Achieving life-work balance might have been difficult for you earlier in your career. But it is a possibility now, as you transition into retirement.
You face challenges to life-work balance throughout all the stages in your life. First, you take care of your children, then your parents need assistance. Health problems can occur at any age. And demands from your workplace… well, you know all about those.
You may not be able to control everything that happens to you in life. But you can change how you perceive these challenges.
Blending Work and Life
A sense of imbalance occurs when you experience your work and your life as separate entities, rather than as a blended whole. Haven’t we all thought of our personal lives as something that happens after work is taken care of?
But when the work you do is truly an expression of who you are, balancing life and work will naturally take care of itself. Work and life blend together in a more organic and fluid way. Your work feels more meaningful and is a good fit with your lifestyle.
So instead of speaking about finding “life-work balance,” perhaps it’s more appropriate to talk about taking charge of and planning your “life-work.”
Creating Your Life-Work
To get started blending your work and life together:
- Take the time to assess what’s most important to you. What are your priorities? These might include work, family, friends, hobbies, travel, learning, service, or leisure. And don’t forget your health… exercise and self-care can give you some of the resources you need to fulfill your other priorities.
- Decide how much time you want to put into each. Any time management skills you learned on the job can be put to good use now.
- Think of ways you can simplify. Free up your time and energy for what matters the most to you. Relax your standards if needed. For instance, eliminate clutter in your home and office. Or decide that you don’t need to vacuum the house every week.
- Set clear goals or design a map. Listing your goals is a good way to make them real. If you’re more visual, consider using mind mapping software such as XMind to help you brainstorm and organize your ideas. Visualize your future and then follow through!
The emphasis here is on you. These are your choices and your decisions to make. Transitioning into retirement offers you an opportunity to take more control of your life and how you spend your time.
What does your ideal life-work look like?