Most of us are taught that if we want work life balance, we must be super efficient at work so that we can spend more time doing the things we love outside our workplaces. That implies that work is a chore that we need to slog through as quickly as possible to enjoy life outside the office.
But that doesn't have to be true.
My guest blogger today, Jim Buchanan, looks at work life balance from a different perspective. Buchanan, who has 40 years of global business experience, is author of a new guide “Winning Customer Love.” In it, he presents business principles based on the Universal Law of Attraction that help leaders instill positive feelings amongst their diverse employees.
Many of us think about work-life balance as simply managing the hours we spend at each. I think this is important and worthy of our attention, but I actually have a different question to consider: Don’t we need to give much more attention to the quality of the hours spent at our work?
I believe that if the quality of the time spent at work were more fulfilling for us, we would at least feel a greater sense of accomplishment and “time well spent”. This would reduce some of the pressure to simply find ways to work less, and live more. Why can’t “working” and “living” be a much more seamless continuum, rather than two opposing forces?
Call me a dreamer, but here is how I believe it can be done, by anyone:
1. We should love our work, our job, and our employer. If we don’t, we should move on to something we do love. Doing what we love will bring out the best in us every day and will position us to make a big, positive impact on others and the world. I wish that I had done this years ago, and at various turning points in my, mostly corporate, career, which spanned nearly forty years. Don’t focus on the money, or the prestige, or the “stuff” you can get by advancing in your career. Focus on doing what you love, on what you are really passionate about. You’ll be surprised at how often everything else falls into place.
2. We should give love to our colleagues and co-workers in the form of help, support, caring, compassion and encouragement. This will help them perform at their best, and perhaps love what they do as well. It will also help to create a work environment that is filled with love and caring for one another. I know this may be difficult when we work with disagreeable people who do not demonstrate these behaviors. But, as you know, we get back what we give out to others so would you like to receive help and support and caring or anger, selfishness and criticism? It is your choice.
3. No matter the role we play in our job, we should give love to our customers and to the community at large. Love to customers in the form of beautiful products and services; great value for their money; empathy before, during and after the sale; sincere gratitude for every visit and purchase; and an everlasting commitment to doing it all better and better each day. Love to the community in the form of volunteer time and resources supported by your employer. Giving love outside of your business or company will cause love to come back and help make the business more successful, and the world a better place.
So, I see the challenge of attaining work, life balance as twofold. Certainly, we need to manage the hours we spend at each. But we also need to balance the quality of the time spent at each. Since we so highly value love in our lives, don’t we need love in our work to achieve true balance?