In a recent Globe and Mail online poll, readers were asked to identify their top goal at work in 2011. The results showed a tie between making more money and striking a better balance between work life and personal life.
The word “balance” gets used a lot as many of us “working stiffs” are seeking that perfect combination of work time and down-time.
Striking this balance has to be looked at from a mathematical perspective.
There are seven days in a week (last I checked), five of them are work days and the other two are the weekend, when we supposedly don’t work.
The number of hours we work seem to go way past the typical 40 hour work week….some of us working beyond 60 hours from Monday to Friday. These long work days prevent us from getting all our personal stuff dealt with – time with family, exercise, running errands and, oh yeah, sleeping!!
When we finally make it across the finish line to the weekend, we are exhausted and backlogged with all that personal stuff that got neglected during the work week because there simply wasn’t enough time to get it done. So the weekends are filled with chores; shopping, laundry and all the menial tasks of living. Maybe, thrown into the mix are things like working out or a little bit of socializing with friends and family.
By my rough calculations, balance in life seems almost impossible! It almost seems like there is a greater chance of making more money in 2011 than achieving balance.
I don’t mean to be “Mr. Doom”, but, these days the intense pressure of holding onto our jobs, the sacrifice that comes with it and the inability of most people to leave work at work leaves us very little physical time and the mental ability of de-stressing and actually enjoying life.
So what do we do? Is there really a way of obtaining this elusive balance?
I recognize (believe me, I really do) that it costs an awful lot of money to live these days. It seems that the price of even the barest of essentials are going up, up, up. I appreciate we all have to work to earn a living to be able to pay for these necessities. But on top of all this, we, as a culture are all about getting and having more and better stuff.
With this emphasis on having more, we are placing more pressure on ourselves and getting less in return.
Consider the idea of living with less. Could you do it? What would the possible benefit be to having less? I would like to think that by having less you might wind up having more available time in that to spend on the aspects of your life (anything not related to work) that will give you physical, emotional and spiritual benefit.
Money means nothing when you don’t have your health or loved ones around to share it with.
So, venture into 2011…I would like to suggest that while the struggle to achieve balance in life is a huge task, perhaps after reading this blog, we can approach the challenge in a different way.