This month, I want to talk about a wonderful way to achieve work-life balance, writes Kate Hull-Rodgers.
We all want our work life to be exciting.
But we equally want our leisure time to be fun and restorative.
The best way to make this happen is to separate the two into work and pleasure, making them separate and different in balance.
We live in a world that is increasingly 24-7-365 and social media means that we are always available.
It becomes increasingly important that we respect our down time or we risk burnout.
The practise is simple, but profound – you just ritualise the end of your work day.
It starts by identifying the exact moment you finish work.
Perhaps it is when you leave through the door of your office, when you turn off your PC, the drive home, or if you work from home, maybe it is the moment you make yourself a cup of tea, or take the dog for a walk, or put the kids to bed.
It doesn’t matter when it is, what does matter is that you clock it and turn that moment into a ritual of ending work and beginning relaxation and pleasure time.
This is called passages.
I worked with one coaching client and her ritual was excellent.
Each evening as she drove home there was a roundabout that always had a long queue.
At first this pause in her travels would cause her tension until she started to use this time for her own benefit.
As she sat idling in her car, she would visualise sealing her day’s work problems in a box and leaving them at the roundabout.
The next morning on her drive to work, she would imagine picking up the box and when she got to work she would unpack the box and she was ready to go.
Similarly, I worked with a businessman, who was a busy executive, who would mark his passage every day by writing a to-do list at the end of each day and sealing it in an envelope.
He then put the envelope in a drawer in his in his desk and as he firmly shut it he would look at the drawer and call out loudly, ‘stay’.
If, in the evening, he started to think about work, he would reassure himself that his problems were locked in a drawer, sealed in an envelope – they would be there for him tomorrow.
But, for tonight – they wouldn’t bother him.
Just identify the moment and turn it into an opportunity to stop working and start living.
It will make a positive difference and a huge impact on your life.
READ MORE: Exercise your way to mental fitness.
Kate Hull-Rodgers is a speaker, author, media presenter, seminar leader , coach and international leading authority on the strategic use of humour in the workplace.