Balance = Personal Well-Being


The number of stress related disability cases in the United States has doubled and most Americans believe that merely working hard is not enough. As a result, the average person’s work and home life suffers. We lose out in our relationships with family, in our work quality, and in our health. The trick to avoiding these potential problems is to bring order to the chaos through achieving balance.

The dictionary describes achieving balance as bringing a lever into equilibrium, normally done by adding or removing weights to one end in order to balance the unknown weight on the other side. In life, you can describe achieving balance as giving attention and influence to your goals and tasks. You do this in order to increase your sense of personal well-being.

You might say that you have perfect balance in your activities. However, your activities are probably out of balance when you discover yourself feeling out-of-sorts and uneasy. Some other situations that might point to an imbalance are:

  • You find yourself working on job stuff at home.
  • You find yourself working when you are off work, or when you are supposed to be on downtime (lunch break, etc.).
  • You find yourself believing you do not have any downtime.
  • You find yourself thinking about all the work you have to finish when you’re supposed to be paying attention to your child’s little league game.
  • You find yourself reading an online article about achieving balance and well-being.

This list could go on forever, but you get the picture. The point is, in order to increase your well-being by bringing your activities into balance you must recognize the areas that need some work. When you begin to focus on your goals and review the things you have prearranged for yourself to do, you will discover the corrections to make in order to achieve this balance. You must ask yourself whether the goals you set will bring a balance to your activities and well-being to your life or with they create a layer of stress and uneasiness. You also need to make sure you are including your personal goals when you review your objectives. You will not be able to bring balance to your work and personal activities without looking at the bigger picture.

Balance can be elusive, and it is something that is different for each of you. It is also something that does not come from an outside source. Your work and personal lives are your own responsibility and balancing them is a task that falls squarely at your own two feet.

For some of you, all that is required is the short break of a three-day weekend spent away from work. For others it might mean overhauling your objectives and reworking them into goals that can be accomplished one actionable item at a time. You might not recognize immediately what you must do to bring balance to your activities, but you will find the solutions if you continue to try different things that bring a sense of well-being to your life. A few things you might try are:

  • Remember that there are just 24 hours in a day when planning activities.
  • Remember that your workday ends at 5pm (or whenever your workday ends) when scheduling appointments and tasks.
  • Schedule family time throughout the week and treat it like the very important appointment that it is.
  • Turn off your computer when it is not in use. This will allow you freedom from the temptation to glance at your email or instant messages.
  • Treat your days off as if they were actually days off. Work has nothing to do with your weekend.

You are probably thinking that balance is a subject much easier to talk about than to achieve, and you would be correct in thinking that. However, it is not as hard as you suspect. Determining the necessary actions to increase well-being is the only challenge. Sometimes you might just be too busy trying to accomplish all the tasks you have written on your lists that you fail to give proper attention to the process of creating balance. If you give more time during your review and evaluation practice to creating balance, you will find a new serenity within yourself. Both your work life and your personal life will benefit greatly. The cool thing about it all is, stuff will become easier to do and deal with. What is important is to identify the changes that will successfully create this balance in your life.

So ask yourself, “What do I need to do to maintain balance?”

 


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Joshua Riddle from www.JoshRiddle.com and www.NorcalTechSolutions.com is a freelance web developer and contributing author. His writing specializes in time management, productivity strategies, technology based tutorials, and work-flow. His development specialties are Web 2.0 style interactive PHP / MySQL database applications.
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Discussion

  1. Thera on the 13th December

    You can add to the list “when you can’t remember when was the last time [or if you did at all] this week that you actually went home instead of sleeping at the office”.

    Also, “Remember that there are just 24 hours in a day when planning activities” is not compltely true: you need to deduce sleep time from those 24 hours, so it’s actually even shorter (unless you include sleep in “activities”)

  2. TrafficColeman on the 13th December

    Its about focusing on the things that are productive and will give you the edge over other, and sometime it takes working when your on a down time.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  3. Matt Clark on the 13th December

    The illusive life balance… great tips. I would add that also remembering that it is not always balanced. Sometimes things go off track, big project, deadlines etc. remember this and be sure to swing the other way when things slow down.

    If you know you will have to work solid for the next 7 days then be sure to plan something away from work when you have completed the project.

    This will help you resit the temptation of beating yourself up when you are working some much. I also find that I sometimes complete things sooner because my plan of getting away is enticing enough to stay focused and get things done!

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Eli on the 13th December

    This sounds very easy. So easy you could wonder why not more people are just doing it. :-)
    What I’ve experienced is that some people keep doing it even if they know it is wrong. If they are not addicted to work it could be fear of loosing the job, that makes them not put the family first. At least that is one of the psychological mechanisms behind it.

    • Joshua Riddle on the 14th December

      Eli, that is the best part. It is easy..well at least it is simple. Sometimes we are just so used to doing things a certain way. Also, I agree with what you said about being fear driven. A lot of people wonder what would happen if they didn’t put in those 10-12 hour work days.I suggest talking to your supervisor and knowing exactly where you stand and whats expected of you. You may even be surprised that you are overworking yourself with no real purpose.

  5. Daquan Wright on the 13th December

    This article is quite nice, a lot of people forget that their work goes down the drain if they get sick and can no longer work effectively. Health before everything else in my opinion, life itself is a representation of balance. Even if your life isn’t balanced, best try to achieve it before things go down a bad path.

  6. Bryce Christiansen on the 14th December

    Excellent post. I write on work life balance very often and it is great to find quality work like this.

    Hitting on a thought you point out, I think a great exercise to go through is to force yourself off all the electronic devices for an evening. You’ll be amazed at just how much time you suddenly have received.

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