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5 Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Work-Life Balance

November 20, 2017

Throughout this month on The Hub we have been exploring the concept of work-life balance in terms of defining the complexity of it, as well as examining the importance of it in the modern professional world. However, as we’ve come across in these pieces, the concept is a very personal one and will change depending on the professional in question. So now the time comes to consider your own work-life balance.

Predictably with such a controversial subject, understanding it in your own life is not easy. It requires some self-reflection and consideration of whether the reality of your work life may differ from how you’ve been perceiving it to be. As a way of opening up your own understanding of your work-life balance, ask yourself these questions:

What does a typical work day look like?

As stated above, assessing your own work-life balance require a little more reflection into your daily life than you’re likely used to. Being able to critically examine how you spend your day, both at work and outside the office will help make it clearer how that all-important balance can be achieved. What does a typical day look like for you? What is your schedule like? What takes priority? How often do you have to make changes on the go? Get a sense of your daily routine as you consider the rest of these questions.

How often does work conflict with other aspects of your life?

Despite the importance you put on work-life balance, most people who have worked even a single day of their life knows that sometimes your work will conflict with the rest of your life. That is just a reality of employment that we all need to come to terms with. Work-life balance doesn’t mean that you are riding yourself of that conflict, but rather that you are managing more efficiently. So while you will occasionally miss dinner with the family because of a meeting or will have to put in some extra hours over the weekend, consider how often these conflicts occur. Is it an expected thing, or a rare occurrence? Do you find your work endlessly encroaching on your home life?

Do you find yourself lacking in time?

Time management is something that a lot of people have trouble with and as a result, you can feel as though you are constantly being run off your feet. Some professionals always seem to be looking for some extra time in the day to deal with their busy schedule. However, is this just a typical day or is it an unreasonable workload? Whether it’s at work or with your life outside the office, a lack of available time in the day could be an indication of a poor balance between your tasks at hand. Even if it’s just robbing you of time to unwind at the end of the day, that missing quality in your life is important and could make a significant impact on your overall health.

Is there anything unnecessarily taking up your time?

Sometimes the fact that you don’t have any available time in the day means that you are taking on far too much. You might step back and examine your schedule then think that there’s just no room among your many duties. However, it could be a simple matter of acknowledging that not everything is a priority. How often are you dealing with work tasks when you’re at home? Are you constantly checking in on emails over the weekend and trying to get a head start on the coming week’s work? Maybe other things are keeping your schedule busy once you leave work behind for the day, making it seem like you are always in work mode. Looking for ways to make your schedule more manageable may be the answer to finding that balance.

How realistic are your expectations?

Finally, you have to take a step back from it all and your dream concept of work-life balance and consider the reality of the situation. As we’ve explored in some of the other articles on the subject, there are some erroneous perceptions of work-life balance which suggests work and the rest of your life should be given equal share. This is wrong for a number of reasons and, as previously stated, there is no one-size-fits-all equation to go by. So instead you must consider your situation, consider the balance you are striving for and ask yourself if it is realistic. Is there conflict in your life as a result of your work schedule? Are you missing time in your day due to your routine? Or is finding harmony between the aspects of your life a relatively easy accomplishment?

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