A coaching client of mine asked me a pertinent question the other day, “aren’t there so many trade-offs” in work-life balance?” She sincerely asked me, “Don’t you think that we can never achieve this so-called balance of work and life. One always weighs more than another. It is frustrating to even try to “balance” it.” I agreed and I disagreed. I asked if she’d follow my blog this week, for a response? “Of course,” she said and agreed. So, here’s my story.
I was a manic workaholic, going back ten years, during my publishing/media days, I’d work till wee hours in the night, up till early mornings, sometime. This went on for 4-5 years. I would work for 18-20 hours in a day and come back to work again the next day, by 8! I didn’t bother or have any understanding of what LIFE meant. I ignored my social life and any form of self-care. It didn’t matter. I was interested in getting the work done, gaining experience, and of course making the money (this was almost 10 years back). However, if I move the timeline to 6 years back, I had chosen a job, which I felt would consume less time and allow me a buffer for myself, my family, and my friends. But that didn’t happen!
Even though my work hours reduced, I was still continuously working at a stretch of 8-12 hours a day, six times a week. And while this was happening I was also doing my doctorate, which is very important to me. I struggled to strike a balance between work and personal life then. “It was frustrating!” It took a toll on my health. Finally, I was craving downtime and even some time off the “work routine.” I’ve always been a good multitasker with the self-inflicted go-getter attitude. I could manage work, my doctoral education, my household chores without any help until it hit my performance and health. The physical and mental stress consumed my body. I had to weigh in my priorities.
Eventually, I made the decision, calculated all my odds… and then left my well-paying job. Of course, I had to pay my bills and earn my own money too. So, I had to hustle more and life has been far from easy. I had to trade-off a good paying job, to my micro-business, for less money and more control over my time. It allowed me to pay more attention to my doctoral program, my health, and of course to do something that I truly, truly, love, which is my human performance coaching practice (I get to help so many people in the bargain).
It has been two years since then that I’ve Continue reading “How to measure your trade-offs in work-life balance.”