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SLT072: How Do You Define Work Life Balance?: Vanessa was getting ready to throw away a magazine (because of course, she practices the "one in one out rule") and the headline on the cover was: The Balanced Life! She told me that she paused for a moment and thought, "Do I have balance?

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Vanessa was getting ready to throw away a magazine (because of course, she practices the "one in one out rule") and the headline on the cover was: The Balanced Life! She told me that she paused for a moment and thought, "Do I have balance?" We hear so much about it, but how do we define work life balance?



What does it really mean? Can we really achieve a balanced life? And so we got to talking about balance for a while, and thought we’d explore that a little more…. (Read more...)





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Topic:  How Do You Define Work Life Balance?
It seems like the whole "balance thing" has become a buzz word. We hear about balance all the time in magazines, on television, supposed experts, life coaches, etc. Terms like work life balance, balanced diet, and even balanced budget are pretty pervasive.  But what does balance really mean in your life? We think "balanced" is different for everyone and there’s no one prescribed balanced lifestyle that works for everyone. Nor is there one way to define work life balance in a way that's universal. So, we took a look at it from our own experience.
For us, work life balance includes myriad topics we've discussed on previous shows, such as:



The right size home
The right amount of time spent on work
Valuing experiences vs things
Freedom from stuff...in exchange for more free time to do what we love
Healthier living and relationships
Working as part of a team, focused on a larger goal...at work and/or in the community
Essentially, we define work life balance as living a fulfilling life...that will include ups and downs but overall full of happiness, joy, etc.


As we talked about what this balance meant to us, there were some pretty specific things that were NOT included in our definition of work life balance, too. Here are some:



We don’t think it means being on permanent vacation
It’s not about striving to eliminate all challenges in  our life...that’s part of life! Sure, balance is easier when you don’t have challenges, but that’s not real life!
It’s not about eliminating everything...just all the "junk"


So what gets in our way of achieving a good balance? For us, historically it's been things like:



Putting an overemphasis on work related tasks when it interferes in other areas of our lives
Over obligating ourselves monetarily through too much spending
Over obligating ourselves by accepting too many commitments that sap our time
Consumerism always makes you feel like you’re missing something, and if you have this item, take this pill, look this way, then your life will be complete
Overindulging in one way or another, such as with:

Food
Drink
Technology




Speaking of technology, that deserves a deeper look. What’s the problem with technology? It’s invading every realm of our personal space, that's what! It's even encroaching on the most intimate of spaces and events:



The bathroom
The shower
The bedroom
Family meals


When we overindulge in technology, it distracts our attention and focus, and affects our ability to communicate and deal. For the younger generation of teens, it's even impacted the way they communicate. Many rely on electronic communication versus face to face communication. In some, this has hindered their ability to deal with confrontation. Technology, when abused, hinders our ability to be present...to pause, and be in the moment; to be alone in our thoughts to contemplate.  Ironically most people say they want to "give it up", but never do.
How We Strive To Create Balance
So here are some ways we try to maintain to ensure we stay true to how we define work life balance. We:



Review our goals
Reward ourselves when we achieve our goals or reach milestones

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