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May 182010
Get the Balance Right

Image by Marquette La via Flickr

    Are you struggling to balance the demands of a busy career with a hectic personal life? Does it feel like you’re constantly juggling your commitments in a desperate attempt to squeeze everything into an impossibly short day?

    If the answer is yes, you’re not alone. Trying to find the perfect work-life balance is something that countless employees around the world wrestle with every day… but for many it simply isn’t working.

    The concept of work-life balance first entered the recruitment lexicon in the 1970s in an attempt to describe the issues faced by employees looking to divide their attention between their work commitments and their personal life. It’s since gained popularity among industry commentators, recruitment and careers experts, employees, and most recently with employers, who have started to view the panacea of work-life balance as a magic-bullet solution to employee dissatisfaction, absenteeism, and boosting productivity in the workplace.

    One of the main reasons that work-life-balance has become such a buzzword is that it resonates with so many people. Almost all of us know that overwhelming feeling of desperately trying to divide our finite attention between all of the things that matter to us. But although the work-life-balance concept has been around for nearly four decades, many of us are still struggling to manage our disparate commitments effectively; we fail in our quest for "balance", and ultimately everything suffers.

    According to business and lifestyle coach Ali Davies ( the main reason so many of us haven’t nailed the work-life balance conundrum is that the whole concept is fundamentally flawed.

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Jul 212009
Hourglass Shadow

Image by Brooks Elliott via Flickr

Time is an elusive commodity. Making effective use of your time can have a profound effect on your career and on your life in general, but unless you manage it carefully time can slip away almost without you noticing.

Consequently, time management is one of the biggest challenges in today’s workplace. Taking control of your time really could be the catalyst that will help you to achieve what you want in life, and you’ll find countless books, courses, systems and strategies out there to help you. Meanwhile, try these simple suggestions to start you on the road to increased personal productivity and success.

  • Plan your work: spending ten to fifteen minutes at the start or end of each day planning your work will help you to focus on what’s important.
    Deal with routine more effectively: examine the routine tasks you do every day with a critical eye. Can they be streamlined at all? Could some be minimised, or even eliminated altogether? You’ll be amazed how much cumulative time you can save by shaving a few precious minutes off your routine tasks.
  • Don’t waste time waiting: we all spend time waiting – waiting for appointments, waiting for the train or bus, waiting in traffic. Use that time constructively to catch up with some reading, or to work out how to move things forward on an important project.

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