Navigating Life and Work
5 Ideas for Balancing the Seesaw
Did you ever play on a seesaw as a child? There was the up and the down. There was trying to create movement so you and your partner could balance. If one side was too heavy, a partner had to move to shift the extra weight.
Maybe life is like a seesaw?
In today’s busy world, many of us struggle with negotiating balance. It can be a challenge to find that right blend of energy and time between our personal lives and our professional work. We’re all unique. Balance has different meanings and impact for each of us.
Only you know when your personal life and work life are balanced.
Here are a few ideas for balancing the seesaw of life:
1. Take an inventory of your patterns.
Create a simple activity log of how you use your time at work and home. Write in your activities for a few days. Notice patterns, sources of conflict between work and personal/family time. What are the must-do’s? Where can you become more efficient in what you are doing?
You can access an activity log template on my website under the Helpful Tools menu on our Blog page.
2. Honor the role of your work and the role of your personal life.
Strive to show up for both. Recognize the significance of work in your personal life. It pays the bills, supports you and your family, funds retirement, underwrites vacations, etc. Consider practicing an intentional focus on being present when you are at work and being present when you are at home.
3. Pay attention to what you know is right for you.
You know yourself better than anyone else. Pay attention to the messages your mind, body, and spirit are offering to you. Pause, get quiet, breathe, become more mindful. What felt right a few years ago may not feel right today. Desires and goals change in our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Tune in to who you are today, and what you know. Learn to say no when you need to.
4. Take action on what’s important to you.
Create a goal to take steps toward achieving greater balance in your life. Be specific, realistic, and visualize what success will look and feel like. How will you know when you have achieved your goal? How will you get there? Then take the first step.
5. Clarify and use your strengths.
One way to target better life-work balance is to identify, utilize, and build on your top character strengths. Knowing your top strengths can offer more insight into yourself and the opportunity to function more effectively.
Here’s an idea to get more information on engaging with your strengths…
When I work with my clients for life and work coaching, I generally recommend that they take the VIA survey on character strengths. It’s a free, scientific survey available online.The VIA is a useful way to get some information on your top character strengths.
If you are interested taking the VIA, follow this link –> www.viacharacter.com.
What’s your right blend of energy and time between personal life and professional work?
- Berns-Zare, I. (2016). How Are Your 168 Hours Working For You?
- Tips & Blog – IBZ Life and Work Coaching
- Daily Activity Log for Life-Work Balance
- Values in Action Inventory of Strengths https://www.
- Seligman, M.E.P. (2011). Flourish. Atria Paperback.
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