The beginning of the academic year is a pretty full on time for staff and students so the Easter break provided a welcome opportunity to rest, reflect and re-charge.
While I was on my break I got to thinking about work-life balance. Employment New Zealand define this as:
“…effectively managing the juggling act between paid work and the other activities that are important to people. It’s about work not completely crowding out the other things that matter to people like time with family, participation in community activities, voluntary work, personal development, leisure and recreation. It is sometimes called working flexibly.”
In my experience creating (and maintaining) work-life balance is an ongoing project that requires keeping aside some time in my personal life to do the things that re-energise me. The real challenge is to continue doing this when work (and the rest of life) become busy!
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone on this …The students I talk with are under considerable pressure juggling multiple demands – study, work, volunteering, partners, friends, family, flatting issues, sport…the list goes on. This is a stressful time of life but it’s also a good time to establish healthy habits and a way of life that you intend to continue once you graduate.
For me it’s meant a couple of things:
- Learning to say no to activities and commitments that I don’t want to do or that encroach on the time I’ve set aside for myself.
- Learning what it is that recharges my batteries and incorporating this into my weekly schedule.
Of course the recipe for everyone’s wellbeing is different, but the need for it is universal. I’d encourage you to take a little time to nut out and become familiar with what it is that brings your life back into balance. I have a sneaking suspicion that it may just make you feel a little more happy and a tad more productive when you get back to work.