Work-life balance

"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!

1) Prioritize
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!

2) Organisation
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! 

3) Delegate
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!

4) R&R
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.

5) No!
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!


If you don't like something, change it.

I consider myself a positive person…my glass is ALWAYS half full!! 

But falling into the trap of bitching and moaning and wanting different, wanting more is a state we all fall into at some time or another. I think this applies especially here in Hong Kong where we constantly compare ourselves with others. We always think that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence…and spend way too much time contemplating the ‘what if’ and not spending enough time appreciating the ‘what now’.

I have recently set myself the task of attempting to change my attitude by being more grateful, looking for the good in a situation and seeking out the positive.

The past 6 months have included some big changes in my life. I have tried to look at these not as problems (I reframed ‘problems’ as ‘challenges’ a couple of years ago…I have now reframed ‘challenges’ as ‘opportunities’!!) but as opportunities…and my catch phrase has been “Everything happens for a reason”…if you have spent time with me in recent months you’ll have heard this phrase often!

I have chosen to live a positive happy life…you can to!


Steps to Living a positive life:

Believe Happiness is your Choice
I only recently discovered this…its very simple and we should all know it…but I needed someone to tell me…so I’m mentioning it you! We can choose how we feel! How liberating! OK…so not always easy…but good to know we have this option…right? It’s great to know that we have control over our happiness levels. We get to choose! So don’t get bogged down in a bad mood, choose to let it go and choose happy.

No more Negativity
Dump people who bring you down! You cannot live a positive life if you are surrounded by toxic people who drain you and diminish your energy levels. Again easier said than done…but if you truly want to be living a happy life you need to bite the bullet and catapult them. Surround yourself with like minded people who bring you energy, try new activities to make new friends or go back to an activity that you enjoyed in your youth that has fallen by the wayside.

Positives Everywhere
We are surrounded by positivity…people, circumstances and opportunities! Sometimes by just asking the question “What’s good about this?” will bring forth answers you might have missed whilst spending time thinking of the negatives in the situation. This is a great habit to cultivate…once you start finding good and feeling grateful you’ll start attracting more good! 

Positive Me
I’ve been working with women recently on gratitude, specifically being grateful for ourselves. It’s been amazing how many comments I have heard that remind me how much we take our fabulousness for granted. We find it easy to criticise and moan rather than celebrate our personalities, attributes and glorious bodies. If you don’t love you, no one else will!

Sharing Positivity
By being nice to other people you can share your positivity with those around you. Appreciate your team at work, compliment a stranger on their appearance, smile at a stranger, hold the door open…simple things that show you care! By sharing you’ll feel good about yourself, you’ll increase feelings of wellbeing, you’ll feel happy!

Enjoy the now
Live in this moment, focus on what is happening now, don’t worry about the future or feel sad about the past. If you spend time over analysing or trying to predict your future, you’ll miss out on the present. 

By dwelling on negative things that ‘might’ occur you are putting negative thoughts into your mind and out into the universe, by focusing on these you are more likely to attract them. If we are worrying and not taking action and moving towards our goal we are wasting energy and we get stuck. Get unstuck by taking baby steps towards your goal as Einstein said “Nothing happens until something moves.”

Do you consider yourself a positive person?

In your journal write down a list of 5 things every evening that you are grateful for as a celebration of your day!