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One Secret to Work Life Balance

Work – life balance … have you achieved it? Is it even possible?

About #ArchiTalks

This is my latest installment for the #ArchiTalks series.

Have you been following along with #ArchiTalks?

Here’s the format: every month, someone (usually Bob Borson of Life of an Architect) throws out a topic and a growing number of us in the architectural profession wax poetic (more or less) on the subject.

You can find a complete list of everyone participating in this month’s #ArchiTalks challenge at the end of this article.

What is Work Life Balance?

So have you achieved work – life balance or is work – life balance simply one of the greatest cliches in the modern workplace?

No matter where you land on that scale, I believe there is only one universal secret to work life balance.

Whether you’re a first year architecture student or a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, I’m certain that you understand why work life balance is such a popular topic of discussion.

It’s Not Just An Architecture Problem

But before we think it’s just an architecture problem I want you to do me a favor:

Open up your magic Google box or YouTube or iTunes or Stitcher or wherever you prefer to search for content. Type in ‘work life balance’ and see what happens.

You’ll find thousands of articles, videos, podcasts and other discussions about work life balance. But, why? Why is there so much content produced about the secret to work life balance?

Work Life Balance Is Hard

Because it’s hard; some will tell you work life balance is impossible … and everybody wants it.

It’s also completely subjective. What’s work life balance for me may be completely different from your version of work life balance.

As I’ve recently begun the journey of building my own Storytelling Agency. I’ve tried to design my work, my workload, even my work hours to align with my idea of work life balance. That means that some weeks I’m walking a fine line as I balance:

  • Taking or picking up kids from school and spending four days doing social media work for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

  • Spending time with my wife and live-tweeting an event for an Industry Organization

  • Walking the dogs and doing a Periscope broadcast.

It’s hard; just like everyone that’s ever run a professional services firm, I don’t have control over everything. There are lots of moving parts and pieces that I can only react to.

The Secret To Work Life Balance

So, as I considered this month’s #ArchiTalks topic and as I did research for my post, after reading “The 15 Tips to Work-Life Balance” and listening to “The Top 10 Ways to Achieve Work-Life Balance” and a thousand other titles, I realized that there is only one universal secret to achieving work life balance.

Work life balance is different for everyone. We all want more time for this and need more time for that.

We think we can multi-task and save time or get more done. There are more shiny objects today than ever before. There will be even more tomorrow.

The thing I realized is that the secret, no matter who you are, no matter what your goals, no matter how you define work life balance, the secret is … BE PRESENT.

Be Present

Be present when you work. Be present when you’re with your kids. Be present when you play. Be present when you’re with your significant other.

If you’re truly present, truly focused on the task at hand, you won’t be thinking about and worrying about everything else that you have to do; you’ll be in balance. Being truly present will remove the guilt and stress inherent in trying to multi-task your life and your work.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not great at being present, but I’m working on it. How about you? Do you have a secret to achieving a work life balance? Let me know in the comment section below. I’d like to hear from you.

The Rest Of The #ArchiTalks Crew:

In the meantime, here’s a list of some others that are working and living in our profession. What are they trying to balance?:

If you’re interested in joining in the #ArchiTalks fun for future posts leave a comment in the Speak Your Mind area below and I’ll make sure you’re including on the email chain going forward.

My goal is to start an open dialogue and let Architect of the Internet be a forum where we can all learn to have success in the business of architecture through Social Media.

 

About Jeff Echols

Jeff Echols is the creative Storyteller for Award-Winning architecture firms and the Social Media Campaign Manager for industry professionals. He is a graduate of Ball State University with over 20 years’ experience in the marketing departments of firms ranging from three to three thousand employees.

Jeff spends countless hours studying, developing and implementing strategies for insuring marketing success for Architects and other business owners in the online arena. He documents the good, the bad and the ugly in Social Media at Architect of the Internet and speaks about Conquering Social Media in venues ranging from the Board Room to the Convention Stage.

Comments

  1. Being present is the best thing anyone can do to their life! If they are just going through the daily grind for the sake of it and not enjoying anything, what’s the use.

    • I completely agree Meghana! It’s not always easy. There are always distractions. You owe it to yourself, your work and those around you. Thanks for the comment. – Jeff

  2. Great advice. Being present can be one the hardest, yet most important things we can learn to practice.

  3. wonderful post Jeff. Be present. So simple but so hard. I’m going to work in that.

  4. Great post, Jeff.
    I have to admit; I was distracted by the Storytelling Agency link. I had to read it first…
    I wish you great success with that!
    Collier

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