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Work/Life Balance- A Reality Check for the Teacher!

 

I offer workshops on Work/Life Balance….but am I living it?  I asked myself that this morning.  It isn’t just some concept to be understood, it is one of those things that needs to be real in your life.  You can understand work/life balance but realistically be very far from achieving it.  As a business owner I want to ensure that is not me!!  It would certainly be easy to let that happen!

 

I have made a lot of mistakes.  Every mistake in the work/life balance book… and in other books for that matter.  ;)  I am not teaching on the topic because I am an angel that has always done everything perfectly.  I talk about work/life balance because I have lived the challenges and was thrown into the topic naturally about 12 years ago with Shift Workers.  Shift Workers have many challenges in the area of work/life balance so this first-hand experience really created a passion about work/life balance for me.

 

Ok…. Getting back to the topic.  Am I living a well-balanced life, or should I be sitting down with myself and running a workshop on myself?!?!

Here are my thoughts on my own work/life balance:

 

-I rarely work on the weekends or in the evenings.  I definitely used to, especially when I was in the early stages of building Vitalize Initiatives.

 

-I feel like I have a strong personal life with a healthy relationship, good friends and strong ties to my family.  This also hasn’t always been the case.  I have been known to work a bit too much in the past, and not spend as much time nurturing my personal life.  I am sure glad I have made that switch.  I do have my moments where I disappear for a week, when I am on-site with a client fulfilling a large contract, but for the most part I am able to keep my work during business hours.

 

-I don’t answer my work cell in the evening or on the weekend anymore.  The only exception is when I am running an event for a client on the weekend.  I do that about 5 times a year.

 

-I have noticed that I am not getting sick as often as I used to.  I am not burning myself out and then having to deal with the consequences.  In my case I would have come down with a cold, had digestive upset and decreased appetite, and mental fatigue if I had pushed myself too far.  I haven’t experienced that in years so I must have found a better balance.  I must be walking the walk when it comes to work/life balance.  J

 

-One thing I think I can improve upon is my ability to take time off after a huge contract has been fulfilled.  I tend to just take one day off, and then work part time for a couple days, before adjusting back to full time.  I really should take a whole week off and frolic in some April Adventures.  It is hard for me to do that, but I think it would help me focus when I return.  That is what I would recommend to a client so I should do that in my own life.  I am making a pact that I will take a full week off after things like the event for 11,000-13,000 people I will run next July.  That will help me re-balance quickly and return to the office when I am able to be productive.

 

-One of my favorite things to do to keep my work/life balance in check is to leave work early when I have been working quite hard and go pick up my niece from school.  The adventures that we have together are good for my soul and make me feel like life is wonderful and balanced.

 

This hasn’t been a full assessment of my work/life balance…. but it has been great to reflect for a moment.  I don’t think I have as much to give others on this topic unless I am practicing what I preach!  I feel like I am doing quite well.  The biggest indicator is how I feel about my balance.  I feel happy and calm about how I am spending my time.  In the past I have felt more regret, franticness to fit more in and stress about it.  That really indicates a pretty huge shift in my balance.

 

I wish you a balanced day, full of your priorities.  You deserve it.  I urge you to take a moment to reflect, like I have, about your work/life balance.  This is your life… and this is something worth putting some effort towards.

 

The picture below is from one of my adventures with my niece.  She sure gives me a lot of joy!  What/who gives you joy?  Spend time on your priorities today!

 

Over and Out.

 

April Smith – Owner of Vitalize Initiatives Inc.

Family Time.

Family Time.

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