in company benefit programs (parental leave, gym
memberships, or 15-minute chair massages), personal
passions, and using paid time off. By continuously
forgoing your own interests and time for family and
friends, you risk increasing frustration with the balance of your life. Can you find alternative methods
to ‘scratch the itch’ during particularly pressing times?
For instance, could your interest in traveling to the
Greek isles be satisfied in the short term through
online videos or trip research? Those steps also play
nicely with life scheduling.
Company programs that are not used may eventually be lost due to low participation. Don’t see an
activity or program that interests you, but, have other
ideas? Talk to HR or your manager to see if the company would consider your ideas for a program.
Schedule ‘Life’ and Evaluate Your Success
Planning for a week should include scheduled
time with family and friends, and enjoyable downtime activities. We’ve all heard the line pitched at
time management seminars and seen it presented in
‘self-help’ books and magazine articles, but, it is true.
Many life-improvement programs are based on keeping track of objectives and accomplishments, and then
According to www.MindTools.com, a website
devoted to developing ‘essential skills for an excellent
career,’ setting personal goals, identifying the steps or
activities to achieve them, committing them to writing
in your schedule, and evaluating them periodically are
the keys to making them happen. Some spontaneity
can spruce up an otherwise mundane routine, but, in
the long haul, scheduled activities have a much greater
probability of happening than doing everything ‘off the
cuff.’ They also provide something to look forward to
and an extra incentive to manage your time well so
you don't have to cancel.
How much downtime you need to schedule is
a personal matter that depends on a several factors. How much time do you need on a physical
and mental level to unwind so that you’re optimally
productive the next day or during your next work
The type and environment of the downtime
are as important as the amount of time allotted.
Will it involve a computer or not? Inside or outside?
Company or solitude? Cerebral or physical? At the
end of a week, evaluate how you did with the ‘life’
side of your balance sheet, and make adjustments as
Work-life balance is a concern not just for women,
but also for men who are tired of missing out on
the rest of life outside of work. However, because of
historical, traditional, and cultural influences, women
face some unique challenges in the work-life balance
struggle. Recognizing the nature and extent of those
challenges is certainly an important first step. Finding your sweet spots among the potential remedies
follows. And, giving proper value and respect to life beyond work bring more balance and a little more magic
back to life.
Mary Thorson Wright is the Senior Editor of
Mortgage Compliance Magazine. She can
be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.