According to various sources, the majority of people would like better work life balance. However, have you ever taken the time to clearly describe what that would mean for you? What would be your ideal balanced day?
It was Nigel Marsh, the Regional Group CEO of Young and Rubicam Brands for Australia & New Zealand, who got me thinking about the idea of an ideal balanced day. In his TEDx video he discusses work-life balance and describes his ideal balanced day.[quote]Take control and responsibility for the type of lives we want to live."[/quote]
Nigel says that governments and corporations aren't going to solve the issue of work-life balance for us. It is up to us as individuals to "take control and responsibility for the type of lives we want to live." It is often easy to complain and blame or believe there is nothing you can do. However, you may want to consider if you are 'complaining' to the right person? In other words, can the people who you're talking to about work-life balance actually make a difference or are they just your sounding board? And if you did find yourself having this conversation with the right person, what would you actually say to them?
It may be time for you to start, in Nigel's words, "setting and enforcing the boundaries we want in our lives". The question is, how do you do this? It is here that Nigel's suggestion to map out your ideal balanced day comes in handy. Often it is easy to know what we don't want. We don't want to work long hours. We don't want to have to reply to emails on the weekend. We don't want to miss another school concert. We don't want to be overweight any more. Now you need to start thinking clearly about what you do want and how this would look in your ideal balanced day, or perhaps, your ideal balanced week. Write your own script!
I thought I would have a go at writing my ideal balanced day. It was a little daunting, especially considering I am publishing it here for the world to see, but the great thing is that it isn't set in stone. You are flexible to make changes as you go, but if you don't start, then it is unlikely you will make any real changes to your work life balance.
Abbie's Ideal Balanced Day 1.0
- Wake early, around 6am, feeling refreshed and excited to get up.
- Spend up to an hour (before the baby wakes) working on a personal project such as writing, exercise, meditation
- Prepare breakfast and enjoy with a nice cup of coffee or green tea
- Play time with baby
- House tidying and washing while baby asleep (in my ideal day I have a cleaner who does the elbow grease!)
- Lunch with baby & husband before changeover
- Go to office, check emails and working on business marketing & development
- Meeting with client or potential client or associate
- Home from work by 4pm to go for walk with husband and baby along the beach
- Prepare and have dinner as a family
- Play time with baby
- Baby bath and bed
- Relaxing time with glass of wine, reading a book or watching TV
- Continue working on personal project
- My bath time (I try to treat myself to a bath nearly every night) and then bed with a book.
What do you think? What would your ideal balanced day look like? When thinking about this, it was easy to think about what your ideal day would be (generally doing nothing!) but the real question here is about your ideal balanced day, a day in which you fit in most of the regular things that you need and/or love to do to maintain momentum in your life, as well as feeling relaxed and happy. Of course there is always more you could try to fit in, but then your day wouldn't be balanced. You can always take out some things and add in others on those other days, perhaps if you mapped out your ideal balanced week. Why not give it a go yourself. At the very least, it forces you to think about what you are actually doing in your life and how you could better utilise your time which can only be a good thing.[quote]With the smallest investments in the right places, you can dramatically change your life"[/quote]
As Nigel says being more balanced doesn’t mean dramatic upheaval in your life. “With the smallest investments in the right places, you can dramatically change your life” What changes are you going to make?
If you would like to share your balanced day, please feel free to pop into the comments below or send me an email.
What does your ideal balanced day look like?
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