Monthly Archives: September 2017

The elusive work-life balance – Is it really attainable?

boards-2040575_960_720.jpg

By: Koach.net

We all want it, but few of us have found it…the elusive work-life balance. You’ve probably heard this expression mentioned a lot, especially in terms of coaching or therapy, but what does it really mean?

Wikipedia says this:

Work–life balance is a concept including proper prioritizing between “work” (career and ambition) and “lifestyle” (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation). This is related to the idea of lifestyle choice.

The work–leisure dichotomy was invented in the mid-1801s. Paul Krassner remarked that anthropologists use a definition of happiness that is to have as little separation as possible “between your work and your play”.

So how does this affect you?

It’s a sad fact of life but if we don’t work, we don’t earn money. And if we don’t earn money, we struggle to live the life we want. So it stands to reason that many of us struggle to find the balance between dedicating time to our job (which for most people amounts to where they spent 70% of their waking hours) and ensuring we still have the time and energy to spend with the ones we love, and doing the things we love to do.

In a Harvard Business School Survey (as reported by Forbes magazine), it was discovered that “a whopping 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week”. With the introduction of technology making it easier for us to be accessible 24hrs a day (and making it harder for us to escape) and thanks to the worldwide recession adding uncertainty in the workplace, it’s no surprise that people are struggling to not only find the time to stop working, but also to not feel guilty when enjoying themselves out of working hours.

So what can you do to find that inner peace?

We all have 24 hours in a day – so how can you best utilise your time?

 1. Look after yourself:

Your busy life may feel like you are lurching from one emergency to another, a perpetual cycle of ticking things off your To Do lists, but to keep that lifestyle sustainable you need a healthy mind and body. So as much as the adrenaline of a hectic schedule may be giving your short bursts of energy and a buzzy high…the reality is that you will come crashing down or worse, get seriously ill and burn out, if you don’t look after yourself.

How can you do that?

Drink lots of water and less alcohol and coffee (which in the short-term may calm or speed you up, but too much of either won’t help in the long-run).

Eat well and eat slowly, make time for your meals and add them to your schedule.

Go to the gym or to exercise classes, or even a short run every morning. Not only is keeping fit important, but it clears your mind and floods your brain with feel-good endorphins.

Rest your mind. Aim for 7-8 hours sleep a night and practice mindfulness – whether it’s ten minutes of deep breathing and visualisation each morning, or a guided mediation session a few times a week, your mind needs to rest sometimes too.

 2. Don’t expect perfection:

One of the biggest obstacles to getting through your work day, and the reason that many people stay on at work beyond their contracted hours, is because they want everything they do to be perfect. Stop!

Executive coach Marilyn Puder-York, PhD, author of The Office Survival Guide, says, “The key to avoid burning out is to let go of perfectionism. As life gets more expanded it’s very hard, both neurologically and psychologically, to keep that habit of perfection going.”

Puder-York adds, “ the healthier option is to strive not for perfection, but for excellence.”

3. Disconnect:

Technology has made our lives easier…but it’s also ensuring we stay ‘on’ at all times. Have you ever found yourself checking work emails at a friend’s wedding? Or scrolling through Facebook, locked in the toilet, while the kids are outside asking for you? Maybe you can’t even go for a meal with a loved one without leaving your phone on the dinner table. This constant need to be connected to everyone, at all times, means that we struggle to be present doing the important stuff. It also means that our attention spans are affected, making it harder for us to focus on the job in hand.

So in order to get full satisfaction from whatever it is you are doing – disconnect from technology! Leave your phone turned off and enjoy the people you are with, really live in the moment. By departmentalising your life you will benefit a lot more from every aspect of your day.

4. Stop wasting time:

If you are struggling to get all your work completed within the allocated hours, are you really concentrating 100% on your job or are you wasting time?

Focus on the people that reward you most. If you don’t want to spend your evening at after work drinks, don’t…go home and rest, or spend it with the family. Likewise don’t arrange meetings with people that don’t fit your life goals if your time is better spent elsewhere, you will only come away feeling frustrated and pulled in too many directions.

5. Change your life structure:

If your day is too stressful and you don’t know how you are going to manage to get it all done – step back and look at how you structure your day. Making one small change, like having a shorter lunch or turning off notifications at certain times, can free up your time and help you prioritise the areas of your life that you feel are lacking. Reorganise, prioritise, delegate and ask for help.

The perfect work-life balance may be elusive but it is attainable.

Visit Koach.net to discover how our coaches can help you find clarity at work and at home, and can lead you to a more successful and fulfilled you.

 

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

Advertisements

Situation 47: Financials

In a face-to-face meeting between Boss and Betsy, Boss is wondering why Betsy did not ask for a salary increase since her accountabilities changed significantly. Betsy believes that learning as much as possible is more important for her at this stage than a higher pay check. Boss advises her to develop a responsible behavior around financials.

(Click on the pictures to see them in full size)

A great leader:

  • Takes a holistic view of her rewards and benefits, valuing both financial and non-financial aspects;
  • Sees that having opportunities to learn are equally as important as receiving higher salaries;
  • Ensures that her financial compensation is in line with her responsibilities and commensurate with other people in similar positions;
  • Is able to negotiate the appropriate salary for her role.

How to best handle the situation:

Continue reading

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 29: It’s going on

Stephen Covey

What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

 Since the success of Mirror Mirror’s first case study, I’ve created a pretty neat slide pack (if I say so myself) to tell the story. I’m waiting on client approvals before circulating it. Skype calls are lined up with some good contacts (mainly with ‘intermediaries’ – freelancers / agencies who could add Mirror Mirror to their list of client offerings), and I’m building the network and improving the process / materials as I go on. My goal is to GET FOUR FIRST CLIENTS for Mirror Mirror.

The messages I use are fast evolving. Now, I say that I spot alignment gaps and opportunities, and work with teams to address those. So much simpler than the previous long-winded explanation.

Continue reading

ARE YOU LISTENING? ARE YOU CONNECTING?

Plutarch2

By: Anja Uitdehaag

 “Everyone you meet has something to teach you.”  – unknown

Everybody networks. Whether your networking is done on a personal or professional level, the goal is the same: to cultivate and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with a mix of people with whom you can share ideas and knowledge.

In business, we all know we need to network more but so few of us take the time to get out there and make ourselves known to the community. I believe this is for a few reasons:

  • People don’t like doing things outside their “comfort zone”
  • We tell ourselves we’re too busy
  • We ask ourselves “what’s in it for me?”

The truth is you only get out of it what you put into it…

Continue reading

You are not your mistakes

22.jpg

 By: Anja Uitdehaag

To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity – William Arthur Ward

Making no mistakes is, of course, impossible.

There are some very interesting gender differences in how men and women view mistakes. In “How Men Think”, Adrienne Mendell notes the different reactions of men and women regarding their mistakes. Women, in general, have a more difficult time when they make mistakes. She says this is because women are socialized to feel differently about mistakes. Boys are raised to be respected by their team if they learn from what they did wrong. Mistakes provide an opportunity to do better the next time.

But for girls, it is different. When girls make mistakes, they are consoled. This reinforces the idea that they should feel badly about the mistakes.

Continue reading

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 28: First case study results – it WORKS!

whoopi-goldberg

What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

I don’t know where to start. My world has changed and I’m singing in the sun!! 😊 (metaphorically – although I could just easily go outside and do that right now)

You know when your world has really changed for the better because factually, you are fully aware what’s new, yet the way you feel about it continues to evolve. First, it’s a surprise, a high, an amazing euphoric rush and you can’t stop smiling. Then it’s a warm reassurance as the implications begin to hit home. And still, a week later, it’s gratitude that this ever came to pass…

Continue reading

Situation 46: Female competition; Personal branding

Femsy noticed that all senior staff had their diplomas, awards, certificates etc. in a visible place in their offices. Now she is not longer sharing the office with Mansy, she puts hers up as well only to be told by a female colleague: “I guess some of us prefer not to show off.”

(Click on the pictures to see them in full size)

A great leader:

  • Is her own person and is guided by her values and principles;
  • Is attuned to the organizational culture and understands the inexplicit rules and norms of behavior;
  • Pays attention to her personal brand and reputation.

How to best handle the situation:

Continue reading