Emotional stability is a key plank in achieving a good work life balance. But what are the other parts of the equation?
Ronit Baras doesn’t profess to have all the answers but after 30 years in business reckons she might have a thought or two to offer when it comes to achieving work life balance.
Baras believes that in order to have a good work life balance, Australians – no matter what their age – must have to be emotionally stable and ready to manage the challenges of home, family and work. Balancing professional and personal life is a juggling act, she says.
“It is important to remember that even highly trained jugglers can handle no more than six or seven balls at a time and they train for years to reach that point. If we want to juggle the things we need to do in life, we need to train for years, and the sooner we start, the better.
When a juggler throws the balls, he keeps his focus on one ball. The rest of the balls he sees are blurred. If we want to bring clarity into our life, we need to consider the balls as goals. We cannot juggle too many.”
Baras, a renown parenting expert, author and motivational speaker, says financial challenges are to blame for why so many Australian struggle to achieve this balance.
Workplaces are placing increasing demand on their employees and many feel that they are ‘forced’ to stay at work until late without having dinner at home or putting their kids to bed. Sadly, so many of them, working until late, to make more money or just keep their jobs, sacrifice their kids’ wellbeing and their relationship, she says.
“So many of them do it to make ‘enough’ money that they end up living on half of it, due to separation or divorce. I take my clients, who go through relationship issues due to financial stress, through the process of calculating what will be their financial stress, the second they separate or divorce. It is a good exercise for all people with families to go through. It helps you realize that some things are just not worth sacrificing.”
Baras says being mindful is the best way to juggle our personal and professional lives.
The easiest way to achieve is when at home, be home, when at work, be at work. Most importantly, she says, is that you never mix the two.
“In life, we have to juggle roughly nine balls: our health, our relationship with partners, relationship with our original families, our relationship with our children and care for them, our financials, our work, our social life, hobbies and some personal time. They all need to be in the right balance and all people in the world have the exact same 24 a day to do that. Some make a good use of that time and some don’t.”
Making rules around ensuring each area of your life is given the focus and attention it deserves is critical to the process, she says.
This can be as simple as allocating a time once per week to speak with parents or siblings or having a date night once a week to nourish personal relationships. Banning phones from the dinner table, being health conscious in your selection of food choices and only doing additional work once the kids are in bed are also key, she says.
“Make rules that will make it easy for you to know where each ball is located and how long it is in the air and your whole life will become a lot more balanced.”