By Ken Milling, ID Executive Coach
The reality of everyday life often conflicts with the ideals of the work/life balance that we aspire to, and those ideals can become just another burden, especially if we develop feelings of guilt because we feel that we are falling short.
When we feel out of balance in an area of our lives it can create degrees of internal conflict that can consume valuable energy. Also, when we find that our energy levels are consistently low and we have eliminated the possibility of medical problems, the low energy levels can be a clear indicator that an aspect of life is out of balance.
In achieving a work/life balance there is no ready-made formula, because there can be meaningful balance only when it meets one’s individual needs. For example, one might feel guilty about working the proscribed 40-hour week when colleagues regularly work a 60-hour week, but if the 60-hour-a-weekers are ‘footloose and fancy-free’ and you are a single parent with family commitments and a household to manage, you probably have the work balance just right.
We all face time constraints but what is important is what we do with our time in correlation to our priorities. Therefore, if we wish to achieve a satisfying work/life balance, it is important to be clear about what we value in life.
In his book Mind Mapping, Tony Buzan, advocates the use of visual maps that utilise colour and shapes, because these can precipitate the creative process by stimulating the right hemisphere of the brain and this in turn can manifest lateral solutions to the problem of creating a work/life balance.
Having a visual map that represents all areas of life can help in terms of viewing the ‘big picture’ of life. It can be very easy to construct goals and objectives that might clash with current commitments, making goals and objectives unattainable. If you are currently working with an Integral Development executive coach, the coach can help you to evaluate your current values and priorities, and to explore your innovations in creating a work/life balance.