It’s simply not realistic for most of us to experience this – nor would we want to – it would surely mean that there wouldn’t be a lot of variety or flexibility in our work or our personal lives.
Is work-life balance a gender issue?
Indeed, work-life balance IS a gender issue – far fewer men than women are reported to have concerns about work life balance (although this does appear to be slowly shifting)
So what do we mean when we say we want more “work-life balance”?
- Being able to leave work at work – eg not being expected to answer emails over the weekend and being able to mentally switch off from work
- Having time to do the things that keep us well – eg sleep, exercise, hobbies, social connection etc
- Having flexibility and autonomy over our time
- Doing work that has meaning and purpose (even if it doesn’t feel like our own personal purpose)
This wasn’t something that I had a lot of control over and it was seen and accepted as part of the job. There are lots of other examples of this inbuilt lack of work-life balance across all sectors, not just in medicine.
But some parts of work-life balance ARE in our personal control
My 1-1 work in relation to this supports the development of boundaries and building self belief, so that my clients feel supported to put actually put this into practice and create a work life balance that works for them.
I’ve seen some people refer instead to “work life harmony”, “work- life integration” and “work-life fit” – maybe you could choose to use one of these terms if this suits you better?
CURATING YOUR PERSONAL WORK-LIFE BALANCE
1. What number would you give your current work life balance on a scale of 0-10 (0 being awful, 10 being amazing)?
2. What does your ideal 10/10 work-life balance look like?
- What would be your working hours?
- Where would you work?
- What flexibility would you have?
- Would you have a lunch break? What would you do on this break?
- Where would you find connection with others?
- How would you manage your e-mail etc in the evenings?
3. What changes could you make to take your current work life balance score up 1-2 points (eg if it is a 5/10, what would make it a 7/10
4. What would you like to change first?
- What do you need to put in place to make this happen?
- What conversations do you need to have?
- What support do you need to do this?
5. What else is important here, if anything?
Even the act of getting clear about where we are and what we personally need can be so powerful. And for lots of us, it isn’t always about making big career changes (unless that’s what you want) but is instead more about making smaller intentional changes, step by step.
I’d love to hear what came up for you in relation to this. If you have any questions at all about work-life balance, then feel free to contact me here