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Dear Davidson

Davidson is a certified professional trainer, business coach and management consultant.

Driven by passion, he is an engaging and versatile presenter with over 20 years of experience in the training industry. Over the course of his career, he has trained over 1,000 companies comprising start-ups, SMEs, MNCs, government agencies and others all over Southeast Asia.

Here is your change to ask him a Question or read some of the advice given to others.

Is Work-Life Balance A Myth?

Dear Davidson,

how does one achieve work-life balance?

Is it important? Or is it just nonsense?

– Life Is A Box Of Chocolate

Dear Life is A box of Chocolate

Many people think that work-life balance doesn’t exist, or that it’s not important, but the truth is: any imbalance directly affects both mental and physical health.

Let’s have a closer look at what work-life balance is.

Work-life balance is the balance that a working individual needs between time allocated for work and other aspects of life.

So, clearly, we all have two lives: our work life (including daily assignments, companies’ goals and our contribution to those, career growth, all work-related ups and downs) and our private life (time spent with family, friendships, love life, health, interests, hobbies, etc).

Very often in chasing their own career goals people sacrifice their private lives: they sleep less, have a poor diet, don’t exercise, forget to work on their personal relationships and so on.

While it is possible to have a live-only-to-work life, you are certain to suffer from ‘burn out’ one day.

Don’t forget that we all need breaks.

We all need to do something we love.

Otherwise, what’s the point of living? Is it earning money and working 24 hours a day? Or is it procrastinating while giving yourself ‘too much rest’? Neither of those.

We need balance in life. In this context, work-life balance.

There is a very good exercise I do with my students to help them realise if their lives are balanced. I call it the ‘168 hours’ exercise.

It’s not easy to evaluate your work-life balance based on one day only, but if you average it in a week, the results seem to be more objective.

So 168 hours is the exact time we have in a week – 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Try to sort all your activities into different groups, break them down and give each a timing.

Take for instance, under ‘morning routines’, you’d have: shower = 15 minutes, brushing your teeth = 3 minutes, grooming = 10 minutes, dressing up = 5 minutes, breakfast = 10 minutes, praying = 5 minutes.

And under ‘health’, you’d have: sleeping = 7 hours, exercising = 1 hour and so on.

You can have as many ‘groups’ as there are, depending on your lifestyle, but they must include every single activity you do – for example, travelling to work, spending time at the office, going out with friends, having dinner with family.

After you’ve done this for each of the 7 days, sum up all the time you spent on those different activities and, most likely, your number will be higher than 168.

Surprisingly, we often overestimate our time spent with families, or time spent on keeping ourselves healthy.

You might find out that, in fact, you didn’t spend those 7 hours a week at the gym, or you didn’t sleep that much.

This exercise will allow you to have a fresh look at your own lifestyle, and define if you really spend enough time on important things.

Balance is important, so as to enjoy your life.

I hope my advice will help!

– Davidson

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