By Corinne Mossman
Balancing family, health, personal lives, and work can be a challenging task but is deemed essential for achieving a healthy work-life balance which has been one of my personal goals for a long time. I’m reluctant to admit that as hard as I have tried to be a calm, cool, and collected expert balancer sometimes my act has looked more like a fire juggler on roller skates. In search of some helpful tips, I turned to the internet and instead found that people have been striving for the legendary work-life balance for centuries, with some sources pointing credit for the concept toward a Welsh industrialist of the 1770’s who advocated for “eight hours labour, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest”. This in of itself helped me relax immensely and allowed me to reimagine my goal in a guilt-free way. To be more practical and to extend myself some grace, I decided in the beginning of this year to pursue work-life enrichment in lieu of the elusive balance.
Work-life enrichment is the concept of finding ways to enhance both personal and professional aspects of life to create a fulfilling and satisfying existence rather than simply trying to achieve a balance between them. Work-life enrichment involves ways to integrate our personal and professional lives, rather than treating them as separate entities. This can involve discovering how to incorporate family time into our workday or bringing aspects of our personal interests and hobbies into our professional lives. Here are some tips for work-life enrichment:
- First: Shift your perspective from balance to enrichment.
- Define your purpose: Take some time to reflect on your personal values and the things that bring meaning to your life. Consider how your work can align with your purpose and contribute to your overall sense of fulfillment.
- Pursue your passions: Think about hobbies and activities that bring you joy outside of work. Now get creative and see if you can incorporate a slice of your passion pursuit into your professional life. This can help you feel more energized and excited about the work you are doing.
- Share your strengths: Are you a master of organization in your work life but missing important things in your personal life? Apply the same sound logic and process that makes you successful on the job.
- Prioritize self-care: Taking care of yourself is essential for both your personal and work life. My favorite thing to do for myself when traveling, especially to conferences, is to bring bath bombs and face masks for a bedtime spa ritual before going to sleep.
- Focus on growth: Look for opportunities to learn and develop new skills both in your personal and professional life. Constantly striving for growth can help you feel more fulfilled and engaged in both areas.
- Build relationships: Cultivate strong relationships with colleagues, friends, and family members. Meaningful connections with others can help you feel supported and happy in both aspects of your life.
- Get outside, or try a new environment: Have a virtual meeting where you don’t need to be speak or be on camera? Perhaps find a nice outdoor spot, the fresh air can help you stay grounded, manage stress, maintain a sense of perspective. Meeting a client and want to do something other than sit in a stuffy conference room or crowded restaurant? Maybe try a museum or immersive experience where the fresh environment gives you a chance to bond in a new way.
- Embrace flexibility: Be open to flexible work arrangements and creative solutions that allow you to pursue your goals. For example, consider bringing a relaxation technique from your home life to do on your break at the office, or adjusting your work hours to better accommodate personal commitments.
- Find ways to give back: Volunteer work or community involvement can provide a sense of purpose and often aligns with your company culture or the clients you are working with.
Remember, work-life enrichment is a personal journey, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Be patient with yourself as you experiment with different strategies and find what works best for you.