How to find a life balance in conditions of total uncertainty?
The latest technological development, changing rules and working conditions as well as the culture of achievement are constantly motivating us to reach better results. This reality requires from us the ability to organize our personal and working space in such a manner that there would be no predomination of our own interests over the professional ones and vice versa. That is why the skill of creating and maintaining balance becomes so important and necessary now.
Western companies are paying more and more attention to the issue of work & life balance. In turn, Ukrainian companies are gradually coming to this idea. The work & life balance is the ratio of the time you spend at work to the amount of time you spend with your family and doing things you enjoy. This division could be a source of energy that helps the personal and professional aspects of life to support each other.
The concept of balance includes the following levels: physical (diet, sports), mental (rest, interaction with other people), intellectual (reading, learning, courses), spiritual (meditation, prayer, spiritual guidance), personal life with self-awareness and self-identity (who am I?). This is the art of constantly “walking the tightrope“: from the center (from yourself) to the center (to yourself).
So, the balance between life and work is not static, but a constant movement towards your goals. A conscious view of oneself from the introspection helps us to work out the areas of influence that, often due to lack of time, may remain out of our focus. Tools such as Spiral dynamics by Graves, the wheel of life balance, and the Dilts pyramid of logical levels could be at good use. So, let’s have a brief look at them:
It is one of the best models that sets priorities in the company. It has become a handy tool to help in solving problems related to management and learning. A person in all his daily decisions is guided by deep images of thinking (also called memes). There are eight memes: beige (survival, instincts), purple (mystical and ethnic beliefs), red (power, rebellion, selfishness), blue (legality, honor, charity), orange (ambition, change, competition), green (relationship, tolerance, openness), yellow (adaptability, self-organization, freedom), turquoise (globality, dynamic development, order), etc. Memes form our main life priorities and influence our behavior. It is from behavior that we can determine which meme is currently driving a person. As soon as you begin to understand what level you and what other people are at, you will see who is holding you back with their thinking and who is pushing you up, creating growth, and sooner or later leading to a crisis.
Wheel of life balance
This is the most effective coaching exercise that allows you to analyze all areas of your life. Take a sheet of white paper and draw a dot in the middle, then draw 8 rays from it to form 8 equal sectors: health, finance, career, personal growth, spiritual development, environment, relationships, travel, and hobbies, etc. The point in the center will be the starting point, the beginning which marks the 0 points. The last division is the maximum (10 points). Listen to yourself. At which point do you feel yourself? What is your level of satisfaction? Make a mark in each sector. After shading certain areas, pay attention to those areas that need refinement to get a harmonious circle as a result. Then for each area, you prescribe goals and objectives. The exercise allows you to better understand yourself and your desires, as well as create conditions for balancing at all levels.
This is a universal tool used to analyze the situation in which we find ourselves and to develop a strategy of changes that would allow us to transform and reach a qualitatively new level. Dilts pyramid has six logical levels: the first is the environment, the second is the behavior, the third includes capabilities, skills, abilities, the fourth are values, beliefs, the fifth is the identity, the last level is the mission. For example, if we ask ourselves “Why do we have what we have?“, Then the answer should be sought at a higher level, “What do we do?“. If we are not satisfied with what we do, then we have to look for an answer to the level of behavior: “And how do we do it? If we are not satisfied with our abilities, skills, and capabilities, then we look for a solution at the level of values and beliefs: “Why do we do this?“. If we are not satisfied with our values and beliefs (why do we do this?) – the answer is at the level of identity: “Who am I? What is my “I-image“? What are my functions and roles?” If we are not satisfied with our social roles, then we turn to the highest level (mission level): “Why am I doing all this? What does all this matter?” This is the spiritual level, which provides the transition of the individual to a connection with larger systems: family, profession, society, planet, universe. Therefore, to analyze any life situation, you should rise to a higher level, because the essence is outside the existing system.
Once you have looked at yourself from the side and set up the goals, we suggest you try effective tips that will help organize your living space so that it is comfortable to live, work and develop. Some of them are listed below.
Priorities. Try to make a list of tasks that include not only work and study but also other life activities: training, family events, meetings with friends, walks, and hobbies. Life after work should be the same goal as closing another project.
Breaks. Set aside at least one day when you do not look through the mail or deal with your work tasks, as well as evenings when you are not available to colleagues. Do not spend all your time being busy.
Follow the schedule. Keep track of how many hours you spend at work (per week or a month, not per day). The time you spend anxiously or thinking about work-life balance can be counted as working time.
Delegate. Do only the most important. Delegate, simplify, or remove the rest of the issues from the organizer.
Concentrate. Practice full immersion in each task. If the complexity of the task greatly exceeds your skills – this is an area of stress. If you can do much more than you need to do, this is an area of boredom. Balancing between stress and boredom, you can fully immerse yourself in work and not to be distracted by irritants.
Set bounds and rules. Establish your own rules for employers after the end of the working day and get on with it. Tell your colleagues that you do not read the working chats in the evenings and check your e-mail box after arriving at work at 09:00 am.
Time for yourself. There is a time and place for everything. So do your hobbies at home. This is something that will reload you and give you the new strength. It is also very important to “bring home to work”. This will significantly improve your affairs and improve your well-being.
Role balance. Throughout our lives, we play different social roles: subordinate/leader, woman/human, mother/father, passionate dancer / energetic football player, etc. However, if a person plays less than eight social roles then his/her life is in greater focus.
Vision. Have a clear idea about your life as a whole and what you want from it. Find what you really like and what ignites you, then set a goal in this direction. Thus, work will become a hobby and you will not have to work a single day in your life!
Silence. “Digital detox” is not only a modern trend but also a necessity. By turning off the phone and the Internet, you calm down, switch to a life outside the whirlpool of information, and can focus on yourself. Also, try the practices of conscious meditation. This will make your mind quiet and thoughts calm.
Anti-stress. Stress at work and beyond affects mental health. Reduce stress levels with some workout, relaxation, positive rituals – exercises for body and soul.
Remember, a person needs a challenge that creates a number of new priorities, goals, and desires. So, we wish you to move forward in their direction while balancing your life.
Source: The Odessa Journal