The Work-Family Life Balance

With all the advances and innovations made in production, technology and commerce, we in the world's most prosperous societies should all be living the easy life, satisfied and very happy.

Not so! Lifestyles today are commonly filled with overwork, anxieties and stress with daily routines that take up just too much of our days. There is an ongoing personal struggle to allocate hours between money related tasks, leisure, home and family. The hours are too often allocated in that order as we work harder for more money allocating the time left over for relationships and fun. These hours may be few or perhaps non existent.

While we have certainly come a long way and do seem to be accomplished with a standard of living that has reached astonishing heights, we may not have made great advances in the quality of our lives.

Corporate marketing has infected our desire for natural enjoyments. Society is being herded in a commercial and artificial direction. Many may tend to fit in with the life styles of others at work, in the neighborhood and in public; and they with us. And there are those popular TV personalities promoting this trend. The requirement placed upon us, if we have been conscripted to the consumption style of existence, is the need to acquire more money to keep up. Others may need to keep up with us and we may feel required to keep up with them, all to the joy of the corporate marketers.

The tendency for some types to insist on outdoing their fellow consumers dictates that they must make earning money their #1 life interest. And so make a dedication to long hours and hard work, obtaining new job heights and bigger pay checks.

We can easily be caught up in this living routine unless we are willing to make a stand. To be sure there are very many of us who would like to get off this senseless merry-go-round even if we are only partially taken up, but not if we are alone.

In trying for a better balance in our lives we can make a plan for having less wasteful and more enjoyable days. A good start is made making up and printing a list of amounts of time typically spent on various daily events. Then create and print a list of a new schedule with the following actions up for changes that will increase fun and decrease stress.

The work day; total hours, effort, transportation choices.
Interaction and discussions with co-workers, friends and family.
Relaxation with enjoyable hobbies, pet projects and just doing nothing.
Playing and exercising, especially outdoors and with others.
Sleep, lots of sleep - it knits up the raveled sleeve of care.

Review your plans and discuss them with others now and again, and make further positive adjustments.

In The Small Business Blog Stefan Töpfer writes

In the past twenty years the term “work-life balance” has come to symbolize the problem many face with increasing work pressures and the neglect of family, friends and their hobbies. This has created not only many health problems like cardiovascular disease, a weaker immune system, frequent headaches, backache to name but a few, but also social problems in areas like child-care, care for relatives, increase in divorces and other symptoms of a social fabric breakdown.

For women the situation is even worse, not only do they have all of the above mentioned problems, but by making the conscious decision to raise a family they also have to pay a penalty when the return to work. However well qualified, after only 3 to 5 years on parent leave, they find it very hard to get even close to the positions they held before. They are penalized for having a family and this causes additional stress and anxiety.

In the last ten years I have watched an encouraging trend, people opting out of the corporate treadmill, with much success. Many are starting small businesses or home businesses, freelancers, self-employed, contractors, professionals in all small business areas setting up shop.

. . . In this new established work-life environment, family - especially children, health, environment and personal fulfillment are beginning to transform the way we all think about work. I foresee long needed changes in the social fabric of our society and the reversal of detrimental trends which have started in some cases over 150 years ago.

Read more:
Work-Life Balance 2.0 and Small Business

Another good article 11 Creative Ways to Avoid Becoming a Workaholic - by Tammy Strobel in ZenHabits.

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