Tag Archives: work-life balance

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 74: A bit personal


photo of person standing on rocks

Photo by Stijn Dijkstra on Pexels.com

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…

This the back story, right?  What I write in these blogs isn’t what I share with my clients and potential clients. It’s not relevant to them, actually. Maybe the odd one or two might come across one of these blogs.  And that’s ok.  I’m ok with being open – as you might have gathered.

In fact, the core values of Mirror Mirror are respect, openness, inclusivity, empowerment, integrity and wellbeing.

While I’m at it, to refresh on the Mirror Mirror vision and mission:

Vision: Team alignment is widely used for organizational effectiveness and Mirror Mirror products lead the market.

Mission: We free people up from unnecessary cost and frustration at work by helping to close the alignment gaps that hold them back, so they can get on with doing great stuff together.

I get so motivated when I read that! I can feel the excitement in my stomach.  The Mirror Mirror methodology really delivers something fundamental and valuable.  Where is a team if it is not aligned, after all?

The size of this opportunity – to provide a structure so that people can get on top of this is where my motivation comes from.

Yesterday I ran my first Mirror Mirror training session in my kitchen , with 4 experienced people.  I’d given them pre-read materials via a free learning site to prepare with.  The objective was to have them able to explain and deliver Mirror Mirror independently. It was a good session. They all gave great feedback and talked about the clients they could introduce this to. Setting that up was a bit of a stress actually, but I got great guidance from Steve and Judy at Rees McCann– expert online facilitation and learning consultants. So pleased it worked out well.

But at the same time, I have that damned feeling of dread again.  We have 2 big contracts lined up for after the summer, but we don’t have any other clients firmly lined up. The pipeline looks ok but I’d like to see maybe 3 or 4 extra companies trying out Mirror Mirror this year.

We’re back to that quiet, arid, barren place, trying not to look needy.

Now, I left my last big corporate job, I was burned out.  I was teary, upset, I couldn’t sleep.  My doctor said it could be due to pre-menopausal symptoms. I went on the pill and that was 5 years ago. Then last month, I thought I’d try life without it.  I wanted to see where I was in the menopause.  I wanted to get rid of the headaches I get quite regularly that could have been caused by the pill.

Now, 5 weeks later I’m in regular hot sweats, I feel emotionally more vulnerable, and often wake up at 4.00am. It’s strangely debilitating and must be affecting my work.

I confess that I turned 50 recently – a number that I still find to be far too big (I feel about 32) – so the question is: do I brave it out, or go for hormone replacement therapy?

Then it struck me.  Maybe the feelings of dread I get – I got those more frequently in the early days of the business – are exacerbate these two pre-menopause symptoms: mood swings, anxiety.

I look back on those phases of dread, and I try to look objectively at the ‘dread’ I feel now, wondering why it was such a drama. Even if the feeling of dread is connected with a real reason to be afraid, if the course of action is not to run (to close the business now and find something else to do) but to deal with it, then I need to deal with it!

Moving the feeling of dread away isn’t burying my head in the sand and deluding myself it’s ok, it’s putting it into perspective and not letting it hamper me.

For me, the most difficult (and important) part of doing something big is self-management. It seems to have taken ages for me to learn these now obvious things:

  1. Take responsibility for yourself
  2. If you’re tired, get some rest – don’t be snappy or attribute any meaning to it until you’ve recharge
  3. Eating well boosts your energy and makes you feel like you want to eat well again
  4. Exercising boosts your physical and mental health if you regularly just do a little – like walking
  5. Putting things into perspective always helps everything
  6. Don’t criticise yourself too much, don’t be over-confident but find somewhere between the two
  7. Accept yourself as ok while still pushing yourself to go further and learning how to be different
  8. Accept other people as all being ok too – while not having to necessarily be in their lives – it’s about having respect for their validity
  9. Don’t feel obliged to do something that doesn’t serve you, unless it’s a choice you have made to help someone else
  10. Do your best to keep your good friends – forever.

Apparently, it takes a few months after coming off the pill for your hormones to return to where they were, naturally.  Wherever that is. So, I’m going to brave it out.  I’m not going to take any hormone pills and will just manage it.

For now, I’ll take tip number 6 from above, and put ‘dread’ back in its box.

Mirror MirrorWe identify and close alignment gaps between people in organizations to improve engagement and performance.

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


Work-life balance



By: Angie Falls

An ongoing challenge in life for working women or not?

What is the meaning of work-life balance?

Work-life balance is a concept including the proper prioritization of work (career and ambition) and lifestyle (health, pleasure, leisure, family).

The expression “work-life balance” was first used in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s to describe the balance between an individual’s work and personal life.

Work-life balance has been addressed by some employers and has been seen as a benefit to them. Employees with a good work-life balance are efficiently productive and have a happy experience of their job.

In a recent article of World Economic Forum it turned out that;

The Dutch have the best work-life balance.

The Netherlands has overtaken Denmark as the country with the best work-life balance. That is according to the latest OECD Better Life Index, which ranks countries on how successfully households mix work, family commitments and personal life, among other factors.

Even after all these statements we still face challenges in achieving a proper work-life balance on a micro level. Working women who have children experience even more demands on time, energy and resources.

I believe that this is also a result of the interaction with direct team members.   The group pressure is one of the factors to be considered in realising a solid work-life balance. In the corporate environment, we need to be bold to set our own rules as women and then see what the result will be. Fear is one of the factors that hold us back. Fear to lose our job and furthermore we feel guilty all the time. Only when we can overcome or let go of that fear and guilt we will be liberated and be able to handle the work-life balance on our own terms.

As working women, we easily get the tag that we should not prioritize our work above family.

Actually, why is that not positive? Let women decide for themselves! We are all in different situations and we all should be allowed to put our own priorities.

I feel proud that I am able to put my family first and then my job on the second place. This is how I want it.  I do not feel like proving myself all the time. In the end, it is all about life and what we find important in leading a successful life in general. We should define our own criteria for work-life balance instead of  being dictated by society (or our direct team members).

This is the only way we can break the barriers of the contemporary mindset on this topic.

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

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 40: What is this animal?


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… 

Last time I wrote to you, I was talking about resilience. It’s about bouncing back and being adaptive. And to be adaptive with a young business you really have to have your radar on full power: what exactly are we dealing with here? What kind of animal is this?

It’s like a join-the-dots puzzle. Once you can figure out the constellation, it all fits into place and everything is possible. This seems to apply to lots of situations. A couple of hypothetical examples:

  • A historian is looking to answer a key question about our ancient past. By researching and piecing together the right bits of new and existing knowledge from botany, microbiology, geology and anthropology, she joins the dots and gets to an answer.
  • Someone is unhappy. They feel mixed up and can’t work out what’s going on. With a good therapist, they manage to uncover a co-incidence of factors that when put together in the right way, make everything clear, perhaps a disturbing event in early life, a difficult relationship with a sibling, an aspect of their character that triggers an unhealthy response to certain circumstances – and then a pattern of reactions to this. Based on this understanding, they can address their issues.

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 By: Anja Uitdehaag

 “If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.” — Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

All kids dream big. They want to be super famous, super meaningful, super powerful superheroes. (I used to spend quite a bit of time dreaming about doing something special and be famous for making a positive difference to the whole world in my own way.)

As we mature, these dreams are typically educated out of us. With age comes “wisdom” and a more “practical” perspective. We lower our expectations and often fear failure and risk taking.

Such a shame!

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


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

Why mentorship matters for women


By: Anja Uitdehaag

For many women working long hours or trying to combine work with family life, it is easy to concentrate on the day- to-day issues of life and forget the larger picture – where they are heading. Having a mentor is a chance to think about longer-term objectives.

Throughout my career multiple mentors and sponsors took part in my continuous development and growth, both males and females. They supported me when I needed a new approach or new level of thought. They helped me to build my self-confidence and leadership at moments when I felt that I did not have the right skills for a particular role or situation and they brought in unique experiences that added to my understanding of how to play the game of business.

Some of the challenges women encounter in the workplace don’t necessarily come from their working environments, but rather from within.

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The world of opportunities is waiting. Reach out to select yours


Anna Zubytska is Sales Director of Danone Dairy in Ukraine. She holds EMBA degree from Central European University and has 17 years of leadership and business management experience developed in multinational FMCG environment in Europe. In her today’s interview, Anna speaks about her approach to individual development and life in general, which helps her to keep learning, growing, discovering and having fun J


Life motto

So far, my live and personal growth has been advancing this way due to my belief, that the outer world is full of opportunities. Seeing the world big allows us growing and gaining new experiences, insights, enriching our lives with joy, satisfaction and new levels of mastery.

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Do you dare hit the refresh button?

By River Ho Rathore


While doing errands the other day, I listened to a Ted Talk presented by Stefan Sagmeister, a NYC-based graphic designer and Co-Founder of Sagmeister and Walsh. The Ted Talk was titled ‘The Power of Time Off’.

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“I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles”. – Zig Ziglar

The best work-life balance is different for each of us and will vary over time because we all have different priorities and different lives. The right balance for you when you are single will be different when you marry, or if you have children.

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