4 big mistakes in 2013: work/life balance 

As we end 2013, if I could wish one thing for you it would be that you find the work/life balance you long for, and need, in 2014. 

I want to share with you the 4 mistakes that clients made in 2013 and give you a few tips that will support you.

I know that work/life balance is cliché by now.  I also know that there is little time to focus on the issue…there is so much work, too many meetings - coordination, consultation, emergency, budget -, too many emails to read and respond to, too many papers to study, decide on, sign off on, give feedback on,…

And still, you taking care of yourself is not really negotiable and having a “certain balance” will help you and your work. 

Here are the 4 mistake that kept our clients from having the work-life balance that they needed and wanted in 2013. 

Mistake #1 Waiting: They were waiting for the perfect moment, or until they felt really motivated, to take care of themselves .  They were waiting for that illusive reprieve from work, down time, and for external permission.

Mistake #2 Abstraction: Many clients talk about work/life balance as an abstract idea. This did not help and sometimes made them feel worse.

Mistake #3 Alone: I cannot stress this one enough – clients have this idea that they are magically going to start doing self-care activities alone.

Mistake #3 No-fun:  Many clients approach self-care activities with the same enthusiasm and excitement as they would to create a logframe – that means zero! 

Here are some tips that might help you “deliver” self-care actions for yourself in 2014:

·  Focus on the actions: Self-care is not an idea, it is specific actions and choices that improve and maintain your physical fitness and mental/emotional well-being. 

       Figure out what makes you feel good: Take time to figure out what makes you feel good and what you actually like to do. If you want to move into action, you have got to know what you actually enjoy doing and what makes you feel great. 

·   Create relationships:  If you want to stay engaged and accountable to your own self-care activities, creating positive partnerships around these events is a sure way to achieve success; it is so much more fun and it will keep you accountable.  Join or start a group class, sign up for a weekend retreat, pay for services from a well-being professional (nutritionist, trainer, coach, massage therapist, …) , join an on-line programme, etc.

·  Don’t wait: If you are waiting for the perfect moment or until you feel motivated, it will not happen.  Take action! You taking self-care actions will create the perfect moment and increase your motivation. 

Now it is over to you...which self-care activities have helped you most in 2013?  What tips do you have for others?  I would love to hear from you.   Write me an email here

P.S.  In our next blog, we will share some tips for self-care while you work in intense/ hard core emergencies. 

If you know an international worker who needs to read this, send them our link here.  Help make personal/professional development an accepted part of the international work culture.  

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You CAN do meaningful work AND not lose yourself along the way;

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Inside & Outside coaching make it possible for you to take charge and move forward with your personal and professional life.

DPPD coaches are certified/accredited coaches with also over 35 years experience in humanitarian and development operations.