Work-Life Balance and Productivity

If you are looking to increase or enhance personal productivity, I offer 7 suggestions in my article 7 Ways You Can Start Balancing Your Life. 

Rebel Dad drew my attention to a recent study conducted by researchers at three Ontario universities that found that people whose family commitments impact on their work life are given fewer career-advancing opportunities and have poorer relationships with their superiors.

Unfortunately, in making their assumptions, the authors have misused the term “work-family balance.”This suggests that having to answer to an employer somehow threatens the remainder of a person’s life, unless some sort of balance is sought out and maintained.

What they are really describing here is work-family conflict. Work-family conflict, by its very nature, asserts that the interests of the person’s family and that of his employer are mutually exclusive. Simply stated, if one values his or her family, one cannot be devoting himself or herself to work. Where this is the case, absenteeism and low productivity prevail.

In companies where this is the assumption, a family-work conflict also tends to exist. That is, demands on an employee tend to be so great that there is a feeling of constant pressure by the employee that “spills over” into his family life, making it increasingly difficult for him or her to engage in and make quality time for his or her family.

All of these dynamics can stand in the way of your happiness, peace of mind, and productivity as an individual.

When I speak of productivity, I’m not talking about the output you can generate in your work; I’m referring to how willing, able, and motivated you are to reach your highest potential.

Personal productivity does involve time management, discipline, and being able to stay in focus despite conflicting interests, agendas, and interruptions. It also means managing and integrating the constant demands of one’s private and work life.

The vital, crucial element to being productive – to realizing your full potential – is to reduce stress and live a life in harmony with your beliefs and values. Put another way, you need to define the life that you want to live and create a life and lifestyle in support of those ideals.

What if you’re like many people and don’t love your job? Approach it with integrity. Give the most to it instead of making the best of it. Take satisfaction in the way you do your job. Be passionate about the way you do your job.

For anybody looking to increase or enhance their personal productivity, I offer 7 specific suggestions in my article 7 Ways You Can Start Balancing Your Life. The abridged version follows:

  1. Take 30 minutes to sit down with a pen and a pad of paper, and write down what your ideal life would look like. What would your life look like if you created more time?
  2. Think about what your work-life combination would look like if it were up to you … and then realize that is up to you. Don’t buy into anyone else’s definition.
  3. Spend a few moments each day in quiet reflection. Take a look around you and within yourself. Regularly reassess your goals and priorities.
  4. The skills that get you ahead in business may not work in your personal relationships, but the time and effort needed is just as important. Don’t assume that managing your private time and family life will be easy.
  5. Make use of technology that allows you to conduct business on your own schedule without becoming a slave to it.
  6. Start drawing general boundaries. Schedule your personal and family time just like you would your business appointments.
  7. Be authentic – be yourself. Work-life balance is a process, not an outcome. It changes constantly, particularly at different points in your life. Wherever you are today is all right. Don’t beat yourself up.

For more tips on productivity, check out Ben Yoskovitz’s Instigator Blog and Jennifer McLean’s The Credibility Branding Blog.

There’s a related post at Slow Leadership.

Thanks to StartupCast TV for including this post in the Carnival of Entrepreneurs.

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