Returning to Work – Redefining Balance in 2023
Returning to work after Christmas can be tricky, especially if you’ve not had to work the ‘twixmas’ period. You’ve lost track of the days, eaten too many mince pies and chocolate and have generally existed in a tinsel encased fog of television infused lethargy.
Sometimes, returning to work can be a welcome relief and allows you to refocus and re-energise, getting yourself back into a routine and setting some professional goals and boundaries for the coming year. It does not have to be a list of resolutions or a task list that sets you up to fail, but simply a reflection on what may not have worked so well last year and what you can / maybe do better going forward.
My aim is always balance. That may be between work and family, work and friends, work and hobbies. There is always so much I want to do and achieve but I realise I cannot do it all and trying to do so just leads to disappointment.
My focus for 2023 is to say no where appropriate and delegate where possible. This is not to say I won’t do my fair share but rather create manageable boundaries as to what is achievable and rely on the people around me to support me. My role is to add value and I can’t do this if overstretched. We often find it difficult to say no or to ask for help. As I get older I am starting to realise that I have the ability to say no if something does not work for me or is simply not feasible. Being realistic is fair. If you want to be the best you can be you have to make choices and focus your attention on the least number of tasks at once.
Balancing home and work is already a struggle, it is your responsibility to make it easier for yourself, not harder.
Do not be afraid to say no, push back, where you have legitimate reason to do so. Create boundaries and distance so people know your limitations and you can build and develop your key strengths. I have never successfully managed any of this but this year, 2023, I will ask myself when faced with another task, chore or responsibility, can I add value, does it work for me?