By Gerry Murray. 19-04-2020
(Scroll down for a laugh)
The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you've lost it. ~ Anonymous
A few weeks back I wrote about the importance of values and how understanding these can help us with energy, motivation and what we choose to spend our time on. In this post, I want to link this beyond our current day-to-day existence. One potential silver lining in this coronavirus crisis is that we can use this time to recalibrate our life on many levels. So, my goal here is to stimulate that process for you.
The Power of Life-Work Balance
As you’re perceptive you’ll have noticed that I flipped! No, it wasn’t a classic emotional flip. However, what I did was to flip the conventional term of work-life balance to Life-Work Balance. Ah, you might say, he’s playing with words. But, words matter. Even more so, the syntax of words matters a lot. For example, these five words produce totally different outcomes for the cat and rat when you change the syntax!
The cat ate the rat
The rat ate the cat
So, given the online madness of recent weeks, where for many people all work literally came home and shares in Zoom soared, how do you appraise your Life-Work Balance going forward? What aspects of work fit into the Life you want to lead? What aspects don’t fit with your dreams, hopes and aspirations for the future?
Now, these are not easy questions to answer at any time. However, if you start by appraising your current lifestyle and how work fits into it some answers will emerge. Ask yourself:
What are the important things in my life? Why are these things important to me? Let your values drive your decisions.
The opportunity here is to think in terms of six months from now. What would you like your 'new normal’ to look, sound and feel like? Map out a typical week starting with your important Lifestyle factors. What changes will you need to make to create that lifestyle?
A catalyst for change?
If you’re an employer or a manager this current crisis can be a catalyst for rethinking how you run your business or department. Explore the concept of Life-Work Balance with your team. If you’re part of a team, start the conversation with your boss and colleagues. Some questions to explore:
- In what ways does working from home improve or reduce your productivity and engagement?
- When is being in the office beneficial or detrimental for your productivity and engagement?
- What Life-Work boundaries can you all agree to respect and adhere to?
The ultimate exercise to do to make this truly come to life is to elicit your team’s values and build a better Life-Work future together that works for everybody. And, this can be done as a virtual team-building workshop.
May you get your balance right this week…
Two dogs are walking along a street. They are passed by a third dog driving a lorry load of logs. One turns to the other and says: "He started fetching a stick and built up the business from there."
My son got his report card from school. "I got a D in my maths” he said. And I said "That's really bad”. And my wife shouted from the kitchen “You need to stop doing his homework!"
My boss told me to have a good day. So I went home.
Nothing ruins a Friday more than an understanding that today is Tuesday.
How long have I been working for this company? Ever since they threatened to fire me.