One of my favorite quotes about balance is by Betsy Jacobson. She says:
“Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management.”
In essence, she reminds us that we must take measures to protect our time, which includes setting clear boundaries with others.
Ideal Work-Life Balance
What is the ideal balance between work and personal activities? It’s not an equal number of hours for each activity, but more about finding the right balance that allows you to feel accomplished in your work and satisfied and joyful in your personal life. What strikes that balance is different for everyone. There’s an excellent article here on Work-Life Balance Defined.
For example, if you are in the habit of being available to those close to you no matter what’s going on, it could be an opportunity for you to set a new boundary. If it’s something that doesn’t require your immediate attention, you might consider saying “I’d really like to help you with that. Let’s set up a time that works for both of us.”
Checking in with yourself regularly to be sure you are honoring your boundaries and effectively communicating them to others may be uncomfortable at first; however, it will get easier over time with some practice and patience.
Action for the week: Pay attention to requests from others that require you to drop what you are doing and consider your options “Does this require my attention right now? What are my choices? Is this situation within my control to change?”