Yeah yeah, we know, we know … and we also know that the issue is one of the so-called work/life balance. Is there such a thing in today’s society as ‘work-life’ balance; and if there is, how do we get it?

There are a plethora of articles and blogs featuring work/life balance ‘how-to’ strategies yet still many are challenged by putting the advice into practice.

Daniel Goleman, the founder of Emotional Intelligence, states that the three skills needed for success in today’s organisations are self-awareness (the ability to recognise one’s own moods, emotions and drives), self-management and social competence. The more skill you have in these three areas, regardless of your IQ, the more successful you’ll be.

When it comes to work/life balance, self-awareness and self-management is key. 

No one can really quarantine themselves in the workplace from the stress of all the competing role demands others place on them. Not only are there expectations on all of us as workers and managers; we have continuous expectations from those to whom we are parents, friends, relatives, children, volunteers, students and neighbours.

Most employees need – and want – to achieve life balance and know that both work and play will benefit if they can achieve this Holy Grail. But it seems difficult not to get overwhelmed by the number and variety of “how to” segments of advice out there on offer.

So it makes sense then to look not at what tasks we need to undertake to achieve life balance – (thus adding more to our daily stress levels) but how we might go about getting our lives in balance, and what balance might mean for each of us.

It’s worth reflecting that balance itself is a fluid notion…if you have achieved balance and then you cement your life style around it, then how is that different from being stuck?

The process of moving toward a state of balance then is one of using or improving our Emotional Intelligence; improving our mental fitness in the same way we might look to improve our physical fitness as it were.

All work and no play makes Jack and Jill dull and unproductive. But what Jack and Jill need to remember is this: If you don’t run your own life, someone else will.