Who is happy? He who has a healthy body, a resourceful mind and a docile nature – Thales of Miletus.
Work life balance is hard, elusive and fragile. Achieving the perfect balance between our personal and professional lives is one of the biggest 21st century challenges we face. Often this concept involves so many different aspects, people, even our subconscious and unconscious minds, that can we can be left feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, understandably upset.
Tired of juggling duties and pleasures? Can’t remember the last time you find proper time for yourself? Look no further and check out my Best Practices to come face to face with this mythological creature!
I’ve broken it down into 4 Simple Steps to make your journey to work-life balance as pleasant as a cruise in the Caribbean! This 4 Step process will honestly lead you to a more relaxed, harmonious, better performing version of yourself, enabling you to look at life with real long term satisfaction and a sense of achievement. And not one single unicorn is involved!
1. Make the Inventory
First, we need to get real on what work life balance really means to us. The most important starting point to understand how well your professional and personal life are both in good shape is to make a quick self-diagnosis. I suggest you write this down and ideally share it with a colleague or friend - being abstract is rarely useful when it comes to practical matters like our schedule.
Are you working a reasonable number of hours? Are you taking enough time off? Where and when do you feel balanced and imbalanced? During the week, when are you feeling energised and engaged or tired and exhausted? Are your eating and sleeping patterns regular? The list goes on. Start with the main items and over time get more granular.
2. Visualise the Ideal to Real
Visualising your goal is another critical step towards any achievement. After understanding the major areas that matter to you, take a few moments to get really clear about where exactly we’d like to be! What does your perfect equilibrium look like? What are the practicalities, behaviours, and most important of all, how does that feel? This sends a strong signal to our unconscious mind that this is what we’d like to achieve.
When we understand the secret formula for our happiness, our ship automatically sails in the right direction. Vision your perfect outcome and let the mind do the hard work!
3. Start to Measure
Have the feeling you’re working 24/7? Frustrated your holidays and weekends seem to disappear in the blink of an eye? Sometimes stress can alter our objective perception of reality, so to avoid that start measure what you really are doing and how much time you’re spending doing it. Break down your activities, count how many minutes or hours they occupy in your day and concentrate on them one at the time. You’ll be more productive and prevent stress and burnout. I’ve done this exercise with countless clients and the results are always incredible!
4. Take Action
Even the perfect plan is ineffective without action! Now you know what to want and where you’re at, so let’s get start taking some small concrete steps to nudge the dial just a tiny bit. Small steps make a big change, so start small and get ready for success.
There are so many ways to nudge the work-life balance dial, so consider the most suitable for you. Here are a few examples:
avoid unreasonable deadlines
leave work as early as you can
learn how to say ‘No’
don’t take work home
But if it all seems too much and you’d like some further support, give me a shout!