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Is the business of life passing you by? As a leader are you missing the things on your doorstep that are important to you? We have passed the point of midwinter and the days are finally start to get lighter. The time between Christmas and New Year is a great time to reflect on 2018. During this time we get to spend some much-needed quality time with family, friends, and hopefully with ourselves.

Have you got so wrapped up in targets, reports, and meetings that you can’t you see the wood for the trees? We often think when we are in senior roles that doing more means achieving more. But that’s not always the case sometimes taking a step back and doing less will help you get you where you want to be, faster. But does this mean we have actually achieved work-life balance? Is this a dream that magazines and lifestyle gurus sell to us that just isn’t achievable. Let’s debunk some of the myths around so-called work-life balance!

1. There isn’t a final destination. It needs constant evaluation. It’s a moving target as your life and the demands of business changes. Check in with what’s happening for you regularly. How are your stress levels? What are you craving? What do you need more and less of? What is balance for you this month may not be the same next year.

2. Taking time off. Don’t take time off; take time on. What makes your heart sing? It’s not about switching off – it’s about switching on and living life to the full. How are you spending your time? What depletes you and what recharges you?

3. A flexible schedule improves your work-life balance. You can actually run yourself ragged trying to do it all. Trying to balance being a leader at work, staying healthy and going to the gym with family commitments can leave you exhausted and burnt out. Routine can be good but be fluid with it and be clear on what is non-negotiable for you. It’s not about emulating people’s ‘insta-glamorous’ lives. It’s about finding what works for you. There is no blueprint other than the one that you choose that works for you!

4. It’s not about time management it’s about fulfillment.
 It’s not about managing time better – it’s about managing energy and maintaining emotional physical and mental wellness.

5. Work-life balance is only for people who don’t want to advance their career. Many professionals don’t want to go slow and do want to get a promotion, but they still want to spend time with their kids, partner, and friends

The reality is that with conscious pauses you achieve more by doing less. Work-life balance should actually be a daily practice of being mindful of your needs, your goals, and the decisions you make at work every day. You want to work smarter, not harder. Working and living intentionally is something we should all strive for. Which is why I have developed the Balanced Leader Programme, which I will be sharing more about in the new year.

So this Christmas break make sure you find the time to do the things that make your heart happy. But don’t forget to take time to be by yourself so you can look back at 2018 and decide what you want to do differently next year.

I have a brilliant tool for this my Discovery Planner, which will enable you to get an overview of what went well and what you want to change. You can get the planner here http://bit.ly/jocowlin-discovery. Please get in touch and let me know how you get on.

Sometimes we know what we want change but need help getting there. It’s like joining a gym and never going. Sometimes you need the equivalent of a personal trainer to help you achieve your goals, which is were I come in. I  am totally committed to helping my clients smash their goals, improve their life at work and boost their wellbeing. I’m not adverse to a doing a bit of butt-kicking either! Please get in touch if you want to find out more.

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