2 steps to change your work life balance

Step 1 – Become aware.
Step 2 – Give yourself permission to make change.

Step 1 – Become aware

In coaching we use the ‘wheel of life’ where clients rate out of ten how fulfilled they feel in the following areas: Career. Money. Significant other. Friends and family. Personal growth. Physical environment. Fun and recreation. Health.

We then look at a second ‘wheel’ – the wheel of attention. The wheel of attention is an opportunity to see which areas from the list take an individual’s energy, and which areas give them energy.

Laying both wheels side by side is like switching on a light. It’s fascinating to have on paper in front of you, how fulfilled you feel, and how much energy it takes to feel that level of fulfilment.

It’s a common scenario, particularly with career, that a client can score a 4/10 in terms of fulfilment, but then see that the amount of energy they pour into their work is wildly disproportionate to the amount of fulfilment and nourishment it gives them.

Through the process of using the wheels, clients become aware. Trying to make changes to your work life balance without coming from a place of awareness is like going to the toilet in the dark; making any changes can get sticky.

So if we turn the light on, look at the situation, we can make enlightened changes. Re-adjusting the work life balance might not be about working less hours, or turning off the email alerts on your phone. It might be about a re-distribution of energy, so more of it goes into the other areas of life. It could be about bringing in more fun time, more play, more time with friends and family, more time alone, more time reading…

Step 2 – Give yourself permission to make change. 

I can hear the gremlins now – screaming at all of us not to change the amount of time and energy and effort we put into work. But for the sake of our internal peace, our contentedness, our joy, let’s change the narrative and give ourselves permission to shift the balance. Work life balance doesn’t change without action, so turn on your light, identify whether it’s time to sign up to a sky diving course, or take your partner out for a meal, or buy healthy food for the next week, or whatever it takes to invest the energy into other areas of your life. See what changes need to be made, and give yourself permission to take action.

When we re-distribute our energy, and channel it into the things we love, it changes our overall state of wellbeing. That increased state of wellbeing then positively influences the way we see work. And the balance is restored.

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