WORK-LIFE BALANCE: When Work Takes Over

Work-life Balance l Coaching And NLP

It’s that time of the year when a lot of us take stock of our lives, where we’re at, and where we’d like to be, what we’re doing, and what we’re not doing.

Running your own business is no easy task and can be time and life consuming. With no set routine it’s easy to get caught up working all hours, saying yes to everything and everyone, checking emails and replying to phone calls late at night and at weekends. Even if you work for someone else I’m sure you’ll identify with this…

Next thing you know what started as a passion is now turned into just another job, what started as a way to free yourself has enslaved you. You think about all the things you dreamed of being, doing or having… and you feel like your life is passing you by and all you do is work, and for what?

I learnt this lesson the hard way, as I’ve learnt most things in my life. As over the past couple of years I felt my physical and emotional health deteriorate, at first I was too busy to realize where it was all stemming from.

“I’ve a weak immune system” I thought “I’ll just take these supplements, eat better and keep fit”.

But it wasn’t just my body screaming for help, emotionally I hadn’t felt weaker for a long time. My mindset was short of stinky, I let negative and self-destructive thoughts take over as I realized more and more that I wasn’t living the life I wanted to live, I was deeply unhappy. I found myself crying for no apparent reason and tempted to leave everything I’d spent years building up.

A visit to one of my coaches– yes, even I have a coach! – opened my eyes and something hit my heart like a ton of bricks when I was told “you need to be more Courageous”.

My coach asked me what I wanted more of and I said I wanted to spend more time home (The Basque Country) with my family and friends.

He asked me what was stopping me from doing that. I said work. I quickly realized: what the heck do I work for if not to be able to do what I want?

In the 16 years I’ve lived in Ireland I always visited home once a year. Last year I flew home 4 times and spent over 4 weeks doing the things I love to do with the people I love.

I also put a few simple but effective time management strategies in place, and set some ground rules that I continue to stick to today.

Incidentally, my business never did better than last year, and I truly believe it’s because I focused on improving the quality of my life and on making myself happy, so everyone who came in contact with me came in contact with the very best version of me, which in turn made me a better coach.

By achieving better work-life balance I also became a better wife, friend and human being.

No amount of hours spent sitting in front of a computer, at meetings, or on the phone will be worth it unless you’re loving your life. Because one day you’ll think back on your life and it’s not all the hours you clocked in work that you’re going to be glad you did, it’s the happy moments spent doing the things that made you happy.

Remember, every time you say Yes to something, you’re saying No to something else.

What have you been saying No to?

Anna

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