We all have one life to live! We all have the same 24 hours in each day, and we need to make the most of those hours and our lives. Can we separate our personal and professional lives? Can we have balance?
In B is for Balance, 12 steps toward a more balanced life at home and at work, 2nd edition, we answered that question. We did it so well that the book was awarded 1st Place in Consumer Health by the American Journal of Nursing in 2015. Now, we offer a workbook to guide the reader to an awareness of what is needed to create, and sustain balance! This is The Road to Stress Management.
This is it…the ultimate workbook to accompany the award-winning book – with a Stress Management Thought at the end of each chapter. Available next week at http:/smwgroupllc.com and http:/sharonmweinstein.com
Tired – overworked – emotionally and physically drained? Are your aging parents challenged, or is your young child ill? Is your partner out of work, or overworked? If any of these scenarios describe you, you may be in need of balance. If you know your skills, abilities, and performance record are strong and valued, you have a solid footing for negotiating flexible work arrangements.
What is negotiation? Practically, it’s making the other person an offer or proposal that he or she may find more attractive than the next best alternative. Some consider negotiation to be the art of making deals. It is certainly that, but it also involves educating the other party about merits of your offer or proposal or talents, skills, and actual and potential contributions. Negotiation is a key component of creating workplace balance and thus avoiding burnout. To negotiate successfully, you must do some advance planning. The process is simple, but each step is critical to the outcome.
- Be prepared. Follow the tips and understand the rationale; know what you want and understand what the other party wants.
- Open with your case; this demonstrates confidence. Then, listen actively.
- Support your case with facts.
- Explore areas of agreement and disagreement, and seek understanding and possibilities.
- Indicate your readiness to work together.
- Know your options.
- Advance to closure by confirming the details.
- Make it happen!
|Know what you are willing to accept and be honest about your requirements
||You will be empowered in support of your interests.
Your listener will recognize your confidence level.
|Do not disclose what you are willing to accept in terms of salary or conditions. Have a deal-breaker in mind, i.e., lack of flexibility in hours.
||This will compromise your negotiating power.
|Determine what the other party is willing to accept.
||It is better to know the alternatives up-front than to second-guess.
|Be an active listener, like a student.
||Assume there are things about the situation that you don’t understand.
Let the other party know that you have heard and understood what has been said.
Make the art of negotiation your key to balance!
The author has consulted with global organizations to create respite centers within healthcare settings. Today’s work environment mandates providing respite centers in all industries.
A Hospital-Based Respite Center
Stress is overwhelming, and workplace stress has become a ‘given.’ We can overcome that stress by creating an internal respite center whose goal is to provide a safe, calm place in which nurses can regain momentum, renew spirit, and refresh themselves. I’ve had the privilege of creating such centers in global locations; these are possible amenities:
- Eye masks for dimming light
- Healthy snacks
- Healthy choices
- Workout area including adjacent paths and exercise room on-site
- Adjustable heating and ventilation
- Noise levels controlled
- Room size approximately 30 x 30
- 4 comfortable chairs with ottomans or recliners
- Massage tables
- Filtered water system
- Control of lighting
- Dark room as needed
- Safe setting
- Showers nearby
- Consistent recognition and rewards for success
- Attention, praise, and rewards are given for wellness achievements
- Values placed on wellness
- Values on lifestyle improvements/enhancements
- PTO for achieving success
- Wellness mentors/mentees
- Peer modeling
- Managers model healthy behaviors
- Walk the walk and talk the talk
- Weight management
- Weight watchers on-site
- Ongoing health promotion
- Orientation for new students/staff
- Participation 100%
- Health calendar emphasis (national health holidays, i.e., diabetes, vision, heart, cancer)
- Benefits of good health
- Ease of access
- Lifestyle changes
For additional information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Life Balance…it is what we do and who we are!
Prior to her commitment to work/life balance, this registered nurse by education and passion, worked 100 hours per week, 3 countries per week until she missed a family event because of a flight delay in Eastern Europe. The plane had contraband on board, and the delay extended for 4 days. She realized that she needed to shift her paradigm and ‘get a life.’ And that’s exactly what she did!
It is one thing for entrepreneurs to work excessive hours to ‘start-up’ and ‘succeed.’ It is another thing when your job involves working that many hours.
No one became an entrepreneur because of wanting to work less. In reality, entrepreneurs work an incredible number of hours—in excess of 60 a week. Even when entrepreneurs aren’t physically working, they are still thinking about their businesses.
The four-day workweek is nearly standard in the Netherlands, especially among working moms.
About 86% of employed mothers worked 34 hours or less each week last year, according to Dutch government statistics. Among fathers, about 12% also worked a shortened workweek.
Local laws promote a work-life balance and protect part-time workers. What a novel approach, and one that would work for all of us! A consistency when I worked in Eastern Europe was the maternity leave with your job held for you for over a year, including your title and salary.
Don’t do what I did…do what I say, and now do regularly. Create a schedule for yourself that includes downtime – time to be good to YOU! Avoid being a workaholic, whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee. Keep the balance…
Sharon Weinstein is the author of B is for Balance, 2nd edition, winner of 1st place in Consumer Health (2015).