Work-Life Balance… Is Having It All A Myth?

4 Tips for Creating Better Work-Life Balance

It’s a big scary world out there, and somehow, we’re tasked with managing the many peaks and valleys along our individual journeys. If you’re anything like me, balance is what you’re constantly striving for. It’s like the gold at the end of the rainbow, or finding Big Foot. Sometimes it seems too good to be true, or just not real. But it is. I promise you. It takes some time, some gumption, some patience, and trust.

We’ve all had times in our careers where the scales seem to tip and sometimes break, which is never a good thing. It can cause anxiety, delays in delivering your product, a drop in quality of work, and potential drop in confidence. Plus, you lose that thing called a life. Which, take it from me, is no good. So, how do you find balance? Here are some of the lessons and tips I’ve learned throughout my career which has helped me find my balance, think less about working so hard to find it, and focus on work-life integration:

Organisation is Key

Look, I get it. It’s not always easy to stay organised. I recently had some constructive feedback shared with me that highlighted sometimes when I’m stressed or my plate is too full, I can become slightly ‘crazed’ and disorganised. At first, I had a moment (in my head) not dissimilar to my two-year-old’s tantrums, but then I realised, you know what, they were right. Ask yourself when prepping for your next day at work: Have I written down and actioned my to-do’s? Am I as prepared as I can be for tomorrow? Do I have to follow up with anyone today? Have I laid out my clothes for tomorrow? These are really simple things, that can help you stay organised, save time, and provide you one piece of that oh-so-coveted balance.

Schedule ‘You’ Time & Unplug

Do you take a full hour lunch? Do you ever turn your devices off and focus on ‘the now’? Having some ‘you time’ built into your day can help clear your head, keep you organised (see tip 1), and overall give your brain a rest. It also helps you to focus your time on your family, friends, your special interests outside of work, and can actually HELP you to be creative and apply any of your ‘you time’ thoughts to your job. I actually schedule 15 minutes of ‘Think Time’ each day, where I’m away from my computer and phone and focus on the elements of my day that need the most focus. It allows me to take a step back and re-prioritise my day/to do’s/etc.

Just Breathe (Woosah)

Sometimes things just get so busy you don’t know what to do. Trust me, I’ve been there. Whether strategy and budget planning, a brand new project kicked off, or it’s the end of the year – it can get crazy. Remember, take a breath. Just do one thing at a time. It will all get done. You’re organised, you’ve taken your ‘You Time’ and have a plan of action and are geared for success. Meditation is not for everyone, but breathing is. Just remember to take a step back, think about your priorities, breathe and go. We have such an amazing and close-knit Talent Acquisition team who truly lives by the CA Mission and helps me to get back to my ‘Woosah’ place when its needed.

Forget Being Perfect

No one, I repeat, no one is perfect – so why should you be? Being perfect puts a lot of pressure on yourself, plus can take more time to deliver your work. Are you being efficient when trying to be perfect? Probably not. Are you stressing yourself out, spending more time at work, and less time on you?  Probably. I was recently doing a bit of research for this post and found this quote from a Forbes.com article,  “As you climb the ladder at work and as your family grows, your responsibilities mushroom. Perfectionism becomes out of reach, and if that habit is left unchecked, it can become destructive…”. And do I know that to be true. I wish I could do it all, and all at once. I tried it…it worked for all of 5 minutes, and then I crashed, burned and was completely burnt out. You can be great and you don’t need to be perfect to do so.

Finding your balance isn’t easy. I’ve started to integrate my life with my work in some areas such as sending my son to our Montessori Programme, which I wrote about in an earlier post. No one way is the magic key to solve the ever-so-tricky question of work-life balance, but you can find the key that works best for you and find your happy place.