Struggling with work-life balance is a common problem for many of us. We are constantly juggling a lot of responsibilities between work and home.
Demanding workloads, family responsibilities, managing friendships, finding “me time”, and squeezing in all those outside interests seems like an impossible goal. We want to get it all done, but unfortunately, the day has only 24 hours. All that causes a poor work-life balance. Our stress level rises and the productivity plummets. It’s not easy to find the right work-life balance but hopefully, these five tips will help you and your coaching clients.
1.) Struggling with work-life balance? Use a questionnaire and analyze the current situation
We are often caught in our daily routines and in order to improve our work-life balance, we should analyze our current situation first. This sets the stage for the next steps. Ask your coaching clients to answer some basic questions like:
- How many hours do you sleep per night?
- Are you happy with your physical fitness and energy levels?
- Do you find yourself unable to spend enough time with your family?
- Do you delegate work to others or do you feel like you have to do everything on your own?
- Is your work fun, satisfying and rewarding?
- Do you normally work more than 12 hours per day?
Use this in-depth questionnaire to find out more about your clients’ daily lives and how they define work-life balance for themselves.
2) Work-life balance goals – Help clients to define what really matters to them
Once they become aware of their current situation it’s time to find out where their priorities in life are. Everyone has their own definition of a good work-life balance. Help your clients to define how they want to live their life. Maybe they only want to work a certain amount of hours per week and dedicate the rest of their time to their newborn baby? If their current job prevents them from doing that, then maybe finding a new job could be the first step towards a better work-life balance.
Ask them to take a look at these categories and define how important they are for them:
Career, Money, Relationship, Family & Friends, Health, Fun & Leisure, Home Environment, Personal Growth.
3) How do they spend their precious time? Analyze current activities and identify time wasters
Now that you know more about your clients’ priorities in life it’s time to dig deeper and to find out how they spend their time during an average week. Ask your client to outline all their usual daily activities and the estimated time they dedicate to it. Once done the next step would be to take a closer look at all those activities and ask questions like:
Is the time spent doing it reasonable? (In terms of the result, effect, value for me)
Is this activity/habit self-imposed or system imposed (someone/thing else makes you do this – family, friends, employer)?
Analyzing current routines and habits helps to identify if they are really worth the time spent. Potential time wasters will also be uncovered and can be minimized or eliminated in the next step.
The coaching tools 3,4, and 5 in this work-life-balance toolkit contain everything you need for this step.
4) Structure your day – Help clients to prioritize their to-dos, to be efficient and to delegate
A great way to work more efficiently and procrastinate less is a to-do list. Setting manageable goals for each day and prioritizing them gives us a sense of control. The client should take care of the urgent and important tasks first and then attack the less important activities. Big tasks should be divided into smaller ones. That prevents us from feeling overwhelmed. Help your client to identify tasks that can be delegated and encourage them to build enough downtime in their schedule. After each activity, there should be at least 5-10 minutes to do something that will recharge their batteries.
Being able to manage the time and structure each day will improve the work-life balance a lot. Once we learn to prioritize and set a timeframe for our daily tasks we spend less time procrastinating. The more productive and effective we work the more time we have left to spend with our family and friends.
This coaching tool will help your clients to structure their day and prioritize their todos.
5.) Identify energy boosters and drains (one of the main causes of poor work-life balance)
Sometimes we spend a lot of our time on activities and relationships which drain our energy and add no value. Encourage your clients to identify those energy drains and to limit the time they spend on them. Great examples of energy drains are reading all those „important“ updates on social media or gossiping with colleagues. While having a great time with friends (even for a short coffee break) or going for a run can be real energy boosters. Encourage your clients to spend less time with those energy drains and to incorporate more energy boosters to their life!
Sometimes the people we regularly spend time with can also be huge energy drains (and boosters of course). Let your clients identify who they spend most of their valuable time with both in business and their personal life. The next step is to find out if this person gives or zaps energy and which concrete action they can take on this relationship .
Balancing work and life isn’t easy but hopefully, these tips will help you and your coaching clients to accomplish a better work-life balance! This toolkit includes 8 exercises and questionnaires that will help you to put all those tips into practice.