"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." - Albert Einstein
One of the things that my coaching clients want to explore with me is work-life balance…especially in HK where work tends to eat into our social/family time! With the easy access to our emails and constantly being accessible by mobile it’s even harder to separate work from life. It's the struggle between our work persona - the hard working, productive diligent employee - weighed up against the good friend, the partner, the parent. I know I spend a considerable amount of time feeling compromised and guilty that I am failing at one/both of the above!
Sooooooooooooooo here are some of the suggestions that I make to my clients!
Decide what your priorities are for the day (you can do this the night before). Is finishing a proposal for work a priority? Or is it attending your kid’s soccer match? Or having a pedicure? Once you know the things that have to be completed you have a structure. And when you have accomplished the most prioritised task, you can then move on to less pressing tasks! I rely on my iPhone diary and input everything as soon as its confirmed…I also LOVE making lists! Both are helpful to keep you on track!
This runs on from the previous point. I also LOVE being organised! I am woman who likes...LOVES a plan! I know not everyone finds it easy to be organised and sadly you can’t wave a magic wand and make it so - you just have to work at it! But basic things, like knowing where your car keys are because you always put them on a hook by the door, will save you hours of wasted time, such as hunting for them under the sofa or in the freezer!
I used to be rubbish at asking people to help me with things and then one day I had an ‘Aha!’ moment and realised that actually my colleagues were so much better at certain things than I was! Once you learn the art of delegation, life becomes a lot less stressful…as long as you have awesome colleagues! In HK, we are VERY lucky to have help in the home…so household chores, babysitting, cooking & shopping for groceries, etc. can all be handled for you. In other cultures this might be frowned upon…but in HK it's the norm!
Make sure you take time for yourself to do something for you! Spa day, watch a movie, spend time in nature, meditate, go to the gym. Whatever de-stresses & delights! Take time to do fun stuff that YOU enjoy. Everyone is different! I love going to the theatre, art journaling, yoga-ing, spending time with my family…these are non-negotiables and so I build them into my week and schedule them in my diary so that I know they are firm commitments.
Saying ‘No!’ is tricky! You don’t want to upset your boss or a colleague but, if you really can’t take on another project, it's best to decline politely rather than suffer in silence and then bitch about it later. For your sanity be realistic about what you can fit into your day!
The thing about ‘balance’ is that it’s fragile and difficult to maintain. There’s always got to be flexibility to prioritise work, friends, family, when THEY need it.
There is no perfect, one-size-fits-all balance you should be striving for. The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different priorities and different lives!
Read EAT THAT FROG by Brian Tracy…make the time, and it’ll save you time in the long run!