The struggle to maintain work-life balance is a reality for so many Kiwis, which is why Monty spoke with career and life coach Allison Fisher for advice on tipping the scales back in our favour.
Life Coach Allison Fisher says many of her clients struggle to balance family, work and time for themselves, and need to realise work-life balance is very individual thing. 'Work life balance is different for everyone - for some people who need to run every second day, finding time to do that run might get them their balance. The rest of the time they are frantic and full-on, but their balance is there if they get their run.' Allison says finding time to do one thing a week for yourself is a great place to start.
Stop trying to be wonder woman - look for life hacks and ask for help
Though some people may feel like they're cheating, Allison says that it's not a cop-out to adopt life hacks to ease your burden. 'You don't have to prepare gourmet meals from scratch - get food delivered, if you have teenagers, get them to cook.' Another curical step, is asking your partner for help, which according to Allison particularly applies to women. 'For some men, it's a change of mind-set. They need to realise they can change their schedule to get into work at 9:30am on a Monday morning so they can take the kids to school that morning.'
Talk to your bosses
Allison says we need to be more assertive at asking our employers for flexibility. 'There are so many different ways we can work now we shouldn't be nervous about asking for flexibility if it improves our work-life balance.'
Allison says there's starting to be a back-lash to technology making us available 24-7 for work. 'We demand teenagers put their phones away at tea-time, we need to demand the same from ourselves.'
Do your kids need to 'do' so much?
Allison says children are doing so much these days outside of school 'maybe we need to ask are they better kids because they do five activities a week or would doing three activities a week well benefit them more. Are we pushing kids too much? They're so busy but what about the downtime, lying down and watching the clouds go by?'
Maximise quality time with your kids
Working mums often feel guilty that they don't spend enough time with their kids. Allison advices to 'make those two hours between you getting home and them going to bed your quality time with them. Turn off your phone, forget about housework and give your time to your kids.'
According to Allison, looking at our day as a whole is a good way to work out where stress points are. 'Work-life balance is often about planning. Work out your diary on a Sunday night. Ask yourself what key three things you want to achieve today and focus on those and keep coming back to them. If you don't tick everything off your list, don't beat yourself up.'
Care less about what others think and stop comparing ourselves to others
Thinking less about what others think of us is another important take away, as well as re-thinking our approach to social media. 'A lot of us waste a lot of time on social media and if you're looking at it and fretting over your seeming lack of work-life balance compared to your friends, then it's unhealthy. Remember social media never shows you the negatives,' Alison says.