Rebalancing your life

Until just a few weeks ago, I thought rebalancing was only something you do to your tires or investment portfolio. That's before I heard about a book on work-life balance.

The authors of Beyond Juggling: Rebalancing Your Busy Life say that most workers try to juggle competing work and family demands, but this is exhausting and ultimately unsustainable.

Kurt Sandholtz, Brooklyn Derr, Kathy Buckner, and Dawn Carlson studied work-life patterns over a five-year period and uncovered five alternative strategies for achieving balance.

Here are the options:

* Alternating: To do this, you must toggle between periods of intense work and intense "nonwork." IT offers balance in concentrated doses, with work dominating your life at times and taking a back seat at others. Alternating requires maintaining solid boundaries between work and nonwork.

* Outsourcing: Delegating some of life's demands lets you prioritize relationships, activities and pursuits and hire out or delegate those that fall low on the list. One drawback, however, is that this presents a time vs. money dilemma.

* Bundling: Engage in fewer activities or pursuits, but consume time and energy by accomplishing some of them simultaneously.

For example, you might meet your needs for exercise and socializing by working out with a friend on a regular basis.

But making this work requires trading spontaneity for structure.

* Techflexing: This involves using technology to work anywhere, anytime rather than adhering to the typical 9-to-5 workday. You gain more flexibility and personal enrichment, but one drawback is a sense of isolation.

* Simplifying: By rejecting the notion that earning or owning more is better, you can slow down live more purposefully and deliberately. You might make small sacrifices such as canceling a magazine subscription, or big ones such as taking a pay cut to work four days a week.

Which of these methods do you practice, and how effective is it for you? Published by Berrett-Koehler, the $16.96 Beyond Juggling: Rebalancing Your Busy Life provides strategies for creating a rebalancing plan that works for you. For more information, go to http://www.beyondjuggling.com

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