Work-Life Balance

Life Coach

As an experienced Life and Wellness Coach, I frequently talk about the concept of work-life balance.  With such busy lives these days, trying to juggle a challenging or busy job, along with a busy life can be hard work at times.   We want to maintain good health, wellness, time with friends, family and community, family, hobbies, social time and often many other activities.  It’s not always the easiest task to get that balance and not feel stressed, overworked, harangued or out of sorts.

Here are my top 7 tips on how to find a harmonious balance between your work and your life:

1. Set your goals, prioritize and plan
What do you want out of life?  What gives you pleasure?   For some, that is a challenging but rewarding job, for others it’s great health, or sporting achievements, art, a social life or family.  I’m not saying one is more important than another, but for each individual person, some may be more important to you.  What makes you happy?  There is little point working a 90 hour a week job that you absolutely hate and maybe isn’t even rewarding you financially either.  If attaining a degree is a priority at present then that will be one of your goals and an area you need to spend time.  Remember also our goals change during the course of our life.  Holidays and travel may be important, or family, children or grandchildren.  Perhaps pets or a hobby are priorities for you or excellent health.  Work out your priorities and list them in order and be realistic about the amount of time available in each day.

2. Establish boundaries
Once you have determined your priorities and goals – it’s time to set some boundaries.  If you don’t exist purely to work and want to have a personal life as well, then you’ll need to set some boundaries.  It might be that you stop work at a certain time, or don’t work on weekends.  If you have to work weekends, then only perhaps Saturday morning, so come 12 noon you stop work completely.  That doesn’t mean accessing emails on your phone instead.   If you work from home and family and friends are always dropping in during business hours, then it might mean setting some boundaries there and nicely communicating that although you’re at home, you are working and instead trying to make those catch up times outside work hours.  If you do community and charity work you might need to say no at times, otherwise you might find yourself working essentially two jobs.   Parents with young families often have a lot on their plate too – it might be a case of limiting the number of sporting or extracurricular activities after school to just a couple of afternoons or nights a week.

3. Remember to take care of what’s important
We may have our priorities which might be around work, or career or education but please don’t forget the other things which should also be important in your life.  Naturally, wellness, good health and self-care are important, but so are relationships.  It may be the relationship you have with a partner, children, parents, family and of course friends.  Good people relationships create happiness, inner satisfactory and peace.  In times of challenge, we have someone to talk to, share with and lean on.  Plus of course, we are there for our loved ones to lean on us.   It works both ways and in giving sometimes that gives the most joy.   Along with caring for the relationships in your life is doing what gives you joy; don’t spend more time than you absolutely have to on things which don’t give you joy.  Sure, I know paying bills is probably not everyone’s happy place, but it’s got to be done.  Some things we can’t avoid, but other things we can choose to leave behind.  If driving in peak hour traffic is incredibly stressful for you, then why not take a bus or train, read a book or listen to some relaxing music or a podcast whilst someone else deals with the traffic?

4.Health and wellness
Yes, I know I’m a life and wellness coach, but health and wellness should be a high priority for everyone.  If we are healthy (mind, body and spirit) then we are able to function optimally and perform our best in every other aspect of our life.  We are able to work more effectively, be there for family and often live longer lives.  Remember that good health and wellness isn’t just diet, but is more all-encompassing; including nutrition, exercise, getting enough sleep, avoiding anxiety and taking quiet time out.  Remember the key word in this blog is BALANCE – that means the right amount of everything that you need and want.

5. Be organized and plan your day/week
Having goals is great, but you also need a plan to implement them.  You should also use your diary to schedule time to do what’s important.  If you want to meditate when you wake up, then scheduling a 6am conference call with overseas might not work, unless you’re planning on waking at 4am.  The 4am wake up might be ok, as long as you didn’t get to bed at midnight.  The best way to make things happen is to schedule them, whether that’s exercise or your regular holidays.  Too often we get busy and the self-care things we want to do just don’t happen.  Don’t forget to schedule you time; whether that’s a walk, trip to the spa, cycle, pottery class or just sitting back and closing your eyes whilst you listen to some music.  Remember to schedule in something each week which gives you pleasure, joy and happiness.

6. Work smarter not harder
Work or business often take up the majority of our waking hours, so it makes sense to be as productive as possible whilst working.  If your computer skills or time management skills are lacking, possibly it’s time to do some training.  If you and your desk are disorganized, then possibly it’s time to put some systems in place and organize your work area.  If interruptions are sucking the life (and hours) out of you – then what is your strategy to reduce the interruption factor?  Know your most productive time of day.  For over 65% of people it’s the morning.  So if that’s you, then schedule into your morning the tasks which are most important or hardest.  If you know something is not your strength and you’re able to delegate that item – then do so.

7. Be kind to yourself – and ask for help
Avoid over-scheduling or creating a list of a thousand things to do.   With realistic goals, you won’t try to do 50 things in a day – you’re just setting yourself up for either burnout or failure.   If you don’t get something done, don’t beat yourself up about it.  If it’s important, plan to do it first thing the next day.

If you want to improve your work-life balance or have an aspect of your life you want to work on – perhaps health, wellness, anxiety, weight loss or finding focus in your life, then consider reaching out for help.  Life Coaches, like myself, specialise in exactly this sort of thing.  We can provide guidance, support and yes, at times accountability to help you identify, set and achieve your goals – whilst maintaining balance in your work and life.  Call me on 0428 124 922.