As I write this post, I’m recovering from jet lag AND daylight savings. I got hit with this double whammy because I spent most of the week out in L.A. for my company’s Diversity Summit. The event was actually really wonderful. I work for a pretty conservative company, but I have to admit that I’ve never been more proud of it than I was this week. It was awesome to see my company prove its dedication to diversity and inclusion by recognizing so many awesome individuals. Our teams were recognized for everything from recruitment events for under-served communities to providing education and support services for transgender individuals and their families. So the severe exhaustion is worth it this time.
One of the sessions that I got to attend at the summit was about “Women in Leadership.” A large portion of the session was devoted to finding some semblance of work/life balance. Now, before I jump into a discussion of balance, I want to get on my soapbox for a minute…….
Why is it that career discussions targeted to women are the only times that I ever hear about “work/life balance?” This actually really bugs me because the unspoken assumption seems to be that things like family and home are “women’s work.” Why don’t we help everyone find work/life balance? I’m sure most men would welcome permission to spend more time with their kids, and I’d bet money that having an equal partner at home would really help women find this elusive “balance” much more easily.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, we can move on. One thing that I really enjoyed about this activity is that it didn’t simply separate things into “work” and “life.” Instead, it took a much more holistic approach and really focused on the many areas that add up to a fulfilling life: career, money, health, social life, family, personal growth (to include spirituality), and fun. We rated each category from 1-10 to see where we felt things stand today. This makes it very clear where your life may be out of balance.
I find that whenever I’m not living up to my own standards in a given area, it’s because I feel like I don’t have enough time. In reality, it is more like this (just replace “internet” with “Orange is the New Black marathon”):
The truth is, I don’t have it all figured out. I find that I particularly struggle in the “health” category because I routinely ignore my own good advice. It’s also OK if everything isn’t always working out like you’ve planned. Sometimes certain areas just have to take priority over others. The point is to just be aware of how you’re spending your time so that you can create your own version of success.
What tips do you have for maintaining balance?