FO­CUS EN­ERGY FOR RE­SULTS

IN­STEAD OF SEEK­ING WORK/LIFE BAL­ANCE, IT MAY PAY TO JUG­GLE A SPHERE OF AC­TIV­I­TIES AND IN­TER­ESTS

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE - MIND YOU WORDS: ROWENA HARDY Rowena Hardy is a fa­cil­i­ta­tor and coach at mind­saligned.com.au

With the fes­tive sea­son over and the turn of a new year, many of us will be head­ing back to work if we haven’t al­ready and it can be a chal­lenge to do that af­ter time off. It al­ways feels good to take a break, get away, spend more time with fam­ily and friends and let the days roll out with no par­tic­u­lar plan. As a re­sult, get­ting into back-to-work mode can take a while. It’s prob­a­bly eas­ier if we love what we do, feel ful­filled and re­ceive a fair salary – but how many of us ac­tu­ally do? Yet we all need to earn money, so back to work we go. While we may get off to a slow start, we soon find our­selves back into the usual rou­tines, mo­men­tum builds and be­fore we know it the busi­ness can take over again; we long for the week­end, our next ros­tered days off or fu­ture hol­i­days. Why is it so hard to take our hol­i­day or week­end zen and main­tain it when we go back to work? What­ever hap­pened to work/life bal­ance? It’s a term I hear often and it’s not one that I agree with par­tic­u­larly. Here’s why: When I hear the word bal­ance, I visu­alise a pair of weigh­ing scales, the old-fash­ioned ones with the var­i­ous weights on one side and the weigh­ing bowl on the other. Then I re­mem­ber how hard it could be to equalise both sides, one side al­ways just dip­ping be­low the other. To me that feels like ten­sion, a con­stant ef­fort to main­tain equal­ity be­tween one and the other and I feel the same way about work/life bal­ance be­cause it as­sumes that we spend 50 per cent of our time at work and the other 50 per cent in life. But do we? If you con­sider travel time, work time and think­ing about work time, it’s prob­a­bly quite a bit more than 50 per cent, with many of us putting in the ex­tra ef­fort for no ex­tra re­ward. And what about the other 50 per cent? Life doesn’t eas­ily fit into a bucket of avail­able time, things hap­pen un­ex­pect­edly and re­quire our at­ten­tion. So I pre­fer to visu­alise a sphere to rep­re­sent the whole of life. Within that sphere is work for most of us but there is also fam­ily, health, hol­i­days, hob­bies, per­sonal de­vel­op­ment, pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment, fun, fi­nances, ac­tiv­i­ties, shop­ping, cook­ing, clean­ing, re­lax­ing, sleep­ing and ev­ery­thing else that takes our time and at­ten­tion out­side of work. What makes the dif­fer­ence is where we choose to fo­cus our at­ten­tion and spend our time within that sphere. Some­times it’s nec­es­sary to spend ex­tra time at work, other times our fam­i­lies need us more or per­haps we just need time out for our­selves to re­fresh and re­new. I in­vite you to con­sider this dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive and re­flect on where your fo­cus is at any given time and will be dur­ing the year ahead. Re­mem­ber ‘en­ergy flows where at­ten­tion goes’ and what you de­cide to pay at­ten­tion to is up to you; choose care­fully!

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