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Management And Training
March 2014 Lets Talk Shop

Finding The Right Work Balance

Take control of your work life before it takes complete control of you.

March 09, 2014
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There is a proverb: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

I don’t know the Jack they were talking about, but I do know a few modern-day Jacks who’ve crashed and burned from overdoing it.

Overwork doesn’t just make Jack ­­— and Jill — dull; it affects our health, our relationships and even our overall happiness.

If you’re like most managers in the cleaning profession, you gained your position through hard work.

But there is a fine line between efficient effort and having your work life dominate everything else.

Let’s take a look at one of the Jacks I know.

A College Example

This Jack is an assistant operations director at a large college.

A few weeks ago, as he sat in his third meeting of the day, his mind wandered to his daughter’s school play coming up that weekend.

Abruptly, his pleasant thoughts were interrupted by a familiar question from the operations director.

“Jack, can you take care of that?”

Jack responded as he always did, with a quick nod.

Before he knew it, he was in charge of a new training initiative mandated by the college administration.

The job would take up most of his weekend and require a fast exit from his daughter’s play, if he made it to the play at all.

Jack had been with the college for almost 20 years, quickly rising through the ranks due to his strong work ethic.

From the outside, Jack had it made.

He earned an excellent salary and was only one step away from being the operations director of the entire college.

But upon closer examination, other aspects of Jack’s life weren’t so rosy.

He wasn’t at home very often, and when he was, he was usually on the phone or checking his e-mails.

His relationship with his family was suffering.

His doctor was on him to get his blood pressure down or go on medication.

He had so much on his plate that sometimes he would sit at his desk unable to decide what to do first.

Overall, Jack liked life in the fast lane, but he was beginning to wonder if it was worth the price.

Finding The Right Balance

If Jack’s problems sound familiar, it may be time for you to commit to finding a better work/life balance.

Here are some places to start:

Stay Healthy: Taking a brisk walk or working out at the gym aren’t wasted time.

Neither is a good night’s sleep.

Not only will you feel better, you’ll find that you’re better able to think clearly and solve problems.

Taking time to eat right, rather than stuffing down snacks at your desk, and limiting your consumption of alcohol also helps.

It’s difficult to catch up when you are starting from behind.

Take A Break: Spend time with people you don’t work with.

For some people that can be their family, but make sure that some of your family time allows you to relax.

Develop some hobbies and other interests.

It won’t be long before you are retired.

If your entire life is work-related, what will you do with yourself?

Learn To Say No: Repeat after me, “I am not the smartest person in the world, and other people are capable of doing a good job.”

Delegating to others and creating reasonable work parameters is a skill that pays off in the long term.

Eventually, someone has to take over your job.

Give them a chance to practice.

Be Here Now: Your mind has three places it can be: The past, the present and the future.

Try spending more time in the present.

You will be amazed how many interesting things are happening right in front of you and how many future problems can be avoided by dealing with the present.

Use Technology For Efficiency: With the right data at your fingertips, you can spend a lot less time on the small details and more on the big picture.

Be sure to budget time and resources to make sure your technology is up to date.

We all have full plates.

Enjoying what is on those plates is the art of living a happy and healthy life.

Balance in your life is the only way to get there.

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