By Jami Miedema

I think most of us, at one time or another, have struggled with the issue of work-life balance. Sometimes I find myself wishing there were more hours in the day to finish my many tasks both at work and home. Other days, I wonder why I didn’t use my time more efficiently on a lazy Sunday afternoon. It’s all about prioritization and balance.

I recently watched a TED video regarding the delicate work-life balance that we all strive to achieve. This “idea worth spreading” was given by Nigel Marsh, an Australian businessman and author, at the TEDx Sydney convention held in May 2010. From his presentation, Nigel offers four observations about finding that healthy balance in our lives:

1)    An honest debate is needed to make any progress about the issue. Are your career choices compatible with the home and personal life you desire to have? Are the perks you experience at work helping maintain balance, or are they masking the problem?

2)    Nobody will solve the issue for us. It is up to us to determine what work-life balance looks like. Nigel says, “If you don’t design your life, someone else will design it for you.” We need to set and enforce the boundaries we want.

3)    Create a realistic timeframe for which to judge balance. Work-life balance is not achieved in one day. It should also not be put off until after we retire.

4)    Approach balance in a balanced way. Balance is not about making dramatic changes within our lives. Making small investments in the right places can greatly improve our quality of life.

I thought this ten-minute video was quite profound (and witty). Not only does it provide a rational way to approach the work-life balance issue, but it also reminds us that when we set and enforce boundaries, it gives us the ability to create change within our lives.

Click on the video below to view Nigel’s presentation!