According to data compiled by TechJury, almost half of Americans report that they are workaholics. 77% say they’ve experienced career burnout. And nearly 66% of workers admit that they don’t have the work-life balance that they really need.
What many folks struggling with work-life balance don’t realize is that this balance isn’t about having more free time. It’s about creating appropriate space for all of the important things in your life so that you can succeed in your job, in your relationships, and in pursuit of your personal interests and passions.
Here are three ways that you can achieve that essential harmony and improve your Return on Life.
Even if you are not a top-level executive, you have more control over your daily schedule than you probably realize. Simple changes like adjusting your sleep schedule can create valuable time that you can use to exercise, read, reflect, enjoy an extra meal with your spouse, or put in some extra work on a dream project.
To some degree, you also have the power to set “non-negotiables.” That might mean looking at your blank calendar at the beginning of the year and filling in family celebrations and vacation days before anything else. Or, if you know you just can’t resist that DING from your work email, set a strict clock-out time and power down your devices so you can focus on your family or hit the driving range.
And if your current employer really, truly, makes these kinds of adjustments impossible? Remember that there are thousands of companies all over the world right now that are battling for top talent. One of them will be more than happy to let you leave early on Wednesdays so that you can coach your son’s soccer team. They probably pay better too.
We’ve all heard the expression, “What gets measured gets done.” So, how are you measuring your progress towards your personal and professional goals? If you notice that you’re crossing off work tasks ahead of time but missing runs that are supposed to be building towards that half-marathon next year, those blank boxes where checkmarks should be will point you back to your schedule and your priorities list.
Another valuable form of “measurement” is having people in our lives who hold us accountable. A mentor or business coach who’s had the kind of career you want to have can help you avoid potential pitfalls and identify lanes for growth. Working with a financial advisor can help you stay on track towards short-term financial goals, like buying a new house, while also progressing towards long-term security in retirement.
The things that you want to accomplish as a 20-something college graduate were probably very different from things you want to accomplish in your 30s, 40s, and 50s. Once you near retirement age, the prospect of life without full-time employment will recalibrate what getting the most Return on Life means for you all over again.
Looking at the year ahead, set aside time to think about everything that you’ve accomplished in 2022, as well as the areas where you might have fallen short. Ask yourself, “What am I working towards? And why?” Do the professional goals you had earlier in your career still motivate you? Or are you simply going through the motions and cashing a paycheck?
Are you happy with the amount of time you’re able to devote to your family and friends? Is there something new you want to learn, or a hobby you want to improve at?
Our Life-Centered Planning process includes flexibility to grow and adapt along with your goals, your career, and your family. Let’s meet and discuss what a fulfilling work-life balance means to you and what steps you can take to improve that balance next year.
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