According to a survey developed by The Manufacturing Institute, Deloitte and APICS, work-life balance is ranked as one of the most important aspects of a women’s career in manufacturing.
As the plant manager of a manufacturing facility in Mexico, I am deeply immersed in the daily grind of the plant floor. I truly understand the difficulty of finding that balance between work and life. First, we need to define what “balance” means for us, because it’s not the same for everyone. For me, staying healthy and fit is a priority. If I don’t stay healthy, I cannot be my best self on the plant floor. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard “I just don’t have time to work out!” I’d be retired by now! Amazingly enough, we all have the exact same amount of time each day—24 hours. What people really mean is, “I don’t make exercise a priority.” So what are you prioritizing in your life?
My Self-Awareness Quiz:
1) How many hours per week do you spend working? (Yes, weekend emails count.)
2) How many hours a week do you spend dedicated to your family? (Sleeping hours don’t count!)
3) How many hours do you spend solely focused on you? (What’s that?)
Every week has 168 hours. The average adult needs about 60 hours of sleep per week. So, if you are working more than 54 hours per week, you are spending half of your waking hours working!
The other 54: Four Tactics for Balancing You, Your Family and What You Love!
1) Combine family/couple time with exercise time: A family that plays together stays together! Taking a nature hike (even in your neighborhood), bike riding, swimming outdoors or simply walking the dog every day can all be wonder-filled opportunities for shared time together while moving your body and your family toward a healthy lifestyle.
2) Make family mealtime a “special time”: Turn on the radio or your favorite music and prepare meals together to set a playful or romantic mood. The best ingredient in food is love, so love cutting and chopping and cooking to enjoy nourishing your relationships and your body at the same time.
3) Banish your smart phones for ONE HOUR a day when you are together with friends and family (unless you are on Snopes to settle an important argument). Be present in the moment to enjoy this precious slice of life you have carved out for each other.
4) Bribe yourself: As my father said, after raising nine children who all finished college, “bribery works!” Let’s face it: If you weren’t getting a paycheck, you wouldn’t go to work. So, set a goal and set up a reward for that goal. Make the reward immediate and strong to be effective. For example, “For every hour that I work out, I will receive two hours of maid service at home.”
Be purposeful, get that balance back and find joy in your life!