Work-Life Balance

In our day and age, especially with work moving online, we have maneuvered ourselves into a very stressful situation. Many no longer know where to draw a line between work & life.

Unfortunately this is what life has become for many. No time for anything else.

Stacy Valancy recently did a poll on LinkedIn, asking if you check emails on weekends. The results are a reflection of the sad situation we are living in. 64% of the respondents regularly check emails over the weekend. This means outside normal working hours and should not include your Saturday office hours.

This is a very sad situation, which is causing many people to burn out and also to become isolated. Your work should never be all you do in life. It brings with it the pandemics of high blood pressure or stomach ulcers and other stress related diseases we see even in very young people.

We need to change this!

I always recommend to have a look at your contract. It indicates working hours. See them? Yeah, those are the hours you are committed to work. Working more hours regularly does not make you a better performer.

Please make sure you teach yourself this and then teach all those young people working under you!

This is what the equation should look like!

In order to really succeed in life and to remain healthy and productive for years to come, you need to ensure you have time for rest & play, for living in your life. Yes, we do live in a high pressure environment and there are many sharks out there. That is no reason to sacrifice your health. Is that high paying job with the big perks and being able to afford a flashy lifestyle really worth this sacrifice? Once you have ruined your health, you can never recover fully.

What will you be able to say about your life by the time you are 60?

  • You worked all your life?
  • That you sacrificed friends & family to your work?
  • Yes, you made lots of money, but you had no time to enjoy it?
  • The career came with a big sacrifice: Your health?

Or would you like the story of your life sound more like this:

  • You built an amazing family with a comfortable income?
  • People admire the big positive influence you had in your community?
  • You enjoyed life to the fullest?

What needs to change?

If you want to be in the second lot, then it is time to start reviewing your life. Do you have time for family & friends? Are you taking time off from work on weekends? Is it really necessary to respond to these office emails over the weekend? Trust me you only need to respond to these emails if you are in emergency services, and even then only if you are on call.

Take time off from work, switch off completely. Make sure you don’t become the bore who only knows how to talk about work and is on the phone the whole time. Go out and have real fun. Go enjoy Nature, play some games, do some sports, spend quality time with family & friends. There is nothing as refreshing as switching off your phone for a whole day while going for a game drive or a hike.

When is the last time you simply enjoyed a walk / hike in nature?


Mindfulness is something we need to learn again! What is Mindfulness? It is the art to be present in the moment:

  • Take time to feel – the air, the wind, the chair you are sitting on, the love of those you are with
  • Listen actively – when is the last time you consciously took time to listen to the wind in the trees? The birds around you? The laughter of the neighbor’s children?
  • Simply be present – no pressure, enjoy the moment, and don’t think of anything else
  • Calm your mind – our minds often go at 180km/h thinking of all the things we have to do. What do I need to do at work. What I didn’t manage to do etc. Take time to simply clear your mind
  • Play a round of golf – you can’t hit that golf ball properly, if you do not clear your mind
  • Breath – consciously breath, feel the breath going in and out of your nose and lungs

For some these things may sounds too New Age. Give it a try anyway! You will see how these things calm you down.

Nature is my happy place! I go out into nature at least every weekend. I find nature near me

Where do I find rest?

Some of you may say, you can’t afford to go for an outing every weekend. This is not about expensive outings. I find nature around me. Yes I am lucky enough to have a garden, where I can sit in the grass and listen to birds, or simply the wind in the trees. There were days I lived in an apartment. I brought nature in by having plants and a comfortable chair. I’d sit out there for hours on end. My neighbors would wonder what this chick is up to. But often I found others trying it out later and also using their balcony to relax. Go to the park of the town you live in.

Here are some tips for those who work from home:

  1. You are allowed to switch off that computer! I have a small working desk, where I only sit for work. If you need to work off your dining table, make sure you clear your laptop and work note books when you are done for the day! I switch off at 5pm and go for a walk or to the gym. If I really have something else to do, then I go back to it later when my mind is refreshed.
  2. Think twice before you open the emails during your time off. What would happen if you don’t respond now, but the next work day?
  3. Plan time for relaxation. Have your walking shoes in your car.
  4. Going to the bar is socializing, not relaxation. It is important, but does not really relax you well. Plan extra relaxation as well.
  5. Plan your weekends. If you do not have a plan, you will not find time to relax. Trust me I also do most of my household chores and shopping on weekends. But I slot in purposeful time out in nature and plan the rest around this time slot.
  6. Don’t fear solitude, it is not loneliness. Spending time with yourself in nature is very relaxing.
  7. Take your leave. Don’t sell your leave and don’t spend your leave running around sorting things out. Of course there will be things you need to do, private projects to run etc. Again take the time to plan relaxation. Days on which you simply treat yourself to time out. Your body will thank you.

It is that simple

When is the last time you admired a spider web? The artful construction?
When is the last time you admired a beautiful leave?

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