Many people think that work-life balance is just having enough sick days to cover you when you aren’t feeling well and vacation time for yourself.

The topic is much more complex than that, however. Work-life balance takes practice and effort to get it right.

We can slip into habits easily that lead us down a path where we remain out of balance. The trick is to see what’s going on and work to keep the balance intact.

Work-Life Balance Isn’t an Accident

Watch a small child learning to do something that requires balance, like riding a bike. They start out wobbly trying to hold themselves up by a sheer effort of will. Eventually, they will learn that the trick is holding onto the balance without exerting effort. Doing something without effort is much different than doing something without trying.

You need to purposefully decide that you are going to maintain the proper balance between your home life and your work. If you don’t work at it then whatever happens to take priority at the time will dominate your life. These decisions will change over time as one side or the other requires more purpose and thought to keep in balance. Focus is required to keep on the right track.

Don’t Slow Down

In sports they talk a lot about a team having momentum. Baseball has many great examples of this. Teams can take a well-executed double play on defense into the dugout and turn that into two or three runs when they bat. This kind of momentum is required for work-life balance as well.

If you stop or slow down, getting things back into shape will be difficult. If you stay moving, it becomes easier to handle things as they come at you. Don’t think this means you can’t make adjustments. Your schedule will need to be tweaked. Tasks will need to be prioritized around home schedules. Corrections are and should be par for the course. Don’t be afraid to adjust your direction, just make sure you keep moving forward so you don’t lose ground.

Balance is More Than Time Off

While time is an important part of work-life balance, it is not the only part. Keeping things balanced when you don’t have time off can be much more challenging than just taking a well-deserved rest after you finish a big project or want to head to a vacation spot with the family.

Learning how to organize your time around the demands of both your home life and your work life is challenging and difficult. It might take some time and effort to get things to a place where they feel balanced. Don’t be discouraged. Everyone can get there if the right amount of time and planning is spent.

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