Achieving Work Life Balance

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Put simply, Work/Life Balance is about having enough time to work AND to have outside interests AND to cater for your family & personal responsibilities.

We are all too aware that life is a complicated business these days. Many people are trying to juggle work, home and leisure commitments but are often left feeling they are not getting the best out of any of them. The reason? Work is taking over their lives. As a practicing coach I see an alarming number of clients who cannot understand why they feel so unhappy when they have the trappings of what is perceived by many as success - good job, nice car, house, family.

Why is there still a void? Because poverty comes in different guises – time poverty, emotional poverty, authenticity poverty, value poverty, motivation poverty, and more. 

Often the culprit is Work/Life imbalance. 

Once a client becomes aware that they are living to work rather than working to live, they can begin to take back their personal control. Do NOT fall into the trap of treating Work-Life Balance as a luxury that you cannot afford at this juncture in your life. 

By placing the focus firmly back onto your authentic values, goals and needs, you can find resourceful ways of making your work accommodate your life rather than the other way round. Do this, and the world suddenly opens back up for you. 

TOP TIPS FOR ACHIEVING WORK/LIFE BALANCE

1. SLOW DOWN. 
2. KNOW WHAT IS CAUSING YOU STRESS. 
3. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS. 
4. LEARN BETTER TIME MANAGEMENT. AVOID PROCRASTINATION. 
5. PUT YOUR JOB IN PERSPECTIVE. 
6. TAKE CHARGE & SET PRIORITIES. 
7. BE PROACTIVE RATHER THAN REACTIVE. 
8. ASK FOR ASSISTANCE. 
9. SIMPLIFY & DE-CLUTTER. 
10. MASTER YOUR OWN MOTIVATION. 
11. CONSIDER GETTING SOME COACHING. 
12. PUT A VALUE ON YOURSELF AND YOUR ABILITIES. 

TIP 1 SLOW DOWN 
Life is simply too short, so don't let things pass you in a blur. Take steps to stop and enjoy the things and people around you. Schedule more time between meetings. Don't make plans for every evening or weekend. 

TIP 2 KNOW WHAT IS CAUSING YOU STRESS 
Once you recognise these stress sources, you can start scheming to distance yourself from them. 

TIP 3 DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS 
Don’t try to be superhuman. Everyone has different energy leves. Plus – you just never know what might be going on behind the scenes with another person. 

TIP 4 LEARN BETTER TIME MANAGEMENT. AVOID PROCRASTINATION 
For many people, most of the stress they feel comes from simply being disorganised prone to habits of procrastination and task-avoidance. Learn to set more realistic goals and deadlines - and then stick to them. You'll find not only that you are less stressed but that your work is better. 

TIP 5 PUT YOUR JOB IN PERSPECTIVE 
Easier said than done, this, but learn to let things go once in a while. So what if you didn’t file that paperwork away last Friday or make that unimportant call? Learn to recognise the things that don't really have much ultimate impact in your life. Don’t beat yourself up for letting them go occasionally. Adopt a ‘nobody has died’ attitude to such matters. 

TIP 6 TAKE CHARGE & SET PRIORITIES 
Ask yourself continually - what is the benefit of me getting this done? What will this give me? Sometimes it's easier for us to allow ourselves to feel overwhelmed rather than take charge with a prioritised list of things that really need to get done. 

TIP 7 BE PROACTIVE RATHER THAN REACTIVE 
Move out of ‘fire-fighting’ mode. Add a planning element to your day, week, month and year. This is the key to effective time management. 

TIP 8 ASK FOR ASSISTANCE 
Don’t be afraid to do this. If you do not have time for a given task, or if it doesn’t fit in with your current priorities, you have two choices – delegate or knock off your ‘to do’ list. 

TIP 9 SIMPLIFY & DE-CLUTTER 
It seems human nature for just about everyone to take on too many tasks and responsibilities – and to own too much. Find a way to simplify your life. Change your lifestyle. Learn to say no to requests for help. Get rid of the clutter and baggage in your house - and in your life. Become your own centre of gravity rather than letting yourself get dispersed every which way.

TIP 10 MASTER YOUR OWN MOTIVATION 
Don’t always rely on material or financial incentives to do things. Don’t always wait on your manager or other key players to offer praise and motivation. The most effective approach is for the employee to motivate themselves by putting their own personal key strategies in place. The old advice to employees to act ‘as if you were self-employed’ is pertinent in this context. 

TIP 11 CONSIDER GETTING SOME COACHING 
If you are feeling overwhelmed with your work responsibilities, please consider getting help by seeking life and/or career coaching for yourself. In most cases you will find hitherto unrecognised options for easing the pressure. 

TIP 12 PUT A VALUE ON YOURSELF AND YOUR ABILITIES