I’ve been reading a lot of articles recently about the age old issue of work-life balance and the gender issues. I find this really interesting as my experience is that work-life balance impacts everyone, not just women.
The reality of working is that without some form of balance between hard work and relaxation, performance suffers. Focusing too heavily of work creates stress which can be very productive in the short haul, however over time it becomes destructive. If work is something that doesn’t matter then there is no urgency and this leads to lack luster performance. Balance between intense focus and downtime leads to optimum performance. That balance is uniquely personal.
As most time management programs say it’s critical to identify what is most important to you. This means both at work and in your personal life. When you understand what’s important you can determine the time to allocate to each of these things.
The key to creating maximum performance is to pay attention to the needs of the individual while keeping an eye on the organization’s goals. This means each team member must balance personal and organizational goals and needs. Creating a culture that values this balance will allow everyone to achieve their best. To do this encourage people to stay true to what matters, respect the entire individual’s needs, stay focused on the goals and flexible on methods for achieving the goals.
The article on this issue that really struck home for me was “Having it All” Is Not a Women’s Issue, in the HBR Blog. Stew Freidman illustrates the proven value of creating a culture that allows for improved performance while honoring the individual’s needs for balance. This is a proven recipe for success. Hopefully, the new discussions on this topic will help more companies embrace the potential created by balancing the needs of both the individual and the organization.
How have you created balance in your professional / personal life?