Tips for a Healthy Work-Life Balance

In today's world, we are always connected. Through our smartphone, we constantly receive e-mails which we quickly answer. Even on weekends and holidays. But is this healthy? Kevin asks life coach Jerko Bozikovic (Expert Academy) where we should draw the line between work and private life.

05-11-2014 -  by Kevin Van der Straeten

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In today's world, we are always connected. Through our smartphone, we constantly receive e-mails which we quickly answer. Even on weekends and holidays. But is this healthy? I ask life coach Jerko Bozikovic where we should draw the line between work and private life.


Hi Jerko, welcome in our studio.

Thanks Kevin.


We are constantly connected these days and we run around with our smart phones, reading our emails, even for work on holiday and so on; I don't think that's a good idea.


Well do you do it?


I have to admit.




I take just a quick look just to see whether there is something new in my mailbox and it becomes a habit.


So you also do it in your private time?




Yeah. So that means that actually the boundaries between your work and your life or your work/life balance...


Which boundaries? (Laughs)


And that is what many people will answer. "I don't have any more of work/life balance" and I think if we don't have that, we're gonna lose our self one day or the other. So let's talk about work/life balance. And one of the major reasons why is like you just said is we're always connected. There are always possibilities to get new in process. The other day I heard on the radio a really interesting topic and it said that, it was actually a study and they said that we're all addicted to something and we're not aware of it.


And that is?


And that is we're all addicted to news.


Oh yeah.


We all want to get new in process the whole time. For example you wake up, what do many people do, they out on the radio and in the background they hear the news and then they get into their car and they put on the radio and they hear new news and new stories. Or they take the train or the bus and they'll have like three newspaper. And then they get to work and they'll check their mails; new news. New in process, new information. Then in the day we'll go on Facebook, check is there anything interesting there, then on Twitter. Then sometimes during the break they'll go to see are there any new headlines and then you'll go back home, car; news. And then of course many people you see there they have arranged their family ritual, at home, dinner etc. around the news, the seven o' clock news. And before bed many people say "oh, I'll just go on Facebook, check my mail to see if there is anything interesting". So that means that we are all the time busy with getting new information and it's too much. It is way too much for many, many people. I think social media is amazing; it's amazing because it has given us a lot of freedom. It's been able to connect us with people we haven't seen for a long time but from time to time we need to be able to say stop! I'm not going to get myself triggered by new impulses. Sometimes it's good to what I just...


But that's not easy if you're addicted.


Of course not. Yeah, well you know; it is some kind of an addiction. I mean how many... I don't know if you've ever experienced it, you know, be away where there is no connection?


Once we went hiking in the Himalayas and it took me about I think three days to be satisfied with the idea that there was no connection and I couldn't read my mail.


Yes and you felt bad at the beginning?




It's really like going through detoxification.




And, and while on the other hand we're all longing not to be connected. So one of the reasons why often we are, we stay connected. How many people go on holiday and they're like "OK, I'll be away but if there's something really, you can contact me". Well it means that we're not switching off that part of the brain that is still linked work. Often it is , we think we can't do that, we're not allowed to do that. It's not okay, we will not be well perceived by my boss, by my colleagues, by my clients if I'm not reachable. If I'm all the time 24/7 reachable how can I then create time for me? How can I refuel myself? How can I find new energy, new impulses? So many people say "oh January first I'm going to do sports and..."


A diet and...


I'll work in the garden, invite friends, go out at least once a month to theaters or the movies and then 12 months...


It never happens.


It never happens and often it's because there are other priorities and often those priorities that are linked that we find more important because we think it is more important. But is it always? No, it is not always. So it's a matter of have the guts to tell your colleagues well I'm on holiday and I'm not reachable. I'm not reachable, you know and that doesn't mean that you know certain positions, they need to be reachable. I know people who put their cell phone 24 hours a day next to the bed at night because they want to be reachable. I don't think it's healthy unless you're required, like a doctor or a security person for a chemical plant or whatever. But, that's defined timing of 24 hours or 48 hours and then you can switch that off. But you don't have to live life that way and it often has to do with what we call limiting beliefs, now...


OK, what's that about?


Now we think certain things; we have certain convictions and either they're helping us or they're limiting us. Limiting beliefs or stimulating beliefs. For example, if I wanna go talk in front of the public and I'm telling myself "oh you know, these people they are much more educated than I am and they know much more about the subject and actually I'm not such a good speaker and I'm also quite shy". That belief will have an impact on me; how I stand, how I breathe, how I talk. You start behaving like it. I start behaving like my belief so what I think is what I become. Now if I come and I'm like you know "I've really prepared myself well and I'm really gonna get the best out of it and I'm sure that everybody will learn something and I'm happy that I can talk about it". I will stand differently, my voice will sound differently and I will be much more secure. That is also a belief, it is a stimulating belief. So, limiting beliefs they can be individual; things that only I think or collective, that society or a lot of people think. And we see that society, a lot of people don't have good work/life balance because they have beliefs like I shouldn't be doing that or I'm not allowed to. Or maybe, if I really say I'm not reachable this will have an impact on my career or my boss or my clients or colleagues will look upon me on a negative way and what happens if I never can disconnect we start burning up. There are burn outs and people taking anti-depressants or all these things, not only for that but it is because often we have not set out boundaries.


To make sure we don't end up with burn out... You give coaching on the subject?


I do, it's so important to be able to work with people and look at them, look at where do they wanna go, what is important for them. What are their values; what are their mission? And what is their behavior they're having; what are the convictions they're having at this moment? And are they helping where you wanna go or are they just obstructing the goals you wanna reach. Now we can working on it, talk about it, create some insights to exercises to really understand what are the dynamics that make, that I don't always reach what I really wan to reach and one of the most important things in reaching is to create this work/life balance. Be 100% of the work when I need to be there but also to have 100% life balance.


Ok Jerko, thank you very much for coming over.


You're welcome.


And you at home thank you for watching our show, I hope to see you next week.