The Truth About Work Life Balance

The last 12 months have been pretty challenging.

Luckily, at ThirdPath we very purposefully build in slower periods of work in order to give us time to make the necessary changes to get things back on track.

I tell people to think of our capacity for work as a glass of water. Is your glass filled to the brim? Overflowing? Or do you have a little wiggle room at the top of the glass?

When managing my capacity for work, I’ve learned to very intentionally plan around busier and less busy periods of work. Then during the slower periods, I can use the “extra room” in my glass to make changes that will improve how I work going forward. For example:

  • I systematize processes
  • Re-prioritize tasks
  • Or decide what to delegate so that I have more time for what I am uniquely qualified to do

It turns out working this way isn’t just good for me, it’s also good for ThirdPath. It means I am better able to manage the unexpected – both at work and outside of work. It also means I come to work more refreshed, and better able to keep my perspective about what’s really an emergency.

When constantly in a state of overwork smaller things can push me off balance very easily.

I more quickly lose my perspective. I can find myself working less efficiently. I am even more likely to make some mistakes. Ask my husband, sometimes I’m not even that nice to be around. But just as importantly, I can see how it pushes me more immediately into a stressed response, instead of being able to step back and imagine a more creative solution.

Luckily I have developed a number of good habits to regain my normally optimistic outlook.

  • I exercise regularly
  • My husband cooks amazing healthy dinners for our family
  • I carve out routine times during my work week without calls or meetings so I can get focused work done
  • And all year long our staff uses a number of simple processes to keep us focused on our top priority work
  • When I get overloaded, I also try to remember to stop and take a walk, or to call a friend, or to do both. It always helps me regain my perspective

When I look ahead to the summer and our next year of programming, I am happy to say that the causes of my overwork are largely behind me. This summer I plan to cut back on my workload and enjoy a little more “wiggle room” at the top of my glass. I hope you can do the same.

Want to push back at overwork and create more time for life? Let us help you.

Check out our free resources or join one of our Overwhelm Mitigation Groups.

Posted in