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Achieving And Maintaining Your Work Life Balance

I love my job, I even check CVs and give advice (usually when asked) outside of work. Sometimes I don't even consider it to be a job, more of a hobby. The danger is of course that my work life balance can become, well, unbalanced.

What is work life balance I hear you cry? It's's about being in control; the more 'out of control' you feel, the more 'imbalanced' your life will feel. They key to regaining your balance, so to speak, is to recognise the symptoms of when you are and are not in balance.

Start by considering what is important to you. This could be many things, your partner, family, work, career, finances, friends, social life, health...the list goes on. There is no wrong or right answer, as I said, it's a personal thing. You will find as you go through your life that all of these things will become more or less important to you at different stages.

Think about when you are at your most happy, are there any patterns? E.g. are you happiest when you are surrounded by your family? Is there any situation in which you find yourself unhappy? Where could you be happier? If there is more than one situation, which would make the biggest difference to your life right now? E.g. if you are worrying about your finances and you hate your job, which is giong to make the biggest difference?
Think about the future, imagine you have worked at your finances and they are now sorted - you couldn't be happier. How is it different? How do you feel? What did you do to bring this change about - what were the key actions you took?

So....what do you need to do to bring the situation from being an unhappy one, which is out of your control, to being one in which you are contented?

Now, next step...what do you love doing? Think specific activities. Make a list - when did you last do this activity, how many times per week/month/year? Is there a pattern here? You may notice that you are not spending enough time doing the things you really love - what is stopping you? What can you do about it?

The aim of this to be able to look back on your life when you have retired (and there is no work to balance with your life) and have no (or minimum) regrets.

In some of my previous roles I have worked too much and not left enough time to enjoy my life. Now, although I spend more time giving careers advice, because it is something I enjoy, it doesn't affect my work life balance and as a result, I am happier and more in control of what I like to do.

Go on, think about what you can do to make yourself happier.
Posted by Charlotte Ashley-Roberts on Jan 25, 2013 9:05 AM Europe/London

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