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Work Life Balance – Do you feel in balance?

Many people have a good life but don’t have the time or energy to enjoy it. They don’t want to drop out, are too young to retire or are not in a financial position to do so anyway. The challenge for most people is to get around to doing the things that would bring them pleasure. Is this you?


Balance is crucial to your ability to actually enjoy your job. Do you feel in balance? Are you in balance some of the time but not at others? In short, do you give yourself permission to enjoy yourself?


  • Work has the capacity to complicate your life especially if:
  • You are working 50-80 hours per week.
  • You have a big mortgage.
  • You have a difficult boss or colleagues.
  • You have a long way to commute.
  • You have credit card debt.
  • You don’t enjoy what you are doing at work.
  • You have a demanding family.
  • You haven’t the time to give to yourself, partner, children or home.


Work can, if you allow it to, encompass the whole of you and can therefore drain your capacity to give to your job, your family and most importantly yourself. It can also become a convenient excuse not to look at or confront the big questions. Questions such as:


  • Am I really happy in my job?
  • Am I getting bored with this?
  • Is time running out for me? Is it too late to change?
  • Is work adversely affecting my health?
  • What would I really like to be doing?


Work can also keep you busy because you may be ‘trying to do it all’ – to achieve that next promotion, next buzz, next bonus, next target, next goal or next title for either the boss, the organisation or yourself. The result is that you may be left feeling tired, drained, exhausted, flat, old, worn-out or even used. Drive, ambition and enthusiasm are key to success but there comes a point when you need to stop, pull back and re-evaluate where you are and where you want to go in your job. Otherwise your capacity to ‘give’ will gradually diminish as your work life gets fuller and fuller and then you may get out of balance.


When you are out of balance, the capacity you have for fulfilling relationships at work and romantic love at home is substantially reduced. Hence even if you ‘have it all’ at the moment, your capacity to see it and appreciate it will be blurred by your desire or need to strive for more and more. What is the solution if you don’t want to drop out, are too young to retire or haven’t got enough money stashed away in the bank? What do you do?


The answer is to simplify your work and life outside of work. Simplifying is a perfect way to re-establish the balance but it goes against the main grain of things. The first step is to establish what simplifying means to you, for it can be interpreted differently by all of us. For some it means:


  • Not rushing to work.
  • Exploring new options.
  • Achieving a balance between job and home life.
  • Cutting down on purchases.
  • Down-shifting to a smaller house or out of the city.
  • Selling a few possessions that are rarely used.


Whatever it is, it has to be meaningful to you but it usually involves a combination of some or all of the above, so that you can begin to get back ‘in control of your working life’. Thus simplifying is all about letting go perhaps of:


  • Your ego.
  • Your sense of importance.
  • Your feelings of achievement.
  • Your hyperactivity.
  • Your stress.
  • Your over-stimulation.
  • Your unnecessary social engagements. Your clutter.
  • Your need to ‘have it all’ or to ‘be the best’.


It is all about achieving a state of ‘being‘ rather than ‘doing‘. By being more in a state of happiness, inner contentment and joy, you will realise you have the time, energy and space to have a really fulfilling time at work and at home. Simplifying is a process and it allows you to take work less seriously and have more quiet and meaningful times. Initially it is important that you establish what simplifying means to you. So have a go at answering the following four questions:


  • What would you like to achieve by simplifying your work life?
  • What would you like your job to look like?
  • How will you know when you have got there?
  • What can you change right now?


When you are in the middle of a complicated life, it often seems impossible to slow down or to stop even for half a day. ‘It is important that you go at your own pace when you decide to make changes in your life’, says Sarah Berry. ‘There are simple steps you can take, such as changing your expectations, learning to be gentler towards others and getting out of debt. But if you make the decision to simplify and commit to it, incredible things will happen.


Simplifying is a very exciting process. Sarah’s latest book – How to Love the Job you Do‘ will start your brain ticking or alternatively if you prefer to opt for a personal interactive route there is the telephone Career Consultancy option.


Please CLICK HERE for more information.


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BY: Sarah Berry

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