Unemployment is high and companies are struggling to survive in what could be the toughest market we have seen in our lifetime … certainly in my twelve years of running this company. One inevitable side-effect of this situation is that balance is tougher to find and stress levels are higher.
– People are concerned for their job security.
– Your boss is asking you to work harder.
– Friends and family are also stressed.
– At work AND at home tempers are shorter … it is hard to find respite.
What can you do?
I firmly believe that attitude is always critical, but especially when times are tough … SMILE! It costs you nothing … it makes you feel better and it makes those around you feel better too! BE NICE TO EVERYONE! You would feel better if people were nicer to you … so set the example!
The traditional debate about balance surrounds the amount of time and effort we put into work versus the time and effort we put into our activities outside of work. We are all different, we have different jobs, different levels of commitment to those jobs and there are different expectations of us. The bottom line is that in order to be successful at work we need to meet, and exceed expectations. The best way to achieve that is to follow this advice … when at work, WORK! If you are totally focused, as productive as you can be and bringing value to your employer then you are doing everything you can. If you waste time, don’t do the things your employer wants or are just a mediocre performer … then you need to work on that! Meeting your employer’s expectations is the minimum required to achieve the peace of mind you seek if you want life balance! (Never mind your own pride!) In this economy you cannot afford to be complacent … your job or even your company’s survival might depend on it!
If you are doing everything you can at work then you need to ENJOY your time away from work. Don’t just drift through those personal hours, make choices … and yes it is perfectly fine to make a choice to lie on the couch and relax, as long as that is not your primary non-work activity. You need to make conscious decisions and not just fall into a bland routine of “same old, same old” … because TRULY enjoying your personal time can best be achieved with the same kind of commitment that we apply to our work lives. We can all find time for family, hobbies, charitable work, health and fitness activities … and the pleasure from those activities will recharge your batteries, give you a sense of satisfaction and bring more meaning to your life.
How much time you give to work versus home life is a personal choice … you need to find a balance that works for you. There are times when work will be more demanding and times when home needs more from you … only you will know if you are achieving the right balance! Achieving that balance will go a long way to reducing those stress levels.