29 Apr

When I was MD of the agency I worked for twenty five years ago, there was a fashion for people talking about work/life balance.  There were even groups of Director-level professionals who would get together regularly and have presentations on it and discuss it.  They would get up extra-early to drive to these meetings.  They would be late home. (Again!)  

I was in one of these groups - it made my work/life balance worse maybe because I was the only woman and I had young children so the work/life balance thing was a bit more of a real issue for me.  Long story short, I left the group and was denounced for doing so.

Now the buzz-word is wellness.  Again, there’s a lot of people talking about this - making it complicated, making a living from it.  In my eyes, it all boils down to the same thing.  How can we live our lives in a way that makes us feel good/right/fulfilled?  And in my experience the following is true -

  • It helps if we learn to control our thoughts so that when we are with our family we are really with our family and not thinking about work.
  • It helps if we are sharp and focussed when we are working so that we achieve more in less time.
  • It helps if we are calm and confident in our professional lives and relaxed and good tempered in our personal lives.
  • It helps if we are not abusing drugs or self-medicating with food, alcohol or cigarettes.
  • Fresh air, sleep, exercise (walking is great) and good food are essential.

Unhelpful behaviours and ways of coping build up over time and erode the best of intentions, but setting priorities and boundaries can help.  Hypnotherapy is another useful tool for ridding ourselves of embedded or limiting behaviours. 

Special note to all women with jobs and families - remember it is not all your responsibility either at work or at home.