Finding Your Balance Point

No one ever lamented on his deathbed that he wished he’d spent more time at the office.

Last week I wrote about ways to tell when your Career-Life scales are out of balance. Now, I’ll show you what you can do about it. Finding balance between your personal and professional lives is one of the best ways to alleviate the stress, guilt, and burnout that comes with a high-powered career and a crazy schedule.

Finding career life balance would be easy if our careers were as understanding and forgiving as our families. But in many cases, if you can’t finish your work in a 40- 50-hour work week, and you don’t put in the extra time to get the job done, you’ll be fired—whereas your family is (probably) not going to fire you for leaving dirty dishes in the sink, or working too late to read a bedtime story.  The unbending demands of work often push the more flexible family time aside, resulting in those unbalanced scales, and a lot of stress.

There are a lot of very successful people who manage to do their entire job in the span of a normal day, and get home in time for the family dinner. This isn’t because they’re superhuman; it’s because they plan carefully, schedule intelligently, and roll with the punches.  They know what their strengths and weaknesses are, and they know what they can and cannot control. Most importantly, they utilize good time management skills.

If you want to become the type of person described above, you need to ask yourself some hard questions, and answer them honestly.

  • What would happen if you performed only the action steps required to complete your tasks?
  • What choices are you making with your time and your controllable decisions?
  • Are your choices in harmony with your core values—like family, personal development, and your long-term career path—or are they simply made in reaction to day-to-day situations?
  • What uncontrollable factors are you allowing to create stress and extra work?
  • What can you stop doing (or start doing) that will allow you to complete your tasks in less time?
  • What are your biggest time killers? How can you reduce or eliminate them?
  • How will shifting your priorities and/or routines affect your work life?
  • How is your attitude about your career life balance affecting that balance?

Use these questions, and your answers, to develop a clearer picture of how you control your tasks, your time, and your world. Like the successful people mentioned above, you can begin to make decisions that support a healthier career life balance. Take small steps to start, and stick with your changes until they become habit.

If you need some more hints on how to discover your own unique career life balance, give me a call! I offer a complementary coaching session for all new clients. What have you got to lose?

As a certified professional coach, radio show host and workshop leader, Dawn helps sales, marketing, advertising and creative entrepreneurs to accelerate their career so they’ll love their life!

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