Establishing a Healthy Work-Life Balance

By | November 15, 2014

work-366658_1280By John P. Carvana

In the history of mankind, it has never been reported that anyone on their deathbed ever said, “I wish I had spent more time at work”. Sure, work is important. In addition to providing you with a means to pay your bills, work can also provides a sense of meaning and purpose to your life (provided you don’t hate your job and are just “living for the weekend”).

The World of Work has changed in many ways thanks to technology and the changing demands of a global workforce. You provide a service and your employer pays you for the value of that service. However, the days when employees did one thing at a time are long gone. Nowadays workers are required to perform many tasks sometimes all at once. It’s called “multi-tasking”. The fact is, research has shown that multi-tasking or having to do several important things at once over a period of time causes a great deal of stress and anxiety. This can lead to developing physical illnesses such as ulcers, headaches, heart disease, general irritability and other conditions. That’s why it’s important that you work hard, but also find time to take care of the other parts of your life that are important.

A healthy work-life balance means you are actively engaged in activities that allow you to maintain a healthy life-style. As a result of living this life-style, stress is minimized and the experience of peace, joy and gratitude take on a fuller presence.

In order to achieve a work-life balance you need to know what’s important to you as a person and what makes you REALLY happy. You need to know what you value. Keep in mind that there is no joy if what you value is different from what you do. So the first step is determining your values.spinning-wheel-63007_1280

Make a list of what you truly value. Circle the ones that are most important to you.

Health    God    Family    Children   Money   Beauty    Helping Others    Recreation    Friendship    Love   Inner Peace   Fame    Wealth    Integrity    Faith   Being loved    Being Alone    Intelligence    Wisdom    Peace

Are there other things that you value that aren’t on this list? If so, what are they?

Once you have created your list, ask yourself, “Am I living according to what I value the most?” The truth is that most of our aren’t. Why? Because even though we may know what we value in life we oftentimes don’t spend time LIVING those things. For example, if “Recreation” is one of your values, how often do you spend time exercising each day? Each week? If you listed “Intelligence”, then what was the name of the last book you read? If “Family” is important to you then when was the last time you told your child(ren), spouse or anyone, “I love you”? Those are some examples of LIVING your values. So, are you satisfied with the way you are currently living your values?

Identify your “Stoppers”.

What stops you from having balance in your life? Is it your thinking about things in your life that gets in the way? Is your glass half empty or half full? Here are some examples of things and situations that may stop you from finding balance:

• Fear of change
• Feeling as if you have to do or be perfect
• Thinking you have to live up to other’s expectations of you
• Seeing the world as a cruel and uncaring place
• Always putting the needs of others before your own
• Feeling as if you aren’t good enough or feeling as if you are superior to anyone else


Once you’ve identified what’s stopping you, then you have to make a decision to change your thinking about your situation. This may require getting help and support from a counselor, a religious leader, a trusted family member or friend or someone who is committed to your well-being.

There is an old African proverb, “Prayer without action is just words”. If you pray or choose to find more balance in your life, then you have to move your feet.


Change takes time and rarely, if ever, happens overnight. Be gentle with yourself as you move through this process. Begin, right now, by doing the following activity:

1. From your list, identify two (2) of your most important values

a. VALUE #1: ___________________________________________________

b. VALUE #2: ___________________________________________________

2. Now determine how you will LIVE your values over the next week

a. Value #1. Over the next week, I will take the following steps:

i. ________________________________________________________

ii. _______________________________________________________

iii. _______________________________________________________

b. Value #2. Over the next week, I will take the following steps:

i. ________________________________________________________

ii. ________________________________________________________

iii. ________________________________________________________



Make sure you share your values and what you plan to do over the next week with someone. Anyone. It should be someone who you feel will support you in achieving your goal.

Once you’ve met your goal, make others that you will accomplish over the next week. If you don’t meet you goal, don’t worry just keep trying until you succeed. The main thing is not to give up on achieving the life you want and deserve.


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One thought on “Establishing a Healthy Work-Life Balance

  1. GIBS Business School Gordon Institute of Business Science

    I like your suggestions for circling the areas of your life that are important to you. It’s so important to take the time to regularly remind yourself to check back in on these things. Having a visual prompt for checking in on such things (like a pin board where you pin this chart) is a really good reminder to self to give your work-life balance a “health-check”. Thanks for an informative site.


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