Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Balance in life and work

Who are you? How do you see yourself? Is there balance between your work life and home life? Many people identify themselves with their job or job title and not with other achievements or aspects of their lives. We all know people who spend their lives working until that is all they have. Being determined and dedicated at work is good, but not if you sacrifice friends, family, and life out side of work. At the same time there are people out there who work for the paycheque because they need the money to socialise or help their family. Family and friends come first and they are willing to lose jobs so they can socialise. I am not referring to the people who take time off to take care of a sick child or family member, but the ones who just don’t show up for work because they want to hang out with a friend. In both these cases the people are leaning too heavily towards one aspect of their life and are neglecting other aspects. You need to have balance in all aspects of your life to have a full and healthy life.

The people who are workaholics lose out of a lot that life has to offer. They tend to have problems outside of work that will often invade their jobs. It is hard to have a good family life when you are not there. This often results in poor or dysfunctional relationships with partners and children. It is lonely when all you have is work and every one in your life is work related, scrooge comes to mind. People who are like this are often extremely driven and stressed out. This tends to lead to health problems. If all you do is work it is very easy to burn out. You have to have some thing to balance all the work, other wise what is the point to working? What do you do if some thing happens to your job? If your job is the end-all important thing, or how you identify yourself, what happens to you if the job is gone, or the dynamics of your job changes? What do you have to support you then? Most people in this position don’t have any thing else in their lives, and tend to fall into depressions over big changes like this.

On the other hand you have the people who never get any where, always seem to be loosing jobs or staying at low paying positions. Why, because they don’t care about their job, all they care about is having a good time. They seem to have no ambition. This is just as unhealthy as the workaholic. It is hard to keep a job and after a while it becomes hard to get a job. It is hard to have a good life you don’t have money. It is very stressful when you are living from paycheque to paycheque, always struggling to keep up with the expenses of living. The stress can lead to health problems, as can not having the money to eat right, or pay for medical treatment. It is also hard to have healthy relationships when people see you as being not very responsible, never pulling your own weight. If you don’t have a job, how do you live?

Both sets of behaviours have consequences. People need balance between work and home life to keep them selves motivated and recharged. Being at work should be rewarding, and some thing you enjoy doing and so should your home life. So what do you do if you find yourself leaning too heavily towards one aspect of your life and are neglecting other aspects?

Take a look at why this is happening, chances are you are not happy in one aspect of your life and are overcompensating in another area. If all you want to do is hang out with friends and not work then you need find a job that you like and hopefully are good at. See if there is some way you can bring in the aspects you like about being with your friends into your job. It may be as simple as you don’t like what you are doing or the people you are working for or with. Realise that you need to work to pay bills and live so you might as well find a job you like, not just one you do just to survive. You have a better chance of keeping the job, and doing well at it if you like what you are doing and the people you are working with.

If you are finding that all you do is work ask yourself “why are you spending so much time at work?” Are the demands of the job too much and to do the job you have to give every thing else up? Think about what you are missing out on by working all the time. What is important to you, working all the time or seeing your kid take their first step? If the job is to demanding then re-evaluate the job. You may want to get a different job, or find a way to delegate some of the work so you can spend some time having a life. If it is not that the job is to demanding then try and see what is missing in your home life. What else do you do that gives you a feeling of accomplishment, some thing you don’t mind identifying your self with that has nothing to do with your job or title. If it is relationship problems, working to get away from them is not going to make things better. You need to spend some time fixing or changing that part of your life, even if it is not some thing you want to do.

It comes down to this, if you are not happy in one aspect of your life you need to make changes in that area to make it better. Not move away from that aspect and end up having a big imbalance in your life. It is just not healthy. It is better to have a good job and home life that you enjoy then a high paying job and no life or a great social life with no means to support yourself.

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