Over the past few years I was struggling hard to find my work-life balance. It all led to a burnout that forced me to re-think my priorities in life and re-define how I wanted to live. I thought it was only happening to me, but when I started talking about it, all of a sudden I realized that almost all my collegaues had a similar experience, caused by stress, overwork, and exhaustion. The problem was nobody talked about it. So I decided to change that.
We all want to maintain the image of ourselves being superhuman, easily dealing with our work-life balance, handling the daily pressures of our lives and the ever-increasing demands of our employers, families, media, and society at large. Social media is full of smiling, happy people. We like to brag about our successes, but on the other hand nobody wants to look weak and vulnerable. We keep pushing ourselves to the edge… until we break.
Sharing is caring
So I decided to share my story and the lessons I’ve learned in order to help people, especially women in business, to improve their work-life balance and win their lives back. My book “Stop Chasing Weekends” came out in September 2016 and since then it has inspired thousands of readers.
I was recently invited to speak at the 20th Global WIN conference in Oslo, an event that attracts more than 500 women in leadership positions from all over the world. I shared my story at a “Women Empowering Women” forum and at a workshop I created from the process I personally went through when searching for a healthier work-life balance.
My message is clear: we need to start putting ourselves at the top of our priority lists.
If we want to be good managers, if we want to take good care of our families and children, we first need to take a good care of ourselves.
But we all know that’s not always easy. We live in a digital world and are connected 24/7. The dividing line between work and personal time is becoming blurred, even erased. Our stress levels are increasing since we want to have it all: a career, a family, and still “me time”. Every day we juggle multiple roles and responsibilities that compete for our attention. This often leads to role conflict and increases time pressure and stress. There is no permanent solution. It’s an ongoing process.
10 secrets to a better work-life balance
Self-help is my way of dealing with the challenge – here are 10 tips for a better work-life balance that I use – you might find them helpful, too:
PICK YOUR BATTLES. Focus on what you can influence. Accept what you can’t change.
CREATE A DON’T DO LIST. Delegate tasks, both at home and at work. Learn to trust. Pull others up. Let them learn.
BE GENTLE TO YOURSELF. Take care of your body, mind, & soul. Don’t strive for perfection. Don’t be your own worst critic.
DON’T DWELL ON THE PAST. Shut tight the doors that don’t lead anywhere anymore. Learn from mistakes and move on.
UNPLUG. RECHARGE. Use technology to your advantage. Take moments of recovery throughout the day, even if they are short.
LEARN TO SAY “NO”. Will you disappoint some people? Yes. But at least you won’t hurt yourself.
FEED YOUR SOUL. Take time for yourself every single day. Relax. Meditate. Dance. Run. Do whatever makes you happy.
REMAIN AUTHENTIC. Don’t try to please others. Be yourself. In tone, voice, and action.
GRATEFULNESS. See the good in every situation. Every evening list three things you are grateful for.
MAINTAIN INNER BALANCE. Be present in the moment. Listen to your inner voice – it will never let you down.
Work-life balance is all about having a meaningful life. But what is meaningful to you doesn’t have to be meaningful to me – this is defined by your COMPETENCES (what you’re good at) and PASSION (what you love, what you believe in).
Let this blog post be a seed planted in your mind, and I, an ex-workaholic, am living proof that committing to these principles can and will lead to a richer and happier life.
Unfortunately, there is no magic wand, nor any “one size fits all” recipe. We ourselves are the creators of our own lives. It’s completely up to you whether you just accept the idea that it is possible to live a more balanced, happier life, or whether you rather decide to take a step towards that life you’ve always been longing for.
It takes much more than just awareness to make a change: it takes courage, determination, and action.
If you missed my inspirational workshop at the 20th WIN Global Conference for authentic leadership in Oslo, grab a copy of my book (choose Kindle, paperback or hardcover – distributed by Amazon.com).
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