Work-Life Balance – An Impossible Dream?

by | Jun 28, 2016

Are we right to dream about work-life balance?

I have given up counting the number of clients who want to work on their work-life balance. I would estimate that 80% of my clients have wanted to work on this area of their lives as a goal with me.

work/life balance

Work-life balance an impossible dream

[Tweet "What is work-life balance and why do we think we need it anyway?"] Is it an unachievable dream that we have been told to chase after by the personal development gurus? A nirvana that we will know we will have reached, when we arrive.

I think [Tweet "going after a work-life balance is destined for failure!"] A work-life balance assumes by its very name that everything will be in balance every day, every month and our time and energy will be equally spread between our work and our life. Read: Boundaries in Business – Who Needs Them – You DO!

The fact is, things happen. We can’t have the same balance or routine everyday, as an event will come along and smash it up! Great plans will we pushed aside by a brilliant opportunity, an unmissable invitation or an unforeseen accident.

You don’t want to be a robot about your life, so ease up on your quest for work-life balance

A more realistic and attainable way to think about this concept is to consider having a series of accounts for your life, that you think of like bank accounts. Sometimes they are all abundant with high balances and you are feeling fantastic, inspired that your life is full and rich in all areas. But at other times you may feel depleted in one area, and you have dipped into a negative balance there. Read: Time management: Business Trips, Bosses, and Kisses.

Try these four steps to achieving a balance in your life, the way you want it.

Step 1: The big four

[Tweet "Think about the four most important areas of your life."] Those areas that you know when you spend time on, replenish your energy, add value to your life and well being and make life worth living. Read: Work-life balance or blur?

Limiting it to four areas gives you a chance for focus. We want to make this as easy as possible, so you can succeed! If you had an account for the different areas of your life… what would they be?

Mine would be:

  • work
  • family
  • friends
  • health

I have a client who is studying to be a gemologist to start a jewelry business, so hers are:

  • family
  • work
  • friends
  • education

Create the four accounts for your life.

Step 2: What’s my account balance?

Then just like your bank account, ask yourself, for each area, am I in credit, enjoying a rich, abundant balance, or am I sucked into overdraft, feeling withdrawn, depleted and under resourced in this area?

Give yourself a score for each area ranging from -10 to 10.

Step 3: What affects my account balances?

Our account balances can go up and down. Once you know what impacts these balances, then you can manage them. To find out what impacts your account balances, consider these four questions for each account:

    1. what adds to this balance and makes me feel great
    2. what depletes this balance and depletes me
    3. what do I need to do more of to increase the balance
    4. what do I need to less of to ensure the balance stays positive

Step 4: Take time to review

Each week, take 10 minutes to review how your account balances are. Where are you at in each area, and where would you like to be. Plan what needs to happen next week for you to get the balances where you would like them to be.

Then every week, continue to review. Life isn’t perfect, many different things happen at different times which upset our plans. Reviewing the accounts weekly embraces this reality, and allows you to feel like you are moving in the right direction of creating the life you want, in those areas that are most important to you.

Do you need help with  your career plans and getting those balances right? Don’t wait. Contact us now.

Originally posted by  in Corporate Crossovers| Jan 13, 2014

Wendy Kerr Contributor
With a 20-year career in multi-national blue chip organisations, Wendy has specialised in creating and launching new businesses around the world with companies such as Apple, FT and Intuit. A Corporate Crossover herself, Wendy left her corporate career to create a successful 6 figure coaching and consulting business running it from London and Tokyo. She works with leaders of high growth, global technology companies. Clients include; Expedia, IBM, and Betfair. Wanting to change the way work works, she has also mentored and fueled over 1,500 women to create a business that allows them to live the life they love. Her company, Corporate Crossovers®, enables women wherever they are in their journey of leaving their job to start their business successfully, providing them with workshops, tools, and mentoring. She is a best selling author of two books; ‘Corporate Crossovers; when it’s time to leave the office and start your own business’, and ‘My new business; a busy women’s guide to start up success’.
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