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Work-life Balance

Work stress

Many of us work with people who make us feel stressed out. Some of these people are the sources of mental strain just by nature of their beings. They are not difficult to recognize: they would often interrupt others, have aggressive body language (wave hands, point fingers or excessively nod their head) and have tense facial expressions. Some of them drive us crazy for other reasons. Maybe it’s their complaining about the job, saying negative things about other co-workers or just being passive aggressive, sitting in their cube and chewing the ice cubes loud – just to annoy you as much as possible.

In other instances, the source of our stress is us not liking what we do. Maybe the job is no longer challenging, maybe we no longer see the meaning in what we do, maybe we no longer feel that we are growing. Look at yourself and see if you posses any of these symptoms of stress.

Stressed Out Because you Don’t Like Your Job? – article

“I don’t like my job!” How often do you say this to yourself? You may dread to go to work every day because you don’t like what you do, or you don’t like your boss or maybe some of your co-workers drive you crazy. Or, maybe you can’t stand wasting time driving in traffic every day. You feel stressed out, anxious, exhausted and irritated. More often than not you bring these feelings home, affecting your relationship with your family. While in a good economy you could take decisive steps to eliminate these obstacles by quickly trying to find another job, it is much more difficult to do in an economic slowdown. The unemployment rate is high, many companies have hiring freezes and many have instituted pay cuts to their existing employees. Other things that may preclude you from being able to quickly get another job is your unique job skills or position, or you may not have enough experience or education on your resume to feel confident that you could get another job. You know that you can’t continue like that, but you feel stuck.

While ultimately you may need to think of finding a different job, there are several adjustments you can make that would help you deal with the situation in the short term. Here is how you can apply the framework of Five Natural Laws of Achievement to help you change your attitude toward your work:

  • Remind yourself that your work is not the only aspect of your life. Think of other pleasant relationships you have – your family and friends. Think of your hobbies and other activities that bring you joy. It could be something as simple as a good book you’ll get to read after you come home, a phone chat with a good friend, or an interesting TV show later in the evening. Or, it could be something like an exciting trip in the near future (make those plans if you don’t have them), or try taking a class at a university extension. It will help you put your job in the right perspective (Law of Perspective).
  • Ask yourself which components of your job you actually do like and try to focus on them. Do you enjoy talking with some of your co-workers? If so, ask them for lunch or coffee. Talk to them and find out what they like about their job and what makes them more optimistic. Do you like communicating with customers or attending certain meetings? Or, maybe you like reading the industry news? Try to spend more time doing those activities (Law of Others).
  • Realize that you actually have a job, especially if it’s a well paying job! Consider how you would feel if you didn’t. Would you be able to meet your current and future financial obligations? If not, would that make you feel even more stressed out? (Law of Perspective)
  • Recognize the fact that your job is part of a larger undertaking of your company and that in whatever small way you are impacting the lives of other people (Law of Perspective)
  • Remember that in getting another (better) job in the future you may need to use referrals. Your boss or some of the co-workers may make your job a drag, but try to remain civil, diplomatic and not burn bridges. (Law of Others)
  • Try to be optimistic: smile more (it has powerful effects on others – even on you), think that there is a better job out there that is well suited and will make you feel more fulfilled (Law of Perspective)
  • Don’t let others have an influence greater than their due! Often we let others without real power influence how we feel about our self and our performance. (Law of Others).

Work-life balance

There are seven areas within which we live our lives (Rainbow Book). They include physical, emotional, mental, relational, spiritual, recreational and professional. Each one must be “fed” in order to achieve the balance in life (to insert a “quiz” rating each area on a 1 – 10 level of fulfillment that automatically totals and tells the person how “balanced” they are).

In balancing recreational, emotional and professional areas, one needs to recognize that your job and career are critical components of who you are. However, they are also a means to support aspects of your life that are just as, if not more, important to you: your personal life, which includes your family, your friends, your community, and your other social activities.

There is nothing wrong with working hard and working long hours when necessary. However, if you find yourself working really long hours for months on end, there must be something wrong. You either don’t know how to effectively manage your time effectively, or something is wrong with your job. A 70-80-hour work week leaves little time for sleep, family, relationships and recreation. Remember, however, that support of your family members is often critical you’re your success.

Here are the steps to achieve the work-life balance:

  1. Determine What Really Matters to You in Life
    Steps to achieving a well-balanced life is to first figure out you want your priorities to be, not what you think they should be. Ask yourself if you could focus only on one thing in life what would that be? Then add a second thing, then third, forth, and so on. Try to come up with five-six priorities, which may look something like this:
    • Religion/spirituality
    • Spouse
    • Children
    • Health
    • Satisfying career
    • Community service
    • Travel
    • Hobbies
    The issue often lies with not knowing what your priorities are. Start by devoting your full attention to one priority at a time. When you are at work, maintain focus on what’s important. However, when you get home you are with your spouse. Focus your attention on them.

  2. Unnecessary Activities
    With a list of what really matters, you may discover that you are devoting too much time to activities that are low on the priority list or not on the list at all. You can adjust your schedule accordingly. For example, you may discover that you are spending too much time watching TV and little with your children. Make the necessary adjustments.

  3. Private Time
    You would think twice about skipping out on work, wouldn’t you? Your private time, however, deserves the same respect. Carve out time that contributes to yourself and your relationships. Guard this personal time and do not let work or other distractions intrude. Do not check emails and cell phone so often. There are few people that are that important. For example if you have a small child, know that if you do not spend time with him or her now, the opportunity may be lost forever. If work consistently interferes with your personal life have a discussion with your boss. Demonstrate to him that you can deliver the same or better results in fewer hours. Your job performance should never be judged in terms of the extra hours you put in. Protect your private time as this leads to greater satisfaction in both work life and personal life. That, in return, will result in greater productivity, and creativity.

  4. Accept Help
    Allow yourself to rely on your partner, family members, or friends for help. This could be anything from helping with a project to running errands and anything that can allows you to spend more time on the most important priorities. Take up offers of babysitting and offer to watch another couple’s kids in return they can watch yours.

  5. Fun and Relaxation
    In order to live a well balanced life you have to plan for fun and relaxation. Remember, you make time for what you want to make time for and that is something important to you. Change your perspective. Do not be dismissive by telling yourself that you do not have time for that. You are in charge of your own schedule.


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