Help - I have no work-life balance! I work from 9am to about 9pm, 5 days a week, and often weekends too. There’s just so much to do and not enough time. I feel really tired recently and I fear a burnout. How do I get a proper work-life balance? Should I just go home earlier? Should I start work earlier? Hire more people? I’m already having all my meals at my desk!
“Tired and stressed”
32, Manager of 15-person team
Dear “Tired and stressed”,
You are right; we can’t burn the candle at both ends! It’s very tiring and stressful and inevitably will end in a burnout. To get your work-life balance, instead of jumping into problem solving mode so quickly with “HOW” questions, ask yourself two simple “WHAT” questions:
Does this mean I must be home at a fixed time every day? Or does it mean I must work less? Or does it mean I must relax more?
This is the first key question to ask to be clear and find out exactly “WHAT” you want.
· Once I know what I mean by work-life balance, what’s holding me back to achieve it?
What makes me stay back till 9pm every night? Is it because my boss always leaves late and I don’t want to go home before him? Or could it be that I’m really inefficient at work, that I don’t prioritize, and I do all the wrong things first, leaving me to work longer hours than necessary? Or perhaps I can’t focus, as I don’t take time out to energize or let myself rest and recuperate? Or could it be that the boss really gives me too much work!?!
That’s it!! Ask yourself these two simple questions first and let your answers guide you to a proper “HOW”. There’s really no point jumping straight into a solution when the challenge is a little fuzzy right?
So here’s the tip for the day: Be very clear with “WHAT” you’re seeking! Saying “I want a proper work-life balance” isn’t clear enough, is it? So make this first step so clear that you can see it, hear it, taste it, smell it and even feel it, as if you are living your work-life balance right now!!