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Four Techniques To Help You Achieve Work-Life Balance Achieving work-life balance is something both women and men should strive for.

By Natalie Brown

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Before we define the term, let's be clear about what work life balance is not. It is not about trying to get the same time and enjoyment for both your personal life and your work life. It is more about getting enjoyment and fulfilment from both your personal and work lives, and accepting that each day will bring a new set of challenges. It will involve making allowances, and, to some extent, sacrifices that you are willing to do, so that you can get what you want. The term is often related, unfortunately, to women, although achieving this work-life balance is something men should strive for as well. Here are some of the techniques I have adopted that help me achieve an acceptable work-life balance:

1. Find your balance You need to know what a work-life balance means to you. What I consider to be a work-life balance will be another person's nightmare, so go to the drawing board and find out what is important to you. If you don't know, you may accept a way of life that does not give you the fulfilment you are after.

2. Maintain open communications I communicate with my team about what is important to me, so they know when l am available. As Arianna Huffington says: "Companies don't always know what their female employees need," which is often true- in my case, these can include everything from attending my son's first day at school to taking my holiday at a specific time of the year. But, of course, l also need to be realistic about the business' needs. For example, I do not plan my vacation around the busiest time of the year. This also goes for my team. If they have specific events that they want to attend, I encourage them to share these with the team as early as possible, so we can make the necessary arrangements. As a result, planning and considering your work-life balance ahead of time can put you in a positive position.

3. Prioritize what is important (and what is urgent) There are times when something urgent and important comes up, which means l have to review my priorities, and once again, communicate them to the concerned parties. It is unrealistic for me to expect that I can do everything. I have become very good at identifying what is important, and what is urgent, and not being accessible all the time, or that is what people will start to expect.

4. You set the tone People will treat you the way you let them treat you. This is about managing expectations- and also setting them. If your colleagues and family are able to set realistic and manageable expectations, then the road ahead will be clearer.

A work-life balance, for me, is essential to cope with my day-to-day stress, and at the same time, ensure that I, my family, and my organization can succeed. In my workshops, I have seen the stress associated with people having unbalanced lifestyles, thinking they can do it all. It impacts their productivity and general perspectives, and it also increases health risks.

Employees who have the tools to balance their professional and personal lives are happier, healthier, and more productive. Understanding the benefits of a healthy balanced life will motivate anyone to make necessary changes.

Related: Balancing Act: Work-Life Balance Should Be Your Enterprise's Concern
Natalie Brown

Managing Director, Select Training and Management Consultancy LLC

Natalie Brown’s career began in the academic field in Abu Dhabi at both secondary and tertiary levels and worked her way up to eventually establishing and managing Select Training and Management Consultancy. She understands the importance of developing the younger generations today and ensuring companies setting up or operating in the UAE and wider region also have enough cultural awareness to succeed. After six years as an academic, she joined the corporate world, where she not only delivers her training and consultancy to the highest standards which are memorable, but also paves the way for young GCC nationals to lead and inspire the generations to come.

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