From the desk of Stacy Slawitsky, Founder/CEO
The majority of my career was spent in the finance and accounting world, mainly in the consulting field where I was running around the country, sometimes at amoment’s notice. My life consisted of work, work and more work. My female “role models” were mainly single, overworked and undersexed, had large pieces of jewelry, expensive bags and large Manhattan apartments devoid of love. There is nothing wrong with the way these women lived their lives, but I personally did not want to be like them. And so I used the following tactics to help get my life back into balance.
Balance is personal: Define what it means to you
When we get clear on what balance means to us, the universe tends to cooperate. To me, balance means encompassing the various aspects of who we are and what we love to do. Rarely do we get off our treadmills, take a step back, and think about what we value in our lives. But it turns out that doing so is not that hard. In fact I suggest you try it right now. Out of the categories below, write down the things you love to do. For example, here’s how I would do it for myself:
Now on a scale of 1 to 5 (1=lowest, 5=highest) rate the amount of attention you would ideally give that part of your life vs. what you are giving it now. Is there a difference? What can you do in the next 30 days to narrow that balance gap? Set a REALLY detailed goal on how you are going to become more balanced in one aspect of your life. Setting small achievable goals is the best way to get at your imbalances.
Take a break: Better for your brain, better for balance
A recent study indicates that the brain, like a muscle at the gym, works better when you give it breaks! So take a break during your day and fill it with something that speaks to you. Take a walk, catch a yoga class–you get the picture.
Communicate: Make your needs known
One of the main issues I have heard when speaking with colleagues on this topic is that younger team members are too afraid to ask for balance. You can approach this from two angles:
- As a team leader make it a point to ask your teams what they like to do after work and how you can work together as a team to make that happen.
- As a person just starting out, try to be fearless and know that as long as you earn a certain level of trust, most people don’t care how you get your work done, as long as it gets done.
Get real: Certain jobs are not conducive to work/life balance
As a consultant, I knew that at certain times in the year, my idea of balance would get thrown out the window; serving clients and meeting their deadline took priority over *everything.* That was the reality of the job I had taken. When those circumstances occurred, I tried to relax and remember that this too would pass. Some jobs are more time-intensive than others and you need to sit back and make a mindful choice as to whether that’s the life that you want to lead. No right or wrong here, just stay aligned with what makes you happy, and with your short-term and long-term goals.
I hope some of these tactics work for you. Would love to hear what has worked for you in your career!
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