This month I wish to discuss work life balance.

The subject of emailing out of hours has come up in conversation in the office a few times in recent weeks, which has sparked an interest in this topic for me.

Is it possible in today’s fast moving society to switch off completely? Or is there now an expectation on us to be available 24/7?

I have always believed that striking a balance is important, and too much of any one thing can be damaging. This applies to the way in which we show up and perform in the work place and the way in which we show up and perform in our home lives; juggling our personal life with our professional life.

To be present and attentive in both areas, we must focus solely on the task at hand and separate work from home, business from play. Without this separation, the lines become blurred; we lose focus and run the risk of showing up in a diluted manner in all areas. We aren’t present as we aren’t mindful. We are thinking of work while preparing our supper or reading a story to our children; we are thinking about planning our next holiday or what chores we have to do around the house when we should be writing a project paper. We cannot act on something that happened in the past, or may happen in the future, so why waste energy worrying about it?

When we truly commit to a task, a project, an email, a conversation, we will respond and take action in the very best way, using all of our faculties, performing to the best of our ability, being creative thus contributing to increased productivity in the workplace.

Whatever we decide to do at any given moment, we must give it our full attention. If we choose to spend time with friends and family, we must commit to them; if we resolve to reply to an email late at night, we do this out of choice and focus solely on this task. We owe this to ourselves, to our team, to our family.

Be mindful. Give presence. Commit.