March 26, 2013
A Balancing Act: Work & Life
Lately I’ve noticed a lot of information regarding stress and work/life balance. With information coming at us 24/7, and the increasing number of sophisticated technological gadgets enabling us to do more, faster (and sometimes arguably better) than we ever have before, we often run ourselves ragged trying to accomplish everything on our “to do” list. From small tactical activities, to large strategic initiatives – how do we do it all? How can we do it all? Maybe it is the “all” piece that we need to look at along with our techniques for coping with the seemingly never-ending “to do” list.
At Faith Technologies, our current wellness program is geared towards helping employees cope with stress and the regular hassle of “dealing with it all.” We recently launched our first stress management program, and so far have received great participation from both employees and spouses. The goal of the program is to provide employees with the tools to make meaningful and healthful lifestyle changes. Participants are asked to analyze their daily tasks, and must make a conscious effort to minimize the amount of time doing an unproductive activity (e.g., surfing the web, Facebook, watching TV) that does not move them closer to accomplishing a high priority task. If you are not disciplined, unproductive activities can absorb a lot of your time and add more stress to your psyche with the time that was wasted. This of course can affect your overall health. During your leisure time or when you need a break, try taking a brisk walk for 20 minutes or spending a few minutes chatting with a family member or friends sharing a laugh.
The overall topic of work/life balance and the stress that comes with it, is certainly of interest and relevant to me as a professional full-time working mother of two young children. There are many others like me within my company, and in companies all across the country, trying to make everything work on a daily basis. And shockingly, yes, sometimes we do get stressed!
For most, stress is an inevitable part of life and there is no magical one-size-fits-all solution for managing or reducing stress. The key is to try to do your best, every day, and continually prioritize keeping your end goals in mind. Find healthy coping mechanisms that work for you and keep you going. Your load, though possibly heavy at times, will seem much lighter. I certainly don’t have the answers to the perfect work/life balance or how to eliminate stress, but I do know that by using technology (i.e. electronic calendars, reminder emails, e notes, smartphones, etc., to your advantage, using healthy coping mechanisms when it comes to stress (yoga, reading, and playing with my children help me), eliminating time wasting activities, and by continually sifting and sorting through priorities, it is possible to get a lot done and have fun along the way.