Balance is the new buzzword. It’s the state we all long to be in.

For years now, we have been hearing that a work life balance is important for our well-being. That we can’t just work-work-work because we need to play in order to stay sane. And that we can’t just play all the time, because there is rent to pay.

But what does work life balance really mean?

From my experience there is no right answer here. Because my work life balance may look terrifying to you and I might not like the way you have split it up.

It is so different from one person to another. It is not as simple as just dividing work/life into 50/50.

It all depends on several criteria that are important in finding YOUR balance, the percentage split that works for you – well, at least most of the time.

So what are the criteria to find work life balance?

1. SATISFACTION

It’s all about being happy with what you have. There is a quick exercise called the Creative Lifewheel that allows you to see where you stand.

Click on the image to download the worksheet.

The lifewheel has shown you which areas might need some tweaking.

Now let’s look at the next two elements needed.

2. TIME

Where do you spend your time? How much time do you (need to) spend in each area of your life? And are you happy with it?
Often we don’t know where our time goes.
So here’s a little exercise for you that my coach did with me when I started and that I always do when I start working with a new client. Please fill this out giving an honest and detailed account of the amount of time spent on the topics in a typical week. The 98-hour week allows for 7 days, each of 14 hours.

Click on the image to download the worksheet.

This exercise usually works as an eye opener because it shows you where your time goes or gets ‘lost’. It will allow you to see where you need to and can tweak time, if you want to start a new project for example or spend more time in one specific area. A coach (or accountability buddy) can of course help you achieve those goals.

3. MONEY

Two questions:

  1. How much money do you make?
  2. How much money do you spend?

Simple as that.

This needs to add up. If you have a mortgage that’s half your household’s salary, it will be difficult for you to stop working and travel the world.

If you need to reduce working time to take care of family and stay sane, that might mean you need to change living conditions.

So why not list all the details of one month in order to visualise, like for your TIME, where your cash actually goes or where the hidden expenses are. You might not realise how much you spend on books at amazon ūüôā Only an overview will allow you to cut down on certain things in order to save money or allow for other projects to materialise. There are easy to use apps to help you keep track of your expenses.

Once you have analysed these three steps, you will be able to take action towards a more satisfied, happy and balanced life.