Does it ever seem that every waking minute is being consumed by work? How do we balance a growing list of home, personal and work commitments? Is it even possible?
On Saturday 14th October at 10.45 - 11.15am I'll be discussing this topic at the Live Well Festival at The Cloud on Auckland's waterfront with fellow panelists Art Green and Lauren Glucina.
Art is a sportsman, author, starred in season one of The Bachelor and is also Director of CleanPaleo and Poppy & Olive. Lauren owns Ascension Kitchen and is also a naturopath, medical herbalist and nutritionist. (See below for how you can win a double pass to the Festival.)
In case you can't get to The Cloud, here are some thoughts, questions and ideas that might help you master this seemingly elusive state of work life balance.
1. A small amount of planning will help you avoid burnout and over-commitment.
Quality of life isn't about how much you can fit into your already busy life, but how well you enjoy it.
2. Reflect for a moment - are you feeling overloaded? If the answer is yes, perhaps you've taken on more than you have energy or capacity for.
3. Plan. Block holidays and major events into your calendar. If you've done it on your computer, print it off; it's easier to see gaps and patterns at a glance.
4. Analyse. How many hours in your week are already committed? Include work, exercise and home activities as well as any of your family's commitments that involve you in some way.
5. What else do you want to include? Perhaps you have capacity and energy for something new.
If so, that's great. However, often an existing commitment or activity has to give, or be reduced. It might be sleep, time to think, exercise or quality time with your loved ones. Does that fit with your big picture of how you want your life, health and relationships to be?
6. Have you left yourself gaps of 'do nothing' time? We can't live at full pace 100% of the time. It's unhealthy. See my blog article on Positive Slow-Time.
7. There's no one 'right' formula. For one person, relaxing might be climbing mountains while for someone else it's luxuriating in reading a book for hours with no interruptions.
8. Listen to your intuition before you commit to something new. What lights you up? If in doubt, sleep on it before deciding.
9. Be prepared to say 'no', no matter how worthy or wonderful the opportunity sounds, if your intuition tells you 'don't do it'.
10. Last one - and this is very practical. Turn off your alerts on your computer and your phone, with the possible exception of texts.
You don't need to know someone has just posted about their latest holiday on Facebook, or that a colleague with poor life balance is working on the weekend.
Take control of your time-stealing interruptions.
You can have the quality of life you desire, if you plan for it. It takes thought, planning and commitment - but it is possible.
To go in to the draw to win a double pass to the Live Well Festival, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, email address, which day you'd like to attend the festival (Saturday 14th or Sunday 15th) and why you want to go to the Festival. Full programme here.