A Balanced Life: How to Easily Harmonize Everything in Your Life for More Joy and Energy at Work and Home
My guest today is Nicole B. Mason, author, trainer, certified business coach and founder of Omnivantage Business Professionals, a corporate-team performance consulting firm that also provides leadership coaching and trainings. Welcome to OpEdNews, Nicole. I understand that you've put a podcast interview series together. Tell us a bit about it, please.
NM: Yes, it's called The Balanced Life Series: How to Easily Harmonize Everything in Your Life For More Joy and Energy at Work and Home. The interviews tackle how people can successfully juggle competing demands on their time in ways that work for them, individually, so they can live happy, fulfilled lives AND be more productive and effective at work. Today's corporate and business culture in the US, and many other countries, causes burnout, anxiety and a multitude of debilitating or life threatening physical illnesses. What also gets overlooked is the fact that if someone's personal life is a mess, due to neglect of health or relationships, their performance at work will suffer in some way. And continuously working 60+ hours/week does not allow sufficient time for people to maintain their well-being, so breakdowns happen. It's a vicious circle.
The productivity drain that cycle causes has reached epidemic levels in the US. Research by Gallup, the US Labor Board, Blessing White and others show that companies lose millions of dollars each year due to medical leaves for stress related and other major illnesses, failure to meet corporate performance goals, as well as costs associated with employee conflicts. People who are on the verge of burnout, or dealing with chronic pain or personal relationship problems not only work less hours, or get less done while working many hours, they are shorter tempered and more likely to (inadvertently) cause conflicts in the office. People who feel personally dissatisfied or unfulfilled are less motivated and less efficient, which contributes to missed deadlines, errors and other root causes behind organizations' struggles to achieve company goals and milestones. I put together this series to help solve these problems, and help people live better by living a life that really makes them happy.
JB: How have you dealt with this work-life balance in your own life?
NM: As an attorney who was in-house at corporations in Silicon Valley for over 15 years, I personally witnessed all of the casualties (to individuals and corporate team performance) of the round-the clock, always on-call business culture. People were foregoing vacations, or working through their vacations, and neglecting to take care of themselves in order to earn the booby badges of honor for not sleeping, living at the office or unnecessarily commuting 2-4 hours each day. This was not making anyone happy- this was making my colleagues stressed, bitter or addicted. People were afraid to take real vacations and create healthy boundaries to take care of themselves. They didn't know how (or that they had the option) to set expectations to manage their performance, in order to produce the best results for their employer and themselves. Work-life balance was on almost everybody's minds and talked about constantly, due to caregiving responsibilities or a desire to have a life outside work.
Always passionate about both my career and living life to the fullest, I took real vacations every year, developed hobbies and incorporated my scuba, climbing and other outdoor adventures into my travels. Most of my weekends were dedicated for friends and fun. When I returned to work on Mondays, I was energized and focused and known for my productivity everywhere I worked. My professional trajectory was a steady upward slope and I rounded out my law career as the General Counsel of a multinational company. Then after thinking about starting my own business "someday," I finally did it after my son was born. I was able to negotiate and design a good life balance for myself while advancing my career. I also helped some friends do the same, and then I realized I was onto something. People have more choices than they think- these interviews open people's eyes to what is possible and how to make it real in their own lives.
JB: How do you accomplish that through this series?