• Tonya Burns

Work-Life Balance

We preach to “practice what we preach,” but do we? Do we as leaders in our field(s) prepare like we ask others to do? Do you plan today for tomorrow? Do you set time aside for yourself to reflect, meditate, think, and basically make time for yourself? If you do, then great! No need to read on! But if any part of you is wondering, “do I?” then keep reading.

Did you know the country of Luxembourg is the most productive country in the world and the normal work week is 29 hours? Average salary is $1075/week, that’s an average of $37/hour. The nationwide average of paid days off is 32, that’s 4 weeks and 4 days! Why? Because, this country is big on work-life balance.

What is work-life balance? According to Wikipedia, Work–life balance is the lack of opposition between work and other life roles. It is the state of equilibrium in which demands of personal life, professional life, and family life are equal. This does not mean scheduling the same amount of work as personal activities in your life. Life should be easier than that. Measuring your significance in life is balance. Your significance and enjoyment in your life, your significance and enjoyment in your work, cherishing your achievements, both personal and professional is balance.

But how do you get there?

You can get balance first by valuing your self-worth! If you don’t value yourself, how do you expect anyone else to value you? When was the last time you bragged about yourself? Walked around all day with a SMILE on your face? I love telling my family about my day! Yes, they roll their eyes, but they ask questions and learn about the value in my life and what I do.

Why do all of us have these watches that tell us how many steps we have done today, how hard our workout was, how we reached our “movement” goals? Society has told us that our self-worth is about the way we look, but self-worth is about the way we feel. When was the last time you did something for yourself? Why not stop somewhere on your way home from work and spend 20 minutes doing something for yourself? Take a walk in a park, sit outside a coffee shop and enjoy a latte, you decide!

Second, Plan! We plan what’s for dinner, but do we plan our day? As we all know, life and events are ever changing, and plans change, but having a basic plan in life will help you save hours of stress and panic. Years ago, I was taught to make a list at the end of each day of what I needed to complete tomorrow. Guess what? This isn’t planning, it’s procrastination. I found that I would make a list of what I didn’t finish today and not finish it tomorrow. Each week I set certain activities I do on Mondays and repeat those on Wednesday, I do the same for Tuesday and Thursday. This allows me time to finish what I started without the pressure to finish in one day. Then Friday is “me” time! A simple daily plan will help you accomplish routine tasks and have the 20 minutes at the end of the day for yourself.

Third, Enjoy! Enjoy your life. Find your passion. I work in Dentistry. I love what I do and the people I work with. Yes, there are times we have bad days, but you must allow good days to outweigh bad days. Find what you enjoy and do it!

Balance is different for each and everyone of us. You oversee your life. Love yourself for who you are and embrace your differences. Sit back and slow down, allow balance to happen.

-Article written by Stephanie Swartz

Director of Operations

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