Work–Life Balance

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From a coach’s viewpoint

Personally, I think work–life balance is a myth. Why? Because if you have a financial year-end or a deadline at work, that is where your attention will be. If you have a birthday party to plan, that is where your attention will be. It is a personal choice as to how you manage your work–life balance.

I would have the conversation of work–life balance with the executives, senior managers and professionals or entrepreneurs that I coach. We discuss how they manage their personal and professional lives, how much time they spend in each area of their lives, and we can immediately determine what is taking up most of their time. The problem never lies in how much work or assignments, or personal responsibilities, you have on your desk or in your life – but it is how you manage your time. “Where attention goes that is where energy flows.”

The outcomes of coaching are wide and varied. Goal-specific coaching outcomes occur commonly in the areas of time-management, career, business, relationships, family, physical wellness, spiritual, personal, goal-setting and financial issues. In my experience, the coaching objective most of the time is work–life balance.

In order to change a behaviour, for example having regular meals, it is important for the person to want to change. Many people today are so busy making a living that they don’t make time to make a life or live it. If you continue doing the same things, you can expect the same results. For real change in your life, it would help if you are willing to make an effort and do the work – that is to be consistent, committed and realistic.

A question to reflect on: How will you know if this year has been a total success?

Here are a few exercises to consider:

  • Visualise your ideal life – dare to dream and write down the top ten things you want to accomplish (wish list). Reprioritise: What are your top 10 priorities for this year? Rank them in terms of highest, high and low.
  • Pursue your passion persistently – own it and be disciplined in achieving what you truly desire out of life (for example learning a third language).
  • Keep a journal. Set a goal of doing one fun activity every weekend. Make it a goal to call two friends every weekend – you won’t have any regrets about building up these relationships.
  • Define your daily exercise time – what works best for you, 20 minutes in the morning, afternoon or evening? Go to bed early. Eat healthy.
  • When confronted with a choice, ask yourself: What’s the cost? Will this add to my life or create more stress? Let go of people and things that are holding you back (clutter, negativity, clothing, luxury items, toys, etc).

Where you go in life is up to you. Where you go with your work-life balance should be by choice not chance.

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