2011年12月13日 星期二

Forget Work Life Balance - The New Paradigm Is Work Life Integration

Meet the average business executive today and within minutes the conversation turns to the work life balance debate, especially if these people happen to be working mums. As our world continues to accelerate at a ridiculous pace this issue will only get stronger prompting tough questions for each of us. Companies have responded to this issue by investing millions in flexible working, on site gyms and counselling services, but, is this enough and is the attainment of work life balance really possible?

Let's start with a simple explanation of what it is.

It's not about spending equal proportions of time at work and at home.

It is not a standardised concept for all as each individual will vary with how they strike the right balance in life.

It will vary over your life time period as your needs change.

It is the correct prioritisation of one's work and one's life which encompasses all aspects, health and well being, spirituality, relationships, personal growth and development.

So work life balance is based around personal choice which comes from our values and belief systems.

Life balance is exceptionally important if we want to have a healthy life force to achieve our goals and deepest desires. As humans it is within our nature to want to keep evolving and growing so we are always a work in progress. We each need challenges to stretch our capabilities and to bring depth and meaning to our lives. We are three dimensional with a body, mind and spirit each needing to be expressed and fulfilled.

Take a look at any person who is challenging themselves and developing as a result and you will witness happiness. This is energy in motion. Contrast that with falling out of balance and then you fall out of love with life, become stuck and start to tread water.?

When we become stressed through over work then typically we get tired, withdrawn and heavy, often paranoid with low concentration focus and poor memory. Our sleep patterns become erratic and we fall into bad habits with our diet and addictive practises to anesthetise ourselves from the discomfort and pain. In essence this is energy deletion affecting our mental, emotional and spiritual well being.

When we fall out of balance we're not able to sufficiently top up the energy tank so we're running on empty. Keep going in this direction then eventually we hit burnout or crisis point because the body has literally gone into survival mode. The chemicals are pumped around the body release tension, neurosis, dark moods often leading to severe depression and if ignored this dis-harmony will eventually show up in the body as dis-ease.

It is easy to fall out of balance in a world where the pace of change is accelerating and the information overload intensity appears to push us down the road of multi-tasking. The automatic response by the majority is extending the traditional working day and week. This is hardly realistic as a solution. In this environment it is hard to navigate our way through sensory overload and cultivate resilience, foster creativity and avoid procrastination so we can thrive and remain productive. Additionally, if we ignore our true natures and values and always put others first eventually this will drain us and cause ill feeling and resentment. We literally repress emotions and energy becomes blocked.

Whilst it is possible to practice work life balance for a period it is much harder to maintain for consistent lengths of time. We have a tendency to throw ourselves into one or two critical goals so we can master them. As a society we've become impatient and want instant results from wealth to health and relationship bliss. This in itself is unnatural and unrealistic. The pressure to be successful, beautiful, slim and healthy gives rise to constant comparisons and feelings that throw us off balance.

A minority of individuals are now choosing to move in a different direction to mainstream society. They are looking for a better way and have learned that less is more in every sense of the word.

When we slow down we can begin to reflect upon our true natures and desires and tap into our real purpose and unlimited potential. As we begin to discover what's important to us at a values level then we begin to adopt the right habits and become that change in action. Self understanding combined with purposeful passionate work brings the much needed clarity and creativity to break away from the insane practices of the majority aiding well being, personal growth, spiritual connection and mental alertness. We literally begin to acknowledge that success can be possible with greater ease and flow.

This is what work life integration is all about. Our work becomes an extension of all of who we are and we decide what we want based around deep seated values that drive behaviour and action. Our life goals of contribution and service as well as personal desires such as freedom, creative expression, play and fulfilment are fundamental to the work we decide upon. In this sense we're balanced and fully aligned, enabling our energy to work for us and attract what we need at the right time. We work smarter not harder and begin to appreciate we need other stimulus than work to come fully alive.

Having discovered work life integration you'll never want to go back to trying to balance work with life. We literally fall back in love with our lives and I can't think of a better reason than this to adopt it.

Kath Roberts is a life and business coach, blogger/rebel and coaches midlifers on how to turn misfortune into opportunity, find their voice and convert their experience, talents and passions into profit. She can help you work out how to change your life and is also on hand to provide marketing tips for starting an online business

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