Previously the participants explored a work-life balance with steps that can help them to reflect on how to manage their work-life balance more effectively. This activity goes a bit further with the work-life balance cycle by challening them to look at the cycle from the perspective of their own lives.
The participants will reflect on how the work-life balance cycle applies to them.
- Display the slide titled – THE CYCLE AND YOU.
- Read out the information on it which describes a paired-up activity they are about to do (you can access – THE CYCLE AND YOU here).
- Then use the ‘breakout groups’ feature to split them up into pairs, so each will be assigned to a room.
- Make sure you join each room briefly to clarify that they are clear what they need to do.
- When they have 5-minutes and 1-minute more broadcast a message to them so that they are aware of how much time they have left.
- Once the 20-minutes is up, close the rooms so that everyone can return to the main room.
- When everyone is back, let them know you are now going to take feedback from each pair in the order of the rooms they were in, so Room 1 will give feedback till you get to the last room.
- Allow each pair to give feedback and listen to them without making any comments.
- When they have finished thank them for doing the activity and giving the feedback.
In a previous activity, participants had the opportunity to reflect on their own work-life balance. Access that activity here. In this activity participants will discuss a work-life balance cycle which will outline some steps they can use to start managing their own work-life balance.
The participants will be introduced to a work-life balance cycle that they can use to reflect about their own work-life balance.
Display the slide titled – A WORK-LIFE BALANCE CYCLE.
At this point the slide will be blank with just a title.
Before clicking on the slide again, tell them that:
- Recent research carried out among a number of working professionals in the UK revealed that dealing with work-life balance should be seen as a cycle and not a one-off fix.
- This is a cycle that we must engage in continuously as our priorities change.
- Also, dealing with work-life balance requires us to question our assumptions about work to increase our work-life balance.
- We will also need to intentionally redefine our roles.
- Now let’s look at the work-life balance cycle. It has five steps.
Click on the slide to display – Pause and denormalize.
Tell them that:
- This first step is about asking yourself some important questions such as, What is currently causing me stress, unbalance, or dissatisfaction? How are these circumstances affecting how I perform and engage with my job? How are they impacting my personal life? What am I prioritizing? What am I sacrificing? What is getting lost?
- Only after you take a mental pause and acknowledge these factors can you begin to tackle them.
- Click on the slide again to display – Pay attention to your emotions.
- Tell them that:
- Once you become more aware of the situation, explore how you honestly feel.
- Ask yourself questions such as, do I feel energized, fulfilled, satisfied? Or do I feel angry, resentful, sad?
- Awareness of your emotional state is essential in order to determine the changes you want to make in your work and in your life.
- Click on the slide to display – Reprioritize
- Tell them that:
- Having the awareness and understanding of how you feel about your work-life balance gives you the information to start making the necessary changes.
- You will now need to intentionally change your priorities.
- You will need to ask yourself and answer some honest questions about your priorities such as, what am I willing to sacrifice, and for how long? If I have been prioritizing work over family, for example, why do I feel that it is important to prioritize my life in this way? Is it really necessary? Is it really inevitable? What regrets do I already have, and what will I regret if I continue along my current path?
- You will need to take intentional action to reprioritize the way you use your time to line up with your true priorities.
- Click on the slide to display – Consider your alternatives.
- Tell them that:
- This is about reflecting on aspects of your work and life that could be different in order to better align with your priorities. Are there components of your job that you would like to see changed? How much time would you like to spend with your family, or on hobbies?
- Click the slide to display the last component of the cycle which is – Implement changes.
- Tell them that:
- As you would expect the last stage in the cycle is to implement changes.
- Once you’ve recognized your priorities and carefully considered the options that could help you improve, it’s time to take action.
- That can mean a “public” change — something that explicitly shifts work colleagues’ expectations, such as taking on a new role that’s designed to be less time-demanding or allows for a compressed-week model.
- Or a “private” change, in which you informally change your work patterns, without necessarily attempting to change your colleagues’ expectations.
- After you finish, ask them for what they think about the cycle.
- Listen to their views and opinions about the cycle without making any comments. Just listen to them.
- When they finish speaking, let them know that next they will explore the cycle from a personal perspective and reflect on how it can apply to them.