Is your current work life fit working for you?
Are you obsessed with work?
How many times have you worked late in the last month?
It may be time to admit you have a problem. It’s time to take a look at your work life fit.
There’s a lot of people talking about work-life balance. I don’t think this is a ‘thing’. Work is a part of life and part of our identity. So we just have ‘life’.
But I do think we should regularly challenge ourselves to think about balance and the factors affecting work life balance. To look at where we’re focussing our energy and make sure we’re not looking after one life pillar at the expense of all others.
What are your personal values?
So, starting with the big picture, how do we balance aspects of our ‘life’?
Have you heard of the wheel of life diagram? Here’s an example. They are designed to allow you to assess key areas of you life. For me that is health, work, family, friends, relationships, fun and mental wellbeing (not necessarily in that order!). Give yourself a score between 1-10 for each area of your life – this will show you where you’re happiest and where you might need to apply more focus or consider improving.
This tool will help you identify how you feel about your split of time between work and other aspects of your life. And how happy you are in that work.
Here is a blank wheel of life one for you to print out and fill in.
Which of the following is essential to identify your own personal balance in life?
- Family and friends.
- Significant other, intimate relationships, dating, relationship, romance or life partner.
- Career, motherhood, work, business, volunteering.
- Finances, money, budget, financial security or financial wellbeing.
- Health, emotional health, physical health, spiritual health, fitness, wellbeing.
- Fun, leisure, or recreation.
- Personal growth, learning, self-development, spiritual.
- Volunteering or giving back.
How does your job affect your lifestyle?
Looking at work specifically (I am a Career Coach after all), what do you do if you don’t feel you have the right balance?
Remember that you have a choice.
You get to choose what you think and do. If you don’t like your work, change it. Need a frank and honest conversation with your boss? Do it.
Want to find a role with more responsibility or career potential? Set aside an hour or two to take a look. Or if work is a significant problem for you – set aside a whole weekend to look for a new role. You’re at work for over 8 hours a day; make finding a satisfying job a priority.
You don’t need to stay in a position you’re not happy with – make a decision and take action.
Remember that no decision, is a decision in itself.
My work life fit is out of whack, how do I fix it?
I’m aware this is easy to say, and harder to do. So here are some practical steps to get the ball rolling.
Chat to a trusted colleague
Get perspective. Speak to someone at work that you trust and can be more objective about any issues you’re facing. For example, maybe it’s just you who thinks you need to work late every night, piling extra pressure on yourself. Or maybe it genuinely is the company culture to work late and it’s a requirement of your job. Find out whether it’s you or them, and make a decision about whether that’s a deal breaker for you. Is the job worth the risk that you will ultimately burnout?
Call a good friend
Take a small step immediately. Not seen your best friend in waaaay too long? Check your diary NOW and Whatsapp them a couple of catch up dates. Taking quick action creates a feeling of progress. We all love ticking something off our to do list, right?! And it also gives you something to look forward to.
Take a break
If you’re feeling totally drained by work, you’re working long days and just getting home and crashing on the couch, or even heading straight to bed, then I expect you have limited energy to put into finding a new role or better balance.
To boost your energy you need to boost your happiness. So do something you love. Cook an awesome meal, go out for drinks with friends, hit the gym, book a holiday. Prioritise something you love and you create positivity and energy. Use some of this energy to help you improve any work issues.
Get organised and stay in control
Are you feeling out of control? Think crazy work deadlines, forgetting to post your Mum’s birthday card, not paying your credit card on time. This happens to all of us sometimes. If you’re distracted by work you can miss important life commitments and generally being a nice human to people you care about.
So use a smart diary system – whether that’s on your iPhone or a cool daily planner, and get planning. If it’s scheduled, you’ll do it.
It’s 100% normal for your work life balance to constantly shift
Hopefully these tips help.
The other point I want to leave you with is that our life priorities and balance shift around all the time. That’s ok. You’re allowed to focus on your career. You’re allowed to focus on your health. Just keep an eye on your other life areas, complete the life wheel once a quarter and readjust to what will make you happiest. We get one life – I want yours to be incredible.
Work life fit and work life balance articles