Finding your Work-Life Balance

We are so busy in our lives, juggling home life, family, work life, leisure, friends, etc. that we sometimes become too caught up in existing and we forget how to live.

A popular coaching tool I use a lot, both in coaching and in several of my training courses, is the Wheel of Life.

It is normally presented to people with pre-set headings, such as Work, Finance, Health, Family, Friends, Personal Development, etc. However, I prefer to give people a blank wheel, and encourage them to add up to eight of their own headings, in line with their own lives, goals, etc. as every person is different.

I have also used this with executives when looking at the departments for which they are responsible, in which case their headings may have titles such as Sales, Production, HR, Finance, etc. or for use when looking at a staff member (for example for development needs), when the headings might reflect their job responsibilities, such as Telephone Skills, Computer work, Customer Service Skills, Working with Colleagues, etc.

It is a really useful, visual tool and one people react very positively to. It provides a snapshot representation of where you are now, so you can use it to help plan where you want to be and think about the actions to take to get you there.

So, why not have a go at completing one for yourself?

The graphic below shows eight sections. Use each section to mark on an area of your life which is relevant to you. If you want to include your family, you may wish to give each member a separate segment, as you may score one lower/higher than another if you have specific worries or concerns.

If you have something you wish to aim for, then include this as one section. For example, if you are looking for a new car, planning on doing a course, moving home, etc. So, anything pertinent to your life and how it is now.

To see how balanced your life is, mark off how fulfilled or satisfied you feel in each area, whereby:

wheel of life by janet baker1 = catastrophe
5 = average
10 = living life to the full

On completion, join up your results to see how balanced your “wheel” is.

Pick an area you would particularly like to focus on, one you are able to do something about, and think about what a 10 would be like in that area.

Write out a detailed description of it. This becomes your goal to aim for.

Now think of an action or several actions you can take (no matter how small) to kick-start your progress towards making a change and achieving this goal.

Any sectors not scoring ten are areas in which a coach may be able to help you with, by questioning you and clarifying your thinking, We would find out the issues behind lower scores, look at any resources you may currently have, then work with you to establish basic actions to initiate a change and agree how you would like to move towards your goal.

Print out the Wheel of Life here. (PDF)

Checking in with the coach gives you accountability to ensure actions are followed through, progress towards goals is being made and then success is celebrated.

It is worth doing this activity every two or three months, to see how much progress you are making and re-evaluate your life as a whole.

If you would like to look at your work/life balance in more detail in a coaching session, or see how this great tool can be used in a work environment, please contact Janet for more information.