Forget Work Life Balance-Think Work Life Satisfaction


Listen to almost anyone who is stressed out by all they have going on, and you will soon hear something like, "I just need to find better work life balance." While it's been a common phrase for years, we are now recognizing that it is both an unattainable and undesirable condition. A couple of reasons include:

  • The concept of balance implies that you can simply trim excess in one area of your life and add it to another

  • There will always be work or life events that will require more than the usual amount of physical, mental, and emotional energy. Trying to reduce time spent on them to "balance" the other areas means you can miss the opportunity to fully embrace the personal or professional opportunity.

In my training programs on the subject, I use the idea of work life satisfaction. I see this as a much healthier approach because you look at how to improve your satisfaction in all areas of your life, instead of looking for ways to reduce energy spent on one to the benefit of the other.

If you're sensing a lack of satisfaction in your work or life today, try some of these strategies to get to a better place:

1) Define your own version of contentment and success. Your intention to be content is an active commitment to behaviors - like being an encourager, giving your best at work, or developing strong relationships. Perhaps park of your lack of satisfaction stems from trying to live out someone else's definition of success.

2) Seek to recover quickly from adversity or hurt feelings. Practicing forgiveness leads to understanding and empathy, increasing the ability to be compassionate. This release lessons anxiety and stress.

3) Find a positive release for negative thoughts. Research has shown that one can learn to identify negative thoughts and feelings through self-awareness, meditating, and keeping a journal. Once a recurring negative thought/feeling is identified, the reframing process can begin.

If the thought of balance has been leaving you, well, unsatisfied, maybe it's time to take a new approach to improving your work and life.

For more on improving your work life satisfaction: 
3 Remarkably Effective Habits for a Happier, More Successful You
Balance, Blend, or Blur: Keep Your Focus On The Big 3

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