My “life” blog articles are often inspired by questions other asked me, and work-life balance is a hot topic
“What do you define as personal and work?”
“How to draw the line between personal life and work?”
“What does work-life balance look like?”
Why do many of us struggle with this?
We are asking these questions because we are already feeling the tension.
Work is still the focal point
Most references on work-life balance dwell on the splitting of time and energy between work and other important aspects of life. There are also many tips online on how to be more efficient on work and life but the orientation is still on work.
Why? Because work has its established ritual and structure.
For many of us, we are defined and recognized by what we do for work. We are also spending too much time on work.
The real goal to balance
Work-life balance isn’t about achieving equal hours and energy at work or drawing the line.
My wake-up call from being a workaholic came when my health took a hit, more than 10 years ago.
I also suffered from guilt of not spending enough time with my loved ones, losing track of my passions and friends. Taking vacation was a luxury because I always had a lot to attend to at work.
For me, the desired final state is happiness and a sense of fulfillment.
Focus on you
I believe the source of our plight is not the hours we spend on work, but the inability to attend to ourselves.
Perhaps we should start asking ourselves these questions:
– What makes us happy?
– What is our passion?
– What do we value in life?
Exclude “work” from your answers.
Rebuilding my personal life
There is no way one can attain work-life balance if the personal life is nonexistent.
These are what I did to rebuild my personal life –
1. Create rituals for the important things in my life.
For example, I commit to keep regular meal times. When my child was growing up, I made it a point to have dinner with her.
2. Do things that make me happy
I create a checklist of things and activities, and working through them makes me happy. They include theatre, arts, traveling, reading, catching up with friends, etc.
3. Habits for my well-being
For me, they include having proper rest, exercising, and occasionally, pampering myself with beauty treatments.
4. Pursuing passion projects
For example, my passion projects include setting up a blog and voluntary work.
Real work-life balance?
Today, even though I still spend many hours on my work, I am happy.
Have I achieve work-life balance?
I am still working on it, not by fussing over the working hours, but by focusing on myself.