I’m a firm believer if we’re going to live a meaningful life we need to bring our whole-selves to all experiences including our work. That can be difficult if one part of your life is troublesome and you’re trying to prevent it from impacting others. Or if you feel in control and like your best self at work but struggling in your personal relationships. In order to keep on top of work-life balance we need to be able have good relationships and a strong identity of who we are outside of the office.
Professional clients come to me for life coaching because they want to discover new ways to be present for and able to enjoy their personal relationships and lives. The common story these high performers share is they are so identified with their careers yet they feel unfulfilled when they leave workplace. This drives them to be more and more productive to the point it becomes robotic. They spend more time at work while neglecting personal relationships that can lead to them losing touch with what matters. The good news there is a different approach it but it takes some practice.
Even though there is an automatic impulse to be more productive and motivated the work we do in life coaching is geared toward helping people shift their focussed to personal relationships, wellbeing and community. Bringing the whole life back into balance has profound effects not only on individuals, families but professional organisations as well. Imagine going to work feeling like you can be accepted as a whole human being? Here’s some of the key ways in life coaching we reset your personal life that are more likely to lead to a sense of work-life balance and renewed meaning.
Unplug from Work
One of the ways we can ensure we are present is when we walk in the door at home switch off our work devices including email, other communication platforms like Slack and stop taking calls that are not an emergency. If not immediately, set a time and automate it so you can prioritise home life and make it a habit. Your colleagues will adjust and learn to respect your choice and it will also encourage them to create work-life boundaries themselves. Spending time off all digital devices is healthy for your relationships and personal well-being, especially if you work at a computer all day.
Be Attentive to your Relationships
Now that you have minimised distractions at home tune into the people you share your personal life with. If you live alone it might mean reaching out to others outside the house and venturing into your community and don’t think if you’re married or have a family you can’t also do this too. Discover your local community groups and sign up for a new exercise, crafting or social awareness project and allow yourself time to connect with others. Turn your attention to your relationships and take the time to listen and just be with the person you care about. If you can explore being present in a way that is respecting, holds the other person in positive regard and shows them empathy you will discover relationships can be a rich source of learning about yourself, the other persons and human nature. Let go of your expectations and try to bring a sense of curiosity and kindness to those you spend your time with.
Create Shared Experiences you Value
Relationships that are based on shared values have a kind of glue that keeps their connection strong and resilient. When we don’t honour our values in our relationship we can easily get lost living someone else’s life and lose touch with what’s meaningful to us. The practice of crafting experiences that offer you the chance to build your character through your values brings a currency to your relationship that is beyond either individual self. In my personal relationship we share values of curiosity, knowledge/awareness and empathy/compassion. We love being together in nature, watching and discussing documentaries and being present for and caring for each other and our family and community through our simple daily rituals. Shared experiences of value build a powerful and meaningful relationship culture and a sense of belonging for those who contribute to it. This belonging is further strengthened when you can connect with a wider community beyond the family home and be held by a shared belief in your common good.
It’s important to remember that as human beings we all go through times of struggle and being off-balance. But the choices we make everyday to nurture what matters most can help protect us from the setbacks of life and avoid burn out. The future is shaped by the way you live your life today and to create a balanced world we must each do our part in rebuilding our communities one relationship at a time.