I am always wary of the phrase “Work-Life Balance” as it rather implies a zero sum game where you are either doing one or the other.  Obviously this is true to a certain extent; there are only so many hours in the day.  However I strongly believe that work should be energizing, giving you more in your tank to devote to home life and vice versa.



The same is true of exercise.  The more we do, the more energy we have for everything else, although it might not feel like that after the first few runs/workouts for a while!



Whilst we’re at it, getting eight hours sleep (or very close to it) embeds memories and learning from the previous day and replenishes our ability to think clearly and to take the best decisions.  Sleep is far more important than most of us give it credit for in terms of our ability to work effectively and get things done.


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Focus on quality and being energised

It’s best not to think in terms of hours in the day and a trade-off between work and home. It’s more effective to think in terms of quality. When you boil it down, you are paid to think and take good decisions. If you consistently work late, will you be sharp enough to take the best decisions throughout the day?


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Don’t short-change yourself

We all have to work long hours from time to time when things are particularly busy, but is it optimal to consistently prioritize work’s immediate needs over your long-term health needs and the quality of your relationships at home? Aside from being hugely important in their own right, these are the things which nourish your well-being and your long-term ability to do a great job.  You are borrowing from your own future reserves and you can’t continually do that without going overdrawn at some point.

Ask yourself, “Are things particularly busy at the moment, and will things return to a more manageable level in the near future? “  Then ask, “Have I said that to myself quite a few times over the last few months and years?”

If this is just a blip, then great, but if not, then it’s worth investing some time thinking about what sort of balance you really want and what can you do to change things.