What is balance, and why should you aim for it?
Suppose for a moment you are standing in a square room, with tables in each of the four corners. On each table sits one of your goals: something that you want to achieve, acquire or reach. With this scenario in mind, how would you know whether you are in a state of balance?
When seeking balance this way, you are attempting to position yourself so that your goals are all within equal reach. This is a boon when you are working, as it means you can easily set priorities and plan more effectively. Furthermore, it means adding new goals doesn’t upset your workflow as much as it could.
Of course, none of this is worth much unless your company culture subscribes to it. We’ve written in the past about how to make company culture a success. Achieving a balance is no different, and you should strive for implementation throughout the organisation.
When you have balance, it becomes easier to harness creative energies. This is because you aren’t leaning too far in any one direction. Thus, you have the ability to let your mind wander to dreams, hopes and possibilities…the very roots of creativity. Consider the alternative – when you are hopelessly out of balance, one way or another. You are far more likely to worryingly focus on the out-of-balance aspects. Worry and focus on existing aspects both stifle creativity.
Bear in mind that imbalance is not the same as pressure. Pressure implies an urgency for a particular aspect, at work or elsewhere. This is usually associated with a deadline or another type of urgency. All this means is that you need to shift your priorities to accommodate the pressure. And when it comes to urgency, there are many different ways to promote it, such as this highly useful article.
Achieving balance with your workload and goals is also a superlative way to cut down on pesky distractions. Think of having a dedicated and disciplined approach to how often you check email. With this in place, you could be limiting yourself to emails three times daily, for example. Given the surprising stats found in the workplace, this simple approach has several benefits. Firstly, you’ll be less stressed. Secondly, you’ll be less likely to switch gears, a process which can easily reduce concentration. Finally, the research also shows that you’ll be doing yourself a favour health-wise.
There are many other points of reducing distractions. When aiming for a better balance, this is an excellent way to start and an even better way to progress.
Freedom of choice
This is probably the least recognised benefit of workload balance. The easiest way to demonstrate it is by reverse example. When you don’t have a balanced workload, you will subconsciously be leaning more towards or further away from one or more of your goals, depending on the nature of the imbalance. This inevitably leads you to one of two things. Either you’ll be biased in your choice of goals, or you’ll try to overachieve and get them all done. The former will definitely give you less satisfaction than a balanced choice. The latter carries its own set of risks, especially in the long run.
In short, then, having a good balance in your work arena gives you the ability for better choices. What’s more, you’ll be able to improve on this once you’re actively aware of the balance dynamics.
The bigger balancing act
The final note here is that one should try to apply this overall, not just within the scope of work. Making provision for downtime, resting, recharging and rejuvenating outside the office is equally vital. The idea is not to work less hard, but to even out the hard work with proper restoration. And if you want to see even greater and more synergistic benefits, challenge others to extend the balance both at work and at home.
Adept encourages balanced efforts and lifestyles, in the spirit of promoting healthy minds and bodies. After all, it’s those very minds and bodies making Adept such an amazing place to be!