Category Archives: Create Work-Life Balance

Coping with the pressures and stress of work can take a tremendous toll on your life if you don’t take control. But how do you set boundaries that enable you to have a satisfying work life and personal life without appearing uncooperative at work? In the following articles, Joel Garfinkle helps you establish a healthy work-life balance for increased satisfaction in every area of your life.

Bring Your Work and Life Into Balance

Most people don’t know how to balance work in relationship to other areas of their life, often described as work/life balance. Hectic work schedules, increased responsibility, new technology, and the need to read and respond to growing quantities of email and voicemail are just some of the things that place huge demands on your work life. This pressure may cause you to feel as if your work is a prison that you can never escape as more and more keeps coming at you.

Many of us work in environments that have management’s hands-on involvement. Work comes from a lot of different sources and you might be supporting many different people. You’re pulled in various directions without knowing why or understanding how to cope with expectations from multiple people. It’s a lot to handle and it may seem impossible to bring your work and life into balance. Just know that … Continue reading Bring Your Work and Life Into Balance

Are You Suffering from Burnout at Work?

Are you more irritable and less patient with others? Do you feel disillusioned and no longer derive satisfaction from your accomplishments? Have your sleep or eating habits changed? Are you experiencing headaches or neck or lower back pain? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be suffering from job burnout.

And, if it’s any consolation, you’re not alone.

According to a nationwide survey by, a whopping 77 percent of workers say they feel burnout on the job.

The causes might be:

Working harder and longer due to staffing cuts or fear of losing your job. Lack of appreciation, recognition or reward for your efforts. Unclear or impossible job expectations. You’re in the wrong job or profession. Performing monotonous or unchallenging work. Working in a dysfunctional, chaotic or high pressure environment.

Certain personality traits can also contribute to burnout. For example, you might be a perfectionist … Continue reading Are You Suffering from Burnout at Work?

Four Ways to Say No At Work

As you try to manage your current work environment and all of its responsibilities, you may notice how hard it is to say no to new projects or assignments. Most people accept new responsibilities at work without any resistance, feedback, or push back. Often I hear clients say, “It’s only one more thing” or “I can handle it” or “I want to prove myself.” You say yes when you know you should say no.

Here are four ways to say no and provide feedback and push back at work without appearing uncooperative. After applying these tips, you’ll begin to notice a change in your workload, a decrease in the pressure you feel, and an increase in your overall productivity.

Never commit immediately. No matter what type of project or assignment you are given, you always need to take at least a few minutes before replying to the person … Continue reading Four Ways to Say No At Work

Reduce Your Workload

These days everyone is trying to do more with less. Your company and your boss are probably no exception. And on the flip side, you feel compelled to perform like a superstar so you won’t be on the receiving end of the next round of pink slips.

How do you stand out from the crowd while still maintaining a healthy life balance and avoiding potential burnout? Here are five strategies for working with others in your organization to reduce your workload so that you can get back to being effective and productive.

Give push back to your manager. If a ton of information is sent to you when your manager gives you a new project, assignment, or task, what do you do? It’s to apply this two-step process. Step 1. Ask your manager why this is so critical. The answer will help … Continue reading Reduce Your Workload

Top 10 Ways to Set Boundaries

Constant demands and requests from coworkers, colleagues, friends, and families can leave you drained and frustrated. It’s not an easy thing to say “no” to someone or something. Change your perspective — you’re saying “yes” to you and to your priorities and needs. You’re not saying “no” to a person, but to his/her request. Boundaries protect your comfort zone.

Boundaries are not negotiable. You must communicate that gently, yet firmly, to others. When you set boundaries for yourself and respect the boundaries of others, you are actually building stronger relationships. Here are 10 ways to set and maintain boundaries and gain time, energy, and respect for yourself and others.

List people who drain your energy. Even if you like them, they take your time without your permission. Identify which boundaries you need to set. Try to determing if you have trouble setting boundaries with specific people or specific … Continue reading Top 10 Ways to Set Boundaries


Recently a client confessed to me, “I find myself working 60 or more hours each week. I have no time or energy for anything other than work. I don’t see my family, I don’t have time for friends or hobbies and I feel completely overwhelmed. I want more time and fulfillment in my life. I would rather divide my time between work, nature, people in my life and travel as opposed to oozing out meager samplings of these between work.”

This is a common concern. People are working more hours than ever. They make a good income and are able to afford more material possessions, but at the expense of their happiness and satisfaction.

As the client above stated, she’s unhappy, exhausted and creatively starved.

What can be done? Here are six tips:

Begin by simplifying your life. Look at all of the things that you tolerate that only … Continue reading Workaholism

Balance Work and Play

Recently Janet, a 37-year-old client of mine who currently works in consulting asked me:

“Joel, I often find myself lacking balance in my life. I have so much work to do that I don’t have time for myself and my family. I’d love to just quit my job and move to an island where I have unlimited time to do whatever I want but that’s just not going to happen. How can I have time to get my work done and still have time to play?”

I responded to her:

Your life and work are an integral whole. You are more than just someone who works. You have many roles in your life: you’re a friend, family member, community member, significant other, parent and more. You have mental, emotional, spiritual and physical needs. How well are you balancing your roles and your needs?

Smart employers know that employee motivation … Continue reading Balance Work and Play

Work Hard No More

In a recent survey of 180,000 American workers, more than 80% indicated an intense dislike for their jobs. This is truly a sad reflection on an activity that absorbs a major portion of our lives.

Maybe it’s time for a conscious reassessment of our philosophy towards work. It seems to me that many of us are simply working too hard with too little to show for our labor.

Why are we influenced to “work so hard?” One client recently related to me, “I’ve never been afraid to work hard in order to get the pie in the sky I’ve always dreamed of. I’ve always been focused on what I want from life and doing the things I think I need to do in order to get there. Thus, I believe putting in long hours now will help me obtain a level of financial security that will give me the … Continue reading Work Hard No More

Want to Live Longer? Take Your Vacation

Do you take advantage of all your vacation days? More than one-third of American workers don’t, according to a survey by the Families and Work Institute. And only 14 percent go away for more than two weeks at a time. Want to live longer? Take your vacation.

Well, here are some statistics that might chase you out of the office:

“Women who take the least amount of vacations are at a 50 percent higher risk for a heart attack. (Framington Heart Study, 1992) “Infrequent male vacationers have a 20 percent higher risk of dying from any cause and nearly a 50 percent higher risk of dying from a attack. (Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, 2000)

Unfortunately, even those who manage to escape, 92% say they do work-related communications outside of work, including on vacations. Nearly three-fourths say they stay “switched on” during weekends.

Your health isn’t the only thing at risk.

Continue reading Want to Live Longer? Take Your Vacation

Unshakable Confidence During Shakable Times

Everywhere you turn, whether it’s the nightly news, the front page of the newspaper or your quarterly 401K statement, the world’s economic circumstances are creating a very gloomy outlook.

A recent USA Today/Gallup Poll stated that two-thirds of those surveyed say their personal financial situation has been harmed by the mortgage meltdown and stock market fall, and even more expect to suffer long-term damage. The American Psychological Association reports that financial concerns “topped the list of stressors for at least 80% of those surveyed.”

With so many challenges, it can feel impossible to have any confidence, belief and hope. What is most necessary, but seems the farthest from reality, is to have unshakable confidence during these shakable times.

Research studies have shown that maintaining a positive attitude is not only better for your health, but you’ll be more likely to succeed in life.

So while others are wailing and wringing … Continue reading Unshakable Confidence During Shakable Times