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Career Professionals with Work-life Balance are Different

Several disciplines support work-life balance including self-management, time management, stress management, change management, technology management, and leisure management.

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The challenges of leading a viable organization, division, or department and of maintaining work-life balance become more acute with each passing month.  Work-life balance, virtually synonymous with work-life harmony and work-life integration, entails having some breathing space for yourself each day; feeling a sense of accomplishment, while not being consumed by work; and having an enjoyable domestic life without short-changing career obligations.

Several disciplines support work-life balance, though individually, none are synonymous with work-life balance. These disciplines include:

  • Self-management
  • Time management
  • Stress management
  • Change management
  • Technology management
  • Leisure management

1. Self-management

Sufficiently managing one’s self can be challenging, particularly in getting proper sleep, exercise and nutrition. Self-management is the recognition that effectively using the spaces in our lives is vital, and that available resources, time and life are finite. It means becoming captain of our own ship – no one is coming to steer for us.

2. Time management

Effective time management involves making optimal use of your day and the supporting resources that can be summoned – you keep pace when your resources match your challenges. Time management is enhanced through appropriate goals and discerning what is both important and urgent, versus important or urgent. It entails knowing what you do best and when, and assembling the appropriate tools to accomplish specific tasks.

3. Stress management

By nature, societies tend to become more complex over time. In the face of increasing complexity, stress on the individual is inevitable. More people, distractions and noise require each of us to become adept at maintaining tranquility and working ourselves out of pressure-filled situations. Most forms of multi-tasking ultimately increase our stress, versus focusing on one thing at a time.

4. Change management

In our fast-paced world, change is virtually the only constant. Continually adopting new methods and re-adapting others is vital to a successful career and a happy home life. Effective change management involves making periodic and concerted efforts to ensure that the volume and rate of change at work and at home does not overwhelm or defeat you.

5. Technology management

Effectively managing technology means ensuring that technology serves you, rather than abuses you. Technology has always been with us, since the first walking stick, flint, spear and wheel. Now, the rate of change is accelerating, brought on by vendors seeking expanding market share. Often there is no choice but to keep up with the technological Joneses, but you must rule technology – not vice versa.

6. Leisure management

The most overlooked of the work-life balance supporting disciplines, leisure management acknowledges the importance of rest and relaxation – that one can’t short-change leisure, and that “time off” is a vital component of the human experience. Curiously, too much of the same leisure activity, however enjoyable, can lead to monotony. Thus, effective leisure management requires varying one’s activities.

Viva La Difference!

With the above in mind, here are 16 ways that executives with work-life balance are different from others:

1) The typical executive thinks that work-life balance is something you need to strive for. Those who have work-life balance (WLB) realize that it is an every day practice.

2) The typical executive becomes stressed throughout the day from the demands they face. Those with WLB anticipate unexpected demands and dispense their energy accordingly.

3)  The typical executive suspects that only the privileged can attain work-life balance.  Those with WLB understand that it is within everyone’s grasp.

4)  The typical executive assumes that you need money and resources to experience WLB. Those who have it know that money or resources won’t help if you’re on the wrong path.

5) The typical executive regards taking time for themselves as a luxury they can’t afford. Those who have work-life balance recognize that taking time for themselves is vital.

6) The typical executive becomes emotional about his/her lack of work-life balance.
Those who have it take a rational, methodical approach to maintaining it.

7) The typical executive strives to get more done, hoping for free time at the rainbow’s end. Those with WLB take time for rest and reflection, on the way to getting more done.

8) The typical executive is resigned to a state of “too much to do, not enough time to do it.” Those who have WLB establish priorities and supporting goals to those priorities.

9) The typical executive multitasks, seeking to save time and effort. Those with WLB avoid multitasking with its many traps, and instead master the art of doing one thing at a time.

10) The typical executive seeks technology tools and apps to carve out free time.
Those with WLB have found that simple approaches work best, tools or not.

11) The typical executive believes that greater responsibilities diminish the chances of achieving WLB. Those who have it do not allow such thoughts to impede their progress.

12) The typical executive worries that taking periodic breaks might be seen as shirking their work. Those with WLB regard periodic breaks as vital to their consistent productivity.

13) The typical executive wants to catch up all at once. Those with work-life balance maintain a “pay-as-you-go” system and avoid crash campaigns.

14) The typical executive feels driven by external forces to race through the day. Those with WLB acknowledge that their own habits are the primary force in achieving WLB.

15) The typical executive doesn’t draw upon the resources needed to continually experience WLB. Those who have it assemble such resources and more, to create leisure.

16) The typical executive sometimes acts as a helpless victim of daily noise and interruptions.  Those with WLB monitor and manage their personal space to minimize distractions.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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