This post is another great example of how you can incorporate different work life balance initiatives into your organisation, in particular from the perspective of someone working a full-time job and growing their own business aswell.
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Name: Rod Sherwin
Title: Energy Therapist
Years in business: 6
Number of staff including business owner: 1
1. What are some of the work life balance issues your organisation faces?
I’m still in the process of building my practice and have to work a ‘day job’ to help with the finances so I have to work on my own stuff outside hours. I do a couple of hours in the morning before going to work and then seeing clients and more work after hours. It’s like working two jobs. Because I’m so passionate about building my practice it doesn’t necessarily feel like work but occasionally you think, “What else could/would I be doing if I wasn’t working so hard?”
2. What work life balance initiatives do you have in your organisation, big or small?
I’m pretty good at taking Sunday’s off. Given I have a home office, I need to get out of the house for the day to get away from the temptation of sitting down at the computer and losing a few hours. Otherwise, the rest of the week is busy. I only take time to watch TV on the weekend so I get a few more hours back in my day each day because of that.
I also have a work timer on my computers to remind me to stand-up, stretch and take a break at least every 40 minutes to an hour.
3. What have been the main benefits to your organisation of these initiatives?
Having the Sunday off does allow ideas to incubate and germinate so that when I hit the desk on Monday, I’m actually keen to implement and move forward on new projects. I find that, if I work through Sunday, that I’m dragging my heels from the start of the week.
Having regular breaks from the computer helps be more conscious of the discomfort of sitting so long and now I tend to move more often just from the feeling of sitting for too long.
4. Have there been any obstacles or issues in implementing your work life balance initiatives?
Mainly my own internal drive to get things done! Once you gain momentum and are fully immersed and focused on doing something there is resistance to taking a break even though you know you will benefit from it. I learned long ago to “Rest before you need it” and you will actually be productive for longer periods of time.
5. Do you conduct any regular surveying or evaluation of your work life initiatives?
My Sunday’s are good for taking a stepping back and seeing how I’m feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally.
6. What are some of your own personal work life balance and/or time management tips?
I mentioned “Rest before you need it” which came from Dale Carnegie. I used to do a lot of long distance driving and found that being disciplined about taking a break every two hours meant I could keep going for 12 hours without being overly fatigued. I’ve found this also translates to office work.
My other suggestion would be that, when you take a break, have a proper break. Don’t take a break from your computer to check your twitter feed on your phone. That’s not a break. Do something completely different. I have another habit of just leaving the office and walking around the block then coming back to my desk. It only takes a few minutes but can do wonders for the circulation and clear the cobwebs from the brain.
7. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Getting out and about and exploring the wonderful city of Melbourne. I love going to the Aussie Rules football and Cricket when they’re in season, otherwise, a good book and a cup of tea, or a beer and some good blues music works wonders for unwinding.
8. Tell us about your organisation. What are the key services of your organisation and what is your target market?
I help people experience emotional freedom from issues such as stress, anxiety, fear, trauma, abuse, relationship issues, chronic pain and emotional eating. I use techniques from the fields of energy psychology and energy medicine to achieve results in a few sessions that can take years with conventional talk therapies.
9. What is your role within the organisation?
Being a solo entrepreneur, I do everything! This includes marketing, product creation, web site content creation and maintenance, running workshops and, of course, seeing clients.
10. Other comments, tips or ideas:
I recently learned of the idea of taking a pause during our busy day. We are sometimes so busy that the day flashes by (or the week, or the month!) and we’re not sure what we were actually doing during that time. By taking a few moments in between tasks to just stop, take a breath or two, let you energy settle in the present moment, reconnect to right now, let go of all the things that we have yet to do, and just be for a few breaths can really help with your wellbeing on all levels. It doesn’t take as long as a full break; it’s more of a mental pause but it really helps to relax you mental frenzy.
Abbie’s Comments: “Have you considered setting a timer on your computer? You could use it not only to schedule breaks, but also to focus on a particularly task for a specific time.”