"My Two Cents" By Cindy Pickens - Cynergy - October 2005
The pace of business life has accelerated dramatically in the last several years. These days, you feel lucky to have time to gobble down a sandwich or a salad at your desk while working on a project with an unreasonable deadline. You have become proficient at eating and talking on your cell phone while driving. You really feel like you've hit the jackpot when you grab some of the free food left over from meetings.
You work an unheard-of number of hours each week. There are days at a time when you don't see the sun - it's dark when you leave for the office, and just as dark when you return home. Your schedule is so hectic that you have a mini-anxiety attack when your manager says they have a "challenge" or "opportunity" for you.
Your only time off is on those weekends when your spouse or significant other can't stand it anymore and demands that you spend time with your family or friends. The stress only gets worse in the privacy of your own den when you hear the latest layoff announcements on TV. You get sick, but you deny it's bad enough to stay home unless you are literally unable to physically or mentally function. You even think vacation is meant to be rolled over at the end of the year or to be taken only as a financial reimbursement.
All of this for a 3% annual pay raise.
Sounds pretty dismal, doesn't it? Well, the good news is that you can achieve a "Balance in Life" between your personal and professional roles. You set goals, guidelines and schedules at work every day, so try this: Develop a "job description" for your personal life, then follow through on it with the same dedication you give to your professional life.
An Example "Balance in Life" Job Description
- Be home by 6:00 p.m. twice a week
- Drive my child to school one day every other week
- Schedule a dinner with friends every other month
- Attend an extracurricular event for my child at least once a month
Establish a Balance in Life Schedule
I know it is hard to believe, but there is a time to work and a time to play. I repeat, there is a time to play! You need reasonable time to achieve your professional goals, but never forget that the purpose of working is to provide for your family and yourself. And that means more than just providing a financial income.
Define your "play" time with a clear goal and schedule so that your family and friends can count on your participation in their lives. Don't forget you - you have to set aside some time to provide you some pleasure in life also.
Treat this schedule with as much seriousness and respect as you would a project timeline at work. Be realistic and flexible -- for example, maybe Monday is not a good day for a BIL function, so look for other possible dates.
Establish a Balance in Life (BIL) Support Team
In your business life, you understand that you cannot accomplish everything alone. You need the support of a strong and dedicated team to take care of many of the details so you can focus on achieving your larger goals. Likewise, to achieve your Balance in Life, you need a reliable personal team of trusted business colleagues, family and friends, such as carpooling neighbors. These are the people who can give you some of their own time, energy, and ideas to keep you on a steady course toward a Balance in Life.
Share Business Achievement Rewards with Your Loved Ones
Consider your family and close friends as your personal team. There's no easier way to elicit your loved one's interest and understanding of your career responsibilities than to share your goals and business achievements with them, and to share the celebration when you achieve your goals. The rewards might be monetary or dinners or additional personal time (short getaways). This is a healthy approach to bringing balance to your family and your life.
Working Smart + Living Your Values = Balance in Life
To keep on track, you need to map out a course that's grounded in your real-life situations. But while most of us have been educated and trained in our professions, few of us have a clue as to how to create a Balance in Life to that will satisfy both our career expectations and our family requirements. Fortunately, thanks to the Internet, there are invaluable resources available to you, whether you run a small business or work in a Fortune 500 company.
This is where Cynergy comes into your life. We are dedicated to providing on-demand, real-need knowledge to help you grow your business while advancing and securing your career. We offer you the ability to hone your skills at your convenience and within the restrictions of your already-busy schedule.
To learn more about Cynergy's on-demand web seminars, visit us at http://www.cynergypro.com