, leadership consultant and speaker, and President of Dynamic Achievement Group Inc. (www.dynamicachievement.com). He is the author of Activate Your Power and audio program 7 Steps to Quantum Leap Results.
Category: Workplace Wellness