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We often hear the term "balance" thrown around when discussing work and personal life. However, achieving balance is a subjective concept that varies for each individual. What may work for someone else might not work for you.
Rather than focusing on a general definition of balance, let's delve into what balance means specifically to you.
If the word "balance" doesn't resonate with you, that's okay. The key is understanding what works best for you in terms of your work and life priorities and how you can start to make progress in achieving the mix that works for you, your needs, wants and priorities.
Here at A Better Work, balance is hugely important. One of our key operating principles is ‘Strive to Thrive. Here’s an extract from our guiding principles agreement
We believe there are way more important things than work, but work can help us to feel fulfilled, challenged, motivated, successful, part of something great.
Balance needs to be sought out. It's not always easy. When we can support others to get balance, we do.
We lift each other up - we have respect for each other's work, our deliverables to each other and for time off. We are committed to striving for effective, succinct communication that helps us support each other in our work, life and finding balance.
Finding Your Work-life Balance through Boundaries
Instead of fixating on someone else's definition of balance, let's focus on defining the balance that aligns with your needs, energy and priorities.
This weeks Twork - tweak for better work - Embrace Your Unique Work-Life Rhythm
This week's tweak focuses on discovering your own balance and ideal working schedule. Whether you work more, less, or have irregular hours, it's about defining what works for you. Take the time to sit down and clearly articulate your boundaries, knowing when you're willing to blur the lines or make exceptions. Once you understand what you are working towards, you can chat to your teams to design a work schedule that accommodates your needs. Remember, this is an experiment and can be adjusted as needed. Evaluate how it feels and make tweaks if necessary. Be conscious of what's working and what isn't.
Consider when you perform at your peak.
Are you a morning person or do you thrive in the evenings?
Most productivity teachings will tell you to never start the day and your most productive time of the day on emails, but for me I get my productivity flow later in the morning (and into the evening) so for me starting with email, slack and calls, kicks starts my brain and helps me get focused.
When do you feel most productive, most creative, most energetic?
That helps you to establish a potential work rhythm. When you might need to block out time.
One of our team here at A Better Work is a night owl through and through. She designs her deep focused work into the evening. She sets clear expectations with the team on when she’s available and able to respond to minimise disruption of a highly flexible workplace.
Another team member is an early riser. Getting started before everyone else (mostly) allows him to minimise distractions and notifications due to the early morning, meaning he can get ahead on the days tasks at a time that suits.
By exploring what balance means to each team member and to you, while setting clear expectations, each person can ensure that they thrive and make the most of a highly-flexible workplace. This means that ‘work’ works for them!
Now figure out what are the lifestyle and relationship priorities in your life. Are you committed to having dinner with your family every day? Do you have a caring requirement, maybe you want to spend a little more time with your parents? Or you want to walk the dog, get to a yoga class or visit the gym?
Perhaps you have abundant energy and ambition, allowing you to work long hours without compromising your quality of life or relationships. If that works for you, then that can be your personal balance.
It may seem impossible at first, but defining what you are working towards and why is a huge motivator and creates clear direction making it a lot easier to achieve.
“Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right” - Henry Ford
Maximise the twork - re-evaluate often
Your balance may be right for you now, but habits, life, work, commitments, get in the way. Re-evaluate often. Intentionally examine what’s working, what’s not and what needs to change. Experiment with new ways, new routines to find what works best for you.
As you embark on the journey to discover your personal work-life balance, remember that it's a fluid process. Start by defining what balance means to you and take small, intentional steps to align your work and personal life accordingly.
By designing your ideal balance and making gradual changes, you can create a fulfilling and meaningful routine that ensures you make the most of your time and energy. Together, let's strive to make work better by finding our unique paths to balance and success.
Best of luck with this week's tweak, let’s make work better together
A Better Work
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