Seventy percent of a meditation class I regularly attended 10 years ago were meditating as a way to deal with either stress, anxiety or depression due to having difficulty in coping with their job. More recent research identifies two-thirds of today’s employees are feeling overwhelmed. Yet, for busy workers, I believe work-life balance is more of a myth than something we can achieve on a regular basis. What’s more realistic is aligning our rhythm to get balance based on what’s important in our lives in a day, a week or month.
You see we’ll have periods where important deadlines create high workloads that we just have to get through. Alternatively, there can be times where the workload is lighter and much more manageable.
Personally, I’m right in the middle of a busy period where I need to juggle a number of conflicting important priorities. As my business is in the building phase I’m working long hours and most weekends. I have work commitments throughout this week and a major deadline with the editor of my book this Friday so ideally I would have worked most of the past weekend to get the book ready.
But I actually had a bigger non-work priority on the weekend. My daughter is having her 18th birthday party next weekend which meant there were lots of jobs in getting the intended party area ready, purchasing and collecting all the things we need to stage the party. And throw in my boys sporting commitments and the weekend quickly disappeared.
How do I achieve all of the non-negotiable deadlines then? After removing all of the low priority tasks I’m faced with having a really busy week. It’s not a perfect scenario but it’s something I’m prepared to do this week. This is no different to what many of you might face with your work.
I’m not suggesting everyone should work harder when faced with similar choices. But the commercial reality is we sometimes have to extend ourselves more than other occasions. The key is to have a sustainable approach. Even if you’re not in a flexible work environment it might even be applicable to apply some of the relevant flexible work concepts to help you manage these situations.
How can you adjust your rhythm to achieve balance while still meeting commitments?