Juggling Act: Finding a perfect balance between work, life and rest is one of life’s greatest challenges in the 21st century. Zoe Simpson with children Amelia and Eli talks about ‘What’s tougher – full time work or being a mum?

Out of all the challenges in business, finding a good work/life balance still seems to remain as one of the greatest of all, and this issue is more widespread than you might think.

Many people automatically think of the “big city” corporate environment with extended commute times when they think of long hours and an out-of-balance work/life schedule, but many of those who are working in a regional area such as the Coffs Coast are also subject to this, particularly those running an owner/operated business.

In 1817, Robert Owen (a “social reformer” from Wales) had formulated his goal of “eight hours labour, eight hours recreation and eight hours rest” and now, 200 years on, many of us are still struggling to find this balance. It seems the more efficient technology becomes, the more it creeps in to our “recreation”, or worse still our “rest” time.

So how do we fix this enduring issue?

Well the first step is for each of us to take control and responsibility for the matter.

No one; and I mean no one, is going to fix this issue for us.

Not our partner, not the government and not the corporations we work for or within. We need to decide what sort of life we want to live and start setting and enforcing the boundaries to achieve it. When doing so, we need to be realistic. It’s unrealistic to expect to work 20 hours a week and be on holidays for six months of the year, although there are a select few who are lucky enough to achieve this.

For the rest of us, often the smallest tweaks to our day, and week, can make all the difference to the quality of our lives.

Scheduling is a very simple and effective way to achieve these changes.

Set a schedule that clearly states the hours you are happy to work, time throughout the week to spend with your family and friends and even the time you want to get your rest. Many people set an alarm for the time that they want to “go to sleep”, rather than the time they want to “wake up”, which is an great way to make sure you get the rest you need to take on the various challenges of the day.

I am confident that if you focus more on actually achieving this work/life balance, your days will become more efficient and proactive.

You will have a new sense of control and power and most importantly, your life will be more enriched.