We hear a lot about the importance of “work-life balance” – the elusive equilibrium between making a living and living our life, the balance between work and personal time. The ideal balance promises to relieve stress, fulfill our lives, make us happy, and give us the best of both worlds – a prosperous career and a full life.  But with technology playing the omnipresent role that it does in our lives today, I think most of us would agree that finding that balance can be incredibly challenging. Emails, text messages, and calls come in at any time of the day or night and interrupt family vacations, date nights, lazy Sundays, and afternoon hikes.  Business finds its way into our homes and relationships, and social media seeps into the workday… So where do we begin?

What is the key to creating work-life balance?

Boundaries.

To find balance between work and life, start by clearly defining the separation between the two. Understand what falls under each area of your life and where you draw the line.

Be sure to…

  • Know what your boundaries are. Clear boundaries start with you, if you don’t understand them, you won’t be able to effectively communicate them to others.
  • Say no. If it doesn’t serve you or threatens to compromise the boundaries you’ve set, just say no. Your time is valuable, your life is valuable, and the precious balance you are working to create is more important than one more ‘yes.’
  • Uphold your word. Boundaries are your responsibility, and if you don’t hold to them, others won’t either.
  • Be polite. Having clear boundaries, doesn’t make you rude or evasive, just like saying yes to everything doesn’t make you hard working or kind. Clear and polite communication is essential in any conversation.
  • Respond, rather than react. When you create boundaries you put the power of choice back in your hands. Choice gives us the foundation to respond, rather than react, with intention.
  • Ask yourself this one important question: “Am I standing in my power or trying to please another?” from Debbie Ford‘s The Right Questions: Ten Essential Questions To Guide You To An Extraordinary LifeMost likely, if your actions are solely for the purpose of pleasing someone else, you aren’t honoring your boundaries.

Clear boundaries allow you to experience both your work life and personal life with more presence and focus, give you the energy to exceed in each, and help to create better balance in your life.

Have a happy week!
Sarah

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