Time and Balance

The expression work / life balance was born in the United Kingdom in the 1970s, defined as “a comfortable state of balance achieved between an employee’s main priorities of his or her job and his or her private lifestyle.

For a long time, the ways to establish this balance was to promote efficiency by avoiding the overlapping of both spaces, hence the need for time management resources.

However, thinking that “time management” requires only a set of good technological tools is like thinking that a good set of knives and good quality ingredients are the only things needed to cook a delicious meal. Time management is fundamentally linked to the clarity of priorities and the decision making of what to do and how to do it in our day to day.

Some of the tips for cultivating habits of efficiency that we most often come across are:


  • Split projects into smaller, programmable activities to be realistically managed.
  • Organize tasks by differentiating them into important/non-important and urgent/non-urgent. While you will start with the “urgent/important” tasks, it is the “important/non-urgent” ones that should take up the most time on the day’s agenda, as they are often the ones that determine the purpose of the role.
  • Schedule the activities and share the diagram with the stakeholders involved.
  • Group similar tasks together, as doing them in the same space of time allows you to maintain pace and focus before moving on to a different issue.
  • Divide time into short work intervals alternating with rest periods to maintain focus and concentration, as proposed by the Pomodoro technique.


Undoubtedly, following these indications will allow us to be more effective in our day to day and consequently achieve a better balance in our working day. These tips are invaluable at a tactical level, but they are not enough if we think about the long term and the integration of all the aspects that make up a balanced and healthy life.

Work-life integration has long been at the center of conversations and with the change of the work format it has intensified, becoming even one of the conditions of the new generations entering the market.

Reviewing personal stories, I found two very different cases: 

On one hand we have Juan Ignacio, who for many years was an IT leader. Some time ago his area was redesigned and transferred to a regional services operation from Manila. Seeking to retain him, the company offered him a radical change of role, taking on his training and with an interesting package of benefits to tempt him. Even so, the satisfaction of the recognition was not enough to minimize the grief over the position he was leaving and with which he felt strongly identified. He loved his team and his daily task.

On the other hand, we have Mora, who at 24 years old already holds the position of coordinator of the quality area. Her promotion is quite recent, there is a lot to do and a lot to learn. Taking on this challenge means overtime, putting aside aspects of her social life for a while and absolute focus on understanding the new role. Talking to her, you can sense her satisfaction, enthusiasm and genuine desire to dedicate herself 100% to succeeding in this new challenge.

Seen in perspective, the outcome sounds obvious, but when we are playing our own game, it is not so simple to see it. When it comes to achieving work-life balance, a critical component emerges that defines our game, and that is a sense of purpose. Thinking in balance requires not only method and tools but also being able to identify ourselves with what we do.

Perhaps the best advice I can add at this point is not a new app to download or a new method of using your time or breathing consciously, but the advice to invest time with yourself to identify what it is that really gives meaning to every minute of your day and secure time in your week to do it.