Finding the work balance

We’re all in a credit crunch so are bound to face hardships, so it’s even more important now to have strategies in place so that we’re less stressed.

When I was younger and in full time work, looking back I am convinced I got my priorities wrong.  It’s important to keep down a job, budget and pay the bills, but a lot of my time was spent making other people happy, having to conform to what society expected me to do.

I was keen to do well, but was also expected to work overtime, for which I didn’t get paid. I was also expected to come in early if the work warranted and was expected to help out where other people needed me to. My time was someone else’s time, never my own. My employers never looked after me and I was too naïve to think about doing anything about it.

Of course I see things differently now. We should all see things differently. We need to assess our time so we know how busy we’re willing to be. We have to work, there is no question about that, some of us have little to no choice but to put in the hours, but should we work the hours we’re asked to work?

Some of us will have a choice whether we choose to work the hours we do, for those of us who don’t have a choice; it’s important to try to find some ‘me’ time somewhere in our day. We really need to assess our priorities and make our priorities work for us.

Some people are fortunate enough to work in flexible jobs. Others, job share so that they can cut down their hours to spend more time with their families. The economy doesn’t help, we’ve all been bitten in one-way or another, but perhaps that’s even more reason for us to fit ‘me’ time in.

It’s also important to make sure that our goals tie in with our values in life. If our priorities are family, sacrificing family time to reach our work goal may cause more stress. Be sure to leave time for both, so that work and family life is not compromised.


13 Apr, 2011

6 thoughts on “Finding the work balance

  1. I agree it so hard to achieve the work/life balance you talk about.

    Employers have expectations and in the global recession employees future jobs are far from safe and that can mean having to put in the hours at work to ‘look good’.

    I was once criticised by an employer for working the hours I was contracted to work. He agreed that the work was being done on time and in budget but even that wasn’t enough.

    I was fortunate enough to start working for myself shortly after and now to some extent I can aim to achieve a better balance, but clients now have the expectations that my previous employer had!

    1. You’re now coming to face with those kind of people I once worked with!

      The hard part is achieving a balance so that employers are happy with the hours we work. I would think some of those people at the top are now having problems staying at the top, given the recession, but in my day they went home early and left people like me at work to carry the can.

      I think employees are now expected to work even longer hours, but we need to be both, spending time at home with family or having some ‘me’ time and being happy at work. There has to be a balance.

  2. I had the same experience just out of college and in my first job in my chosen profession.

    I was a yes person I never said no to the boss. I was working 10 hours days on two different jobs, six days a week ( 1 full time and 1 part time).

    I eventually burned myself out after two and a half years. Then I charted my own course, for the next 20 years being self employed.

    I had more control over my day and was happier even though I was making less money.

    1. Randy it sounds as though you definitely made the right decision to get out when you did. It’s a shame that you had to run through hoops first before you got out.

      I believe employers should be addressing these kind of problems in work for people, because although you got out, I believe it still goes on, more so now because we’re in a credit crunch.

      It takes becoming self-employed to see where others go wrong and how you would change things if you had staff to employ.

  3. In my job I’m expected to be there unless I’m dying, but I enjoy my work.

    There have been a few jobs that I couldn’t stand and one actually made me sick, so I had to get a job somewhere else. Right now my daughter, her boyfriend and baby and my husband are at home. We don’t have a lot of family time, but no one is complaining and when it’s just my husband and I we seem to find time for each other even though we work all the time.

    Especially my husband. He works 7 days a week most of the time. I’m hoping soon I can work on a as needed basis and not all the time.

    1. I know with nursing Lisa, work hours are completely different and that you probably have to work more contractual hours than say someone who works in an office job, but I think it’s still important as you will probably think to, to reach a balance as far as family life is concerned.

      It is lovely that your family live under one roof but sad that you all still have no quality time together. I know that financially people generally aren’t always in a position to cut down their hours, so money is obviously a deciding factor, but none of us will ever have this family time again if we don’t have it now. It’s important to get it right, regardless of what we do for a job.

      Sometimes importance is placed more on our jobs more than our family and perhaps that needs to be reversed somehow. In some cases and not in all, some people use their job as a tool to stay out of family life. In my opinion family need to be the backbone for every relationship but sometimes they just aren’t and should be.

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