As a practising coach I see an alarming number of clients who cannot understand why they feel so unhappy. They have the trappings of what is perceived by many as success—good job, nice car, house, family. But… there is a a void. The usual causal factor is lack of Work-Life Balance. When a client becomes aware of this and takes control and decides not to accept these things as inevitable, their world opens back up for them and their life is upgraded.
Put simply, Work-Life Balance (not to be confused with the equally interesting concept of Work-Life Blending!) is about having enough time to be able to work and to have a life outside of work—family, friends, outside interests.
Too many people these days are struggling to juggle work, home and leisure commitments. The feeling that work is taking over at the expense of all else is lamentably widespread.
(Photo: Nathan Dumlao)
If any of the following comments ring true for you, then it certainly is time to take stock and strike the balance between YOUR Work & Life:
“Its very difficult for me to plan to do things for during the week”
"I often have to cancel arrangements to see friends at the last minute due to work commitments."
“In the evenings and at weekends I am so tired I rarely do much”
“Hobbies are non-existent during the week”
“Monday to Friday is like an Operation”
“I rarely get home well before the children are asleep"
"I suppose I am sacrificing my home life and/or my social life for my career right now"
"I often get delayed unexpectedly. This causes friction at home"
“I live to work as opposed to work to live right now”
“I accept time–poverty as the price I must pay to escape money-poverty”
“I find it very difficult to ‘switch off’ in the evenings during the week"
“I treat my non-working hours merely as a chance to recharge the old batteries in time for my next clock-in”
If any of the above sounds familiar, then chances are you haven’t so much chosen this unhappy pattern as drifted into it under the false belief there is no other way. You have allowed the relationship between Work and Life Outside Work to fall into imbalance. You have been hypnotised into believing that this is the admission fee for the world of ‘success’.
Sometimes the workplace culture can unfortunately foster a drastic skewing of priorities. For example: Work hard and you will be successful is a powerful truth that all too easily degenerates into Working hard means working crazy-long hours. Working hard is in fact a question of working smart—prioritising through effective time management. When an employee chooses to work smart, they can achieve peak competence and give the message of being in control. This in turn can make them indispensable to their employer. The employer won’t want to lose them and may even work around possible work-life balance measures in order to retain them. Adopting the work smart strategy is a win/win all round.
Thus, one of the most important keys to overall work-life balance is in-work balance. When you work smart, you maximise the impact you make while at work. You don’t dissipate your energies in time- and energy-sapping nonsense. You bring your A-game to work, precisely in order to optimise your life outside of work.
If you are one of those people that believe that exploring issues of Work-Life Balance is a luxury you simply cannot afford at this juncture in your life, then I urge you to think again. There are no medals for martyring yourself to your job.
One of the great joys of being a career coach is that I have the honour of working with stressed-out clients whom I can guide to the realisation that placing the focus firmly back onto their authentic values, goals and needs can equip them with the resources to find ways of making their work accommodate their life rather than the other way round.
Let 2023 become the year you make your career whole and create actionable insights for a better career life—and a better life-life.
Contact Clearview Coaching Group to discuss how Coaching can work for YOU - www.clearviewcoachgroup.com or Ph: 01 6316035