Man SmilingHave you ever sat down and asked yourself how you want to structure your life?   If you have I salute you. Most of us are more apt to wander a bit aimlessly and fly by the seat of our pants.

We might not give it much conscious thought, but each of us decides about what we’re willing to do and how we’re willing to spend our precious time each and every day. 

The decisions we make represent our priorities. 

Would you work if you didn’t have to? Do you hope heaven is an endless party punctuated by quick naps?  

 

Figuring Out What Works For You

Most of us have to work so it’s a rhetorical question.  The real question is what kind of life/work balance do you want to structure your days around? 

It probably won’t surprise you to hear that achieving a healthy balance brings many positive benefits. 

Proper Work-Life Balance Benefits:
 

  • Healthier
  • Happier
  • More productive when you are at work

 

All Work and No Play Make Johnny a Dull Boy!

Some jobs seem to want to eat you alive and consume every waking moment.  Even when you’re asleep, you find deadlines invading your sweet dreams. 

Some people can thrive on that, at least in the short term.  Most of us would go nuts. 

True workaholism, where a person voluntarily puts in an outrageous number of hours day after day, week after week, destroying all personal life, can be a serious compulsion. Like any addiction, workaholism is usually rooted in severe insecurities so it can require professional help. 

More commonly, people find themselves in overly demanding jobs with bosses who don’t give a rat’s hind end about anybody’s social life. 

The realities of a fiercely competitive job market can make people afraid to rock the boat and demand a less workaholic environment. The boss is forever pointing out the stack of resumes on his desk, so you'll just have to cancel your date and work late.  Again.    

Many jobs are like this, so people find themselves trapped in a workaholic-type situation, but not out of self-desire to dig themselves an early grave and achieve professional superstardom.

 

Every Parent's Guilt Trip

Parents always worry about their children.  If you’re a parent, work-life balance becomes a bigger issue.  Will your kids be hurt if you work too much? 

When women entered the workforce in droves back in the 70s, this worry became a national issue, so lots of research was done. 

The scientific consensus after a period of time showed that when it comes to parenting and work/life balance, little kids were not harmed by spending significant time in daycare. It was the quality of the daycare that mattered.  

Even so, you like spending time with your kids, so working late every night is simply not OK.

Whether you have kids or not, you deserve a life outside of work.  Everybody does! 

Even if you like your job, you benefit from a robust life outside of work. 

All that adds up to a recognition that a healthy work/life balance is a necessary ingredient for a happy, healthy, successful life. 

Decide to go for it and come up with a plan.  Think about options like flex time, remote work, or even just a firmer way of saying NO!   

 

So How Do You Get That Slavedriver Off Your Back?  

First, if it’s really bad you may want to consider getting a different job.  Seriously.  Don't be afraid that all companies work like that. They don’t.  Most companies have become aware their bottom line is actually boosted by not acting like demanding ogres and treating workers like slaves.   

Even if the boss is a hardnose, there are laws in place to protect workers.  Management knows this.  You don't have to tell them. 

So, you can feel confident in going to HR and politely asking for whatever adjustments you’d like.  Flextime and working from home show that happy employees are more loyal employees

Point out that happy, stress-free employees are healthier and miss fewer days of work. 

Add that restoring a healthy life/work balance is going to save them money in the long run. 

Make sure they know your worth.  Better yet, make yourself indispensable

As you well know, the more value you add to the company, the more incentive management has to keep you happy. 

If you improve your professional skillset through additional training or certifications, it will give you more leverage to ask for favors. 

 

Have You Thought About Learning SAP?

Since 90% of the world’s companies rely on SAP software and need SAP trained professionals, it’s a good bet that taking some SAP training courses would be a great stepping stone to your higher professional goals. 

SAP certification makes you extremely valuable as an employee.  Get SAP-certified and you will have more leverage with your boss to ask for more family time if that’s what you want. 

Properly trained SAP certified professionals are in high demand on the open job market.  If you gain SAP credentials, you’ll have your choice of jobs and can find a company that realizes a happy employee is a good employee! 


Author Photo

Lorraine Grula is a curious and compassionate Okie native who grew up on politics and science. She loves to read, write and study the world and shares her insights in our blog.
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