Over the last few weeks I’ve been in transition mode at work. I had been offered a promotion that was to start at the beginning of 2015, but instead it started just a couple of weeks after it was offered. This quick transition created a lot of uncertainty and required flexibility.
I’ve worked at a golf course for the last 12 years, and though I am still at the golf course I am now in a much different role. I used to be the Assistant Superintendent, which put me in charge of the grounds crew and much of the course maintenance. I am now the Assistant General Manager, which puts me in charge of the golf shop, marketing, and many other new tasks. These different roles come with a different supervisor, varied hours, and a new career path.
All of this change, all of this flux, has forced me to tip the scales of my work/life balance in the work direction. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. But if I was tipping the scales in one direction by choice it would be toward life, toward family.
Work/life balance is such a broad term that implies you should spend as much time living life as you spend at work. But the “balance” each person seeks could vary. Some may prefer to work more, some may prefer to work little, and others may prefer to simply stay in bed as much as possible.
Months ago, as I began considering a career change, I began thinking hard about what I wanted in terms of a work/life balance. Ultimately I’d love to be a stay-at-home dad that works (brings in income) by writing, but in the meantime I will accept having as much family time as I can possibly fit into a given week. Now that I know that’s my goal I attempt to build my schedule to create the optimum result.
I realized that it was time to set my priorities and then acknowledge them as I make my plans. I needed to sit down and list out everything that was important to me, so that as I plan my daily and weekly activities I could accommodate those priorities. I’ll break down my full process in a future post, but the key point for now is that I need to get back to those priorities.
It was important to know my priorities and plan around them as I began my work/life balance process, but it’s more important to keep those priorities in mind no matter what is happening in my life. When my schedule is built around my priorities I won’t have to sacrifice anything to make room for changes created by my work. There always needs to be room for adjustment and flexibility, but priorities need to remain just that, priorities.
The first couple of weeks in my new job were chaotic and out of balance, because I allowed them to be. I didn’t go in following a plan. I just let the weeks happen and said that I’d adjust over time. I know now that approach wasn’t right. I know now that my adjustments need to fit my priorities.
I need my time with my wife, my girls, and my words. And with those things in order my work life will be better too. So it’s time to tip the scales back in my favor. It’s time to live life the way it’s meant to be lived.