The context: balancing the ideal and today’s real world
Work is a big part of your life, and getting it in balance with the rest of your life is often difficult – yet vital. Throughout history there have been pressures in most jobs; and even with the news of decreasing unemployment, getting, keeping and enjoying a job is not always easy. Yet there is nothing wrong with hard work (my parents both worked hard to provide for us after arriving in England with nothing). It of course hinges on whether you are working hard and enjoying it, or working hard and hating it – more on that in a moment. Working hard is ok – working smart is better. So given that working intensely and for long hours is nearly the norm, how can you ensure the rest of your life is not decimated. Your family needs you – especially your spouse and kids. But you also need social and leisure time – and time just for yourself. Here are a few thoughts on how you can keep that balance …
We all have choices. We may not always believe that we have, but we do. Let us start at the beginning – we have a duty to ourselves (and those dependent on us) to stay healthy and fit. Why work like a lunatic only to die prematurely? As far as I know you can’t take money with you! So do whatever it takes to stay healthy and fit.
If you choose to not take breaks and miss holidays – why? Who is going to win if you do that?
What does a good balance across the various facets of your life looks like? Create your model of what that looks like.
I constantly come across people who think their time management is fine, only to find they never bothered to learn new and better techniques. That too is your choice. Does the argument “I don’t have time to learn how to do things better” ever stand up?
It is also your choice how you set up boundaries between work and the rest of your life, no one else can set those. Which takes us onto …
Communicating our needs
If we have these boundaries and we don’t communicate them, then to the world outside our heads, they don’t exist. Boundaries only work when we carefully let the world (including our bosses) know what they are.
Often people say “I can’t say that!” But they have no idea what the response to a kind , logical and fairly stated case will be – they assume the worst, and so bottle out of the discussion. People respect honest truth.
If we keep getting work dumped on us and then are “got at” for not coping, maybe we need to say “no” occasionally – again in a kind, logical and fair way. Sometimes it is not saying “no” but how can you say “yes” in a different and controlled way. The person who always simply says “yes” always seems to get dumped on!
Great or awful job?
If you enjoy your job – a big and sincere well done to you.
If you don’t, why not do something about it rather than suffering or moaning. Talk to your bosses and explain what is wrong and ask them to help you (most will). If that fails or you are in the wrong field altogether, find your ideal job.
It is surprising how many people hate their jobs – and do nothing about it. If you need to find your ideal job, then just call me I have a great Career Crossroads programme.
So how about taking the …
Challenge of the day
Can you spend two minutes thinking about ….
What are the main areas of inbalance in your life?
What are you going to do about it?
Who do you know who might benefit from having their own personal or business coach?
I am, as always, happy to talk to anyone – no obligation whatsoever! Just call or email me.
To find the range of services I offer please visit:
Head Coach, Life Coach Associates