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‘After work’ should mean ‘no work’

By Chuck Groot

Sounds rather extreme, but is it?

Overall, 28% of people feel that they have a good balance between work and their spare time. That means that a sizeable 72% are not entirely happy with their work/life balance. That is a lot – especially when we consider the negative consequences of such an imbalance.

Women seem to have a slightly better work/life balance than men (29% of women vs 26% of men say they have a good balance). This could be partially because more women than men are working part time but  primarily because women have a larger social network outside of work while men have more of their social interactions at work. Also, women often have different jobs than men. For example, not as many women are managers (not because of any difference in abilities!) which may mean that with fewer responsibilities at work they are able to put in fewer hours with less stress and more ability to leave work issues at the office. It may also be that women respond differently to the challenges than men.

One stereotype of managers is that they have a poor work/life balance. Unfortunately, it seems to be true. 23% of managers feel they have a good balance, compared to 28% of non-managers. This is perhaps not surprising but nonetheless worrying, given that the negative consequences of an imbalance affect everyone, independent of which role they serve.

But what if you love to work?

Many people tell me that they love what they do, so it doesn’t even feel like work. I had a friend who loved to say I’m not a workaholic, I’m a ‘work-afrolic’! Then there was another friend of mine who told me he worked his whole life and decided that it was time to retire at 75. The following year he reported that he was sicker than any other time in his life. So, what did he do? He started another company and both he and the new company did very well.

The two key concepts of work/life balance are Success and Pleasure. Simplicity itself. There are those who spend all their time on Success and lose out on the pleasures of life. Then there are those who spend all their time seeking pleasure and fail to succeed. It is the balance that is so very important, yet so hard to maintain.

We have all heard or know people who are very rich but not happy and those who are extremely happy but haven’t a penny.

The Business Dictionary defines work/life balance as: “A comfortable state of equilibrium achieved between a person’s primary priorities of their employment position and their private lifestyle.” Most psychologists would agree that the demands of a person’s career should not overwhelm the individual’s ability to enjoy a satisfying personal life outside of the business environment.

Here are some signs of poor work/life balance.

  • Days last forever, often leaving you bummed even when you get to be around the people you care for.
  • You are exhausted by the time you get home at night, leaving no energy for other activities.
  • You feel in a spin and out of control, in other words, you are on the treadmill of life.
  • You feel like you need a clone or more time to get things done – or more importantly time for yourself.

This can affect your mental and physical health and result in:

  • Exhaustion
  • Work Absences
  • Lack of friends
  • Depression and whole host of other health problems.

We have so many expectations pulling at us all at the same time: job, family, friends, colleagues, teammates, so how do we balance it all?

In all things, the key is moderation. This is especially true of a work/life balance. There will be times when you need to spend more time on the one and then the other. It will always vary over time. But it is a decision, a thoughtful experience. It is living your life on purpose – living with intent. This is the true gift of life, living with passion and intent so that you get the most fulfillment out of your life.

Both Success and Pleasure beg the big question what is your ‘Why’? Why are you doing what you are doing? What will success bring you? We need to find balance in our goals and grand intentions.

Why do we want a better income?

Why do we want a better house?

Do we want our children to have a college education?

Do we want to get fulfillment out of our job?

How about happiness, celebration, love, a sense of well-being, and all the other joys of life? Simple concepts which, once you focus on them as key components of your day, are not that hard to implement.

You cannot get the full value of life without both Success and Pleasure. A successful life is lived when you can get balance in all aspects of your life: spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and financial well-being. Imagine that each of these areas is a tire on a car, with the spiritual piece being the steering wheel. If one of the tires is soft or flat, or the steering is slightly miss-aligned what will happen? You will veer to the side of the flat tire or steering mal-adjustment of course! Your car will not run at full efficiency, you will use more gas, and the tires will wear out un-evenly.

Find your why, explore what juices you, focus on the things that are important, live your life to the fullest, and experience all the wonderful things that life offers.  

So, make it happen, for yourself, your family and all the important individuals you care about…every day for the rest of your life… Achieve and Enjoy. Don’t cheat yourself.

“In my career, there's (sic) many things I've won and many things I've achieved, but for me, my greatest achievement is my children and my family. It's about being a good father, a good husband, just being connected to family as much as possible.” 

David Beckham

Chuck Groot’s CPA, MPA, MBA credentials as an author, teacher, business coach and entrepreneur are noteworthy. His clients credit their success to his uncanny ability to get right to the root of any challenge that they put in front of him.  He credits his success to his clients and their willingness to being open to new ideas and desire in pursuit of excellence. 

As an entrepreneur, his enthusiasm and innovative approach have garnered him both professional success and the recognition of his peers. But his greatest delight is being able to share these skills with others and enabling them to be successful on their own.

 

chuckggroot@gmail.com

 

http://www.chuckgroot.com

 

I would really like to hear what you think about this article. Drop me a line and let me know how you feel about it?

 

 

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