Work/Life Balance

In general life coaching sessions, when I first meet a client, I ask them to make a values hierarchy. In NLP a value is a feeling – either of something we want more of, or something we want to move away from i.e. less stress, more stability, feeling healthy, not feeling lonely etc. People are at their happiest when they are living to their own personal values, so it’s a good place to start. Often one of the top values is glaringly missing from their current lifestyle – so from there, the coaching becomes an easy task.

Values are the reason why work-life balance is important. If living to your values makes you happy, then omitting them from your life makes you less happy. So unless you can fulfil all of your values at work, you need to balance it with other things.

Easier said than done I hear you cry! Is it? What is important to you, and how can you get it?

I have recently come to learn the term FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out. And sadly, it wasn’t used in terms of missing out on fun or engaging activities, it was used to describe someone who continually sat at their desk – through lunch, through evenings and early mornings...for fear of missing out on being seen to be working.

I was working at a big multi-national corporation the other day, and someone said to me – ‘if I knew I was only expected to work within my contracted hours, I would work a lot more efficiently and get the same amount done’.

Is this a belief that people hold, or a reality? I suspect a combination of the two – another lady on the same team works part time, does one of her days from home, and leaves at five on the dot to pick up her children from school. It doesn’t seem to have affected her in terms of promotion or standing in the team, and the only people sniping are the FOMOs who spend longer doing the same amount of work in the hope of,  presumably, a slightly better bonus/pay-rise because everyone can see how hard they have been working. Is money even one of their top values? Who do you think the boss prefers – someone who does their job and goes home happy, or someone who lingers and moans? Who is happier?

Of course there are genuine situations of work overload and in this case it is a question again of ‘what is important to you?’ Rather than rolling with the punches and keeping going, assess the situation. You may need to negotiate with yourself and put things on hold for a while or make some significant changes – just make sure you’re the one in control.

Ask these questions. What do I want more of? What do I want less of? How can I get it? How can I communicate this to my employer? Clear communication can do a lot of the work for you – in her interview the lady who worked from home one day and left at five explained her reasons, said that she would work hard whilst there, and has done exactly what she said she would do. Who’s missing out?

 Top Tips

  • Find out what your values are and work out how you get more of them into your life.
  • Avoid getting whipped up into the FOMO culture at work – in the end, living to your values will show in your performance, and people like working with happy people!
  • Learn to prioritise well – divide your work into a grid with urgent, important, not urgent and not important. Make sure you get the urgent important things done first.
  • Are you living for yourself? Make time for what makes you happy – it will improve your performance in all areas of your life.

NLP coaching can support you in achieving your work life balance goals and living to your values.  It works quickly and effectively to get you the best results.

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