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3 Steps to Creating Work-Life Harmony

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

"Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls - family, health, friends, integrity - are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered."


-Gary Keller

CREATE BOUNDARIES AND HOLD THEM


One of the easiest, but hardest things is to create boundaries. If you're anything like me, saying no, meaning no and maintaining your no, can be difficult. When creating boundaries at work, this can look like your non-negiotiable. For instances, if you get off at 5pm make sure that you truly are clocking out and disconnecting from work at this time, because this will be vital. For me, it has been so easy to try to finish that last minute note, reaching out to that last person that slipped through the cracks that I was really meaning to talk to. In allowing those last minute things to cause you to clock out even 5 minutes later leads to a slippery slop that is hard to return from. Unfortunately, five minutes one week can turn into 15 minutes later on and yet and still 1 hour a month later. Setting boundaries means being kind to your future self and this could mean starting your to-do list for the following day that puts in the last minute things you missed from today at the top of the list tomorrow. This can also look like creating a schedule that the first hour and last hour of your day is designated with "tidying up" your day.


KNOW YOUR VALUES


Really knowing what your values in life are will help you to set boundaries. For instance, I refuse to work on Sundays because I know this is the day I enjoy spending time with my family. Whether it is cooking breakfast or decompressing together before starting a new week, I place value on this day and maintain it. Family time is something that I value and will not budge on.


Another example of how values influence work-life harmony, is that if you value offering great work than this can also translate into valuing self-care. And, yes, I know this sounds like an oxymoron but it really isn't. If you are so tired from pulling an all nighter the day before to finish up a report, how involved and productive are you at work the following day? Speaking from my own experience, when I start to stretch myself too thin at work I can find myself being burned out and resentful, and no where near my most efficient self. When you allow yourself time to eat healthy, meditate, exercise, go on vacation, read a good book, and the list of examples can go on and on, you are able to recharge your metaphorical battery.


BEING OKAY WITH HARMONY AND NOT BALANCE


So this one might seem a little odd. But I think many of us have been taught that you seek work-life balance. But, it took me speaking with my clinical supervisor to realize that life does not work in terms of balance. What I mean by this is that balance means everything is created equal, but I would argue that there is a season for when this balance shifts. At one point in my life work was more of a priority than family, not to say family did not matter it was just that my day-to-day functioning allowed for more time to be spent working. I think of those that are single without children who are focused on establishing their careers...family might not be at the top of the list. Creating a priority list for yourself to determine what harmony looks like for you will help to avoid this misconception of balance and foster a more realistic goal of harmony.


THE MAIN TAKE AWAY


Self-care is not selfish and learning how to create harmony in one's life is one of the greatest forms of self-care. Being kind to your whole self and not just one element of who you are is critical to being your most successful self.





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