Why is it that so many people in their thirties and forties are so stretched to the limit that their bodies and minds are stretched close to breaking point?
A truly healthy work life balance isn’t just an allocation of time. A healthy work life balance also involves an allocation of your energy to devote to your work and to other interests outside of work. With the developments of laptops, Blackberrys and Iphones technology has given us additional options to be able to do a bit of work while enjoying time with your family or while on vacation.
Unfortunately technology has made us less physically active and as a result, has weakened our capacity to produce our own energy. To make up for our technologically driven physical deficiencies, it is important to spend some of the time saved by technology exercising to boost your physical capacity to produce enough energy to sustain you…
Additional ways to save time can be found with the expansion of the Internet. It is now possible to save a lot of commuting time and provide additional flexibility in your lives by being able to complete a lot of work from home. Not only should couples with young families be using such advantages of technology to improve your work life balance but also you can amplify the benefits by outsourcing your life.
What do I mean by outsourcing your life?
I mean that you start paying others to do the jobs that you don’t like as much so that you can spend more time with your partner and family doing things that you enjoy. This frees up your time for your personal and family life. Start paying your own kids or a local kid in your neighbourhood to mow your lawns and weed your garden. There will always be some teenagers who wish to earn some extra money by house cleaning, washing and ironing clothes and baby-sitting.
Many of you will say, “I don’t have the money to hire these people.”
If you don’t currently have the money, create the money. Spend a few hours a week on a part-time home-based business opportunity. There are numerous opportunities where you can earn an extra few hundred dollars a month to supplement your income from home. It doesn’t take much outsourcing to make a big difference to your work life balance. You could even suggest a baby-sitting or housekeeping voucher for your birthdays or Christmas.
For all you Generation Yers out there, you can avoid a lot of the current work life balance challenges. I recommend that you adopt a different approach to work life balance: work your butts off now and balance your life later.
Why do I say this?
In your twenties, outside of your work, your life is generally parties, bars, hanging-out with friends doing not much, and boyfriends and girlfriends. Compared this to the life of a parent in their thirties and forties that involves pick ups and drop offs from school, children’s doctors appointments, caring and raising children, soccer practice, ballet recitals and nurturing a relationship with a spouse and/or shipping the children back and forth between separated parents.
It doesn’t take a Rhodes scholar to work out that the life of someone in their twenties is a lot simpler, less demanding and requires a lot less time to maintain. So, in your twenties, when your life can take a back seat to work, I say work your tails off right now.
The time to get ahead is now, and you shouldn’t make any apologies for doing whatever you can do to make it happen. Whether that means starting a blog or a web-based business, side stepping the typical corporate ladder by job hopping, or starting your own company or becoming an investor, now’s the time to do it.
Get yourself into a position where you can afford to begin cutting back on your work time commitments as your life away from work grows.
Several years back, upon the birth of our second child I made the decision to stop working six days a week and to reduce my work to four days a week. A colleague asked me, “Won’t that cost your business a lot of money.”
I replied, “We’ve done the figures and worked out that it resulted in a 20% reduction in my business profit. And is that a price I am prepared to pay for my family to know me in the future?
And now that I have three children aged 4, 9 and 6, and looking at the relationships that I have with them, was it still worth it?
Again the answer is …absolutely.