Work(Out)/Life Balance

Work(Out)/Life Balance

Dialogue at 9min out of 15min, sweating on a bike.

😈 “Jeez, this is hard, maybe I could stop now…it’s the end of the workout session anyway”.
😇 “No, com’on! You’re 2 thirds into your goal!”.

I have started to like going to the gym because it allows my mind to freely roam around.

No headphones.

No social media notifications.

Few distractions (background music pumping to what sounds like the same tune, music videos displaying on the big screens that, honestly, who came up with such crappy concepts?!).

A moment to make new connections. Better, an occasion to balance out private life and professional one. When a particularly stressful day is ahead, my stress levels go up the evening before…as if my brain was gearing up for battle. Quality of sleep drops, I wake up still tired, coffee cravings arise.

How do I  get more of that, in a life schedule featuring closing a business while launching another one, a full time job, getting mentored, networking and leading a private life?!

With the gym I find it easier for a variety of reasons – here some food for thought:

     – Scheduled it at the start of the end –> done & dusted!
     – I pay a subscription to access it–> that drives my commitment up! 
     – Support is there: I can access the knowledge bank of PT or Trainers when I want –> accountability buddies are easy to reach
     – I stack it onto other habits –> doing a round of calls on my way there and back

So, when I hit the gym floor before the start of the day, that changes everything ✨

     ⚪️ Sense of purpose: it feels like I’ve already done something of my day

     🟡 Endorphins flow, triggering a positive physical sensation

     ⚪️ Mind clarity: I don’t feel brain-scattered, and can focus better

     🟡 Me-time, moments to be Grazia the person. Not Grazia the Coach.

And you know what?! Having the room to notice that 😈 vs 😇 dialogue, is helping me spotting the same tension at work.

It is the key to make me more resilient, keep pushing for my goals, but also realise when I am over-doing it and it is time to look after myself as a person.

What do you do to balance out the work/life split?!



The timings of Work-Life Balance

Work Life Balance

The Autonomy to make your Work-Life Balance thrive

I can choose, so my best work/life balance is achieved outside the 9-to-5!

A recruiter reached out to me last week, and it turned out to be a very helpful thinking exercise for me.

Far from being a coaching conversation, it sticked with me the whole weekend nonetheless. Also, it felt good to be on the other side of the fence for once 😀.

The questions asked (to assess my current and desired situations) allowed me to state out loud the aspects of my profession I love, and the ones I love a bit less. One question in particular stood out: “Would you consider going back to 9-to-5?”. My hunch went: “Hard No, with every fibre of my body!!”.

Flexibly is not a given these days, however common it has become. It is a personal flair (at work, it has to co-live with company policies): night owls shine after dusk, early birds excel at dawn, and the hybrids early owls 🦉like me live at their best at different times depending on the day (and quality of sleep).


It did, however, exposed the sheer difference between my last 5 years (high flexibility), and the previous 5 of my life (low flexibility). It can be translated geographically as well: a difference between my home country (Italy) and other countries I’ve lived in (Germany and New Zealand).

The underlining theme? I was given the choice (autonomy in neuroscience lingo terms). Autonomy has been linked to productivity: the higher the autonomy one has, the more productive they can be.

Autonomy can be defined as the ability to make choices according to one’s own free will. It is a key driver of human behavior: we seem to be hard-wired to desire autonomy.

Restrictions on our autonomy may well be the culprit of our unhappiness!

And yes, it has got that full 50-shades-of-colour meaning it is not black and white. In certain situations (like if your work requires you in person) your autonomy may be rightfully limited: imagine an ICU nurse trying to work from home.

When it comes to striking our work/life balance correctly, we’d better include autonomy as a weighing factor.

So, if you are experiencing dissatisfaction or that languishing feeling that can be translated with a “Meh”, here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

  • What can you decide on?
  • What can you not decide on?
  • How do the two relate to each other?
  • How do you feel when someone tells you to do something vs you telling yourself?

Having the flexibility to structure your day is then crucial: also when it comes to your Leisure time!!

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash