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My work life balance - an update from Ruth

I’ve been asked by a colleague to reflect on my blog last year about work life balance and how I have managed the last 12 months!

I have indeed been practising very hard to maintain my work life balance and have followed my top tips. These were :

  • Use what you know about yourself
  • Protect time for yourself
  • Set yourself a personal challenge
  • Set realistic targets
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Practice makes perfect
  • Have fun

I fiercely protect some me time, I’ve have completed two triathlons – one of which was standard distance and I’ve inadvertently also entered a 10 mile run and a half marathon in November in the run-up to Christmas!  I’m really not sure how that happened! I’ve tried to work my week to enable me occasionally to walk my kids to school and I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to work flexibly one afternoon a week to support my youngest access services.

So life hasn’t been without its challenges, school issues, navigating the maze of applying for an ECHP and fitting in bi-weekly hospital treatment have kept me on my toes; I’ve been as busy at home as at work!

Whilst work has been going pretty well I have been incredibly busy and to keep focus, perspective and supportive challenge I’ve had bi-monthly coaching sessions and joined an action learning set. This has been a great opportunity and space for me to reflect and think about how I really am managing that balance between work and home, and what I can do to help slow the pace of everything down. With the proposed merger on the horizon it’s unlikely my work-life balance will improve any time soon!  I think I forgot the one about realistic targets!

So what will keep me going for the next 12 months? The drive and determination to see a project through which I believe will bring benefits to both organisations and our clients, being involved in opportunities to redesign wider systems, influencing on system change and the associated energy boost which comes from doing something that even after 30 years you still enjoy and feel passionately about keep me going in the right direction.

But I will still endeavour to take a lunch break every day, work less at weekends, prioritise spending time with my family and have some ridiculous challenge to aim for, because I have to work with who I am and work life balance doesn’t always happen of its own accord!

Ruth Kettle