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Based on the book ‘Re-defining work-life balance’ by Jim Bird

 Defining work-life balance

 Emotion-Decision link in WLB
 Improving Relationships at work and other
 Connecting work goals with life goals
 Steps to improve WLB
Multiplication of information

Technological Advancement

Explosion of Choices

Greater need for successful

prioritizing of work-life choices.
1. Your WORK

2. Your FAMILY


4. Your SELF
 1) Achievement

 2) Enjoyment
Jim Bird
 Once you’ve got the four quadrants – look at
two things :
 - Relationships with People, and
 - Projects or Activities you undertake
 Taking care of these 2 factors – binding
factor in the quadrants, rather than time
spent in each quadrant/area.
 This is the foundational step towards Work-
life balance.
 Daily calendars
 WIN – ‘Write it Now’

 Critical for both work and personal

 Importance of immediately noting down in a
constant space that is with you most times.
 Helps in not forgetting or failing to keep up
with your decisions and commitments.
 Consistently schedule dates and timings.
 Record thoughts and actions critical to your
Achievement and Enjoyment goals.
 When you WIN with your small and big
decisions, it frees your mind and you are
better able to do what you are doing at the
current moment. (There’s no stress, no worry,
nor continuous mind-talk)

 Actually putting it down increases the

likelihood of it being followed through. Gives
you power and control.
 4 things (activities/commitments) for today.
 Can be any quadrant
 Immediate feedback mechanism for our emotions
 Research on ‘quick reaction’ – natural
 Keep a check on those emotions.

 Emotional Intelligence – (Role of

emotions/feelings in cruising through your life
and decisions) - more weightage given.

What if we experience:
-Strong emotions?
-No emotions/ No emotional awareness?
 Tool: Happiness Meter

 Reminder to recognize your feelings about

people and events and quickly respond to

 An emotional self-awareness tool

 Along with what your readings are, it is equally or more
important to understand from where these reading are

Spill-Over Theory:

Popular Theory on relationship between work and family life.

Individuals carry feelings, emotions, behaviours, attitudes and skills from

wok into family life and vice versa.

Spill-over can be positive or negative.

 Check your current readings in each quadrant of your life.

 A strongly negative/positive reading in one area, can
disproportionately impact your other areas of life.
 “Reject left side of the happiness meter as an
acceptable, normal state. It is your
responsibility to live your life on the right
side of the meter”

 Bad/tragic things happen to everyone

 Conscious choice to try to live majority of the
days on the right side of the meter.
 This training of your brain is critical for your
achievement and enjoyment
 Emotions tell you important things, and it is critical for
you to be aware of them.
 Use your emotions to check for negative trends or
positive trends so that action can be taken based on
 Emotions tell you HOW/WHAT you feel, but they do
not tell you WHY you feel that way or how you got
there, therefore it is important to use thinking and
 Using emotions for making decisions can be very
 Also depends on what kind of decisions they are.

 Going solely based on emotions: Hopping from good

feelings to bad feelings, no conscious effort to stay on
the happy/positive side.

 Happiness is a consequence of your good choices, not a

basis for making them. Need reasoning and connecting
with your goals.
 Our life revolves mainly around three functions:



 Think, Act, and Play are the only things you can do to
change or create a relationship and they are the
fundamental elements.
 By combining these three elements in different ways,
you can reduce stress and increase more balanced,
fulfilling relationships.
 When you overly-choose one out of them, you fall out
of balance.
Defining them

 THINK – to determine by a specific reasoning process

towards some conclusion (involves planning,
organizing, evaluating, decision making, etc.)
(Will not include worrying or day-dreaming)

 ACT – Implementing your choices. Implementing and

adding new pieces to your big picture.

 PLAY - Any fun/relaxing/carefree activity or different

form of action where no major topics of decision are
involved (eg: gardening, shopping, watching tv etc)
 Important to differentiate the two because often one is
mixed up with the other.

 - A meeting is action time involving major decision topics

 - A date is play time involving no major decision topics

 “Meetings and Dates can and should be valuable

experiences. When you are going to spend time with
someone, deciding ahead of time whether you are going to
focus on action or play will greatly impact and determine
the value of those moments with the person/s”
 Thinking, Acting, and Playing have an important role in
determining the outcomes in each of your quadrants.

 It is important how you chose to balance these three

 First, it is important to put a
face to the ‘Balance Watch’
 Determine if you have been
thinking, acting and playing
enough in this relationship.
 Determine which TAP function you have to emphasize
at the moment
 WIN it (basically, follow through it).
 It is not enough to think or come up with ‘good ideas’,
but also important to connect it to some form of doing.

 Benefit of TAPing : you get valuable things done

sooner. It multiples the value of personal and
professional connections.
 Work environments where Achievement and
Enjoyment is high consistently provide a more positive,
high quality experience.

 An important aspect is to TAP into the people at work.

 Important skill to follow for improved communication
is :


- Make sure to listen properly.

- Ask clarifying questions
- After receiving answers, repeat clearly and specifically
what you have understood.
- WIN or follow-through it.
 ‘Good Listening is the key to Good Communication’
 ‘Follow –through is key to making the good
communication pay off’
 ‘Listening occurs almost automatically when you TAP’
 PLAY includes catching people doing something right.
(recognizing and showing gratitude for their positive

 Especially important in the work quadrant.

 Including this celebration or congratulation side of
PLAY into the professional sphere (work quadrant)
helps to strengthen the relationships and encourage
positive performance and character.
 It is important and essential to take some time out for
you and focus on yourself!

 THINK : Determine your immediate and long-term

‘Self’ priorities by using a reasoning process.
 ACT : Take action (could be getting an appointment,
eating right, sleeping more, joining a course etc)
 PLAY : Anything stress-free and relaxing (eg,
shopping, engaging in hobbies, day-dreaming etc)
 Exceptional tool to increase enjoyment and
achievement in all aspects of life.
 AM – Activity of the Moment
 PM – Person of the Moment

 It is a valuable personal and professional characteristic.

 Tool can be used whenever the mind wanders off or at
times of worry/anxiety; and thereby you come back
into focus.
 Concept of “flow” – (Csikszentmihalyi) –
‘Intentionally focusing sharp attention on the task at
hand; a highly concentrated state’.

Consciously and fully choose to be with the

Activity/Person of the moment.
Makes you
 -more efficient,
 -get more work done

 Communication with PM is also important.

 Using AM and PM in all the 4 quadrants at all times

 Not focusing on your AM and PM of the moment can

ruin those activities or encounters with people.
 Focusing on them can multiply the value of those
encounters and activities for yourself and others.

 By doing this, experiences in your relationships feel


 No set definition.
 ‘Meaningful time’ or ‘Focused time’.

 Determine which TAP function to use to get the most

out of the quality time.

 “You create valuable quality time by pre-determining

which TAP function to emphasize in the relationship;
and focus on your A.M. and P.M.”
 “It is a mistake to build your whole life around one
quadrant of your big picture” – Jim Bird
 Key to living happily and successfully – get the most
out of each quadrant
 Building your life solely over a single quadrant can
have negative outcomes.
 Can use the TAP process to help you be connected to
people and relationships in all four areas.

 ‘Your proper balance will never be an equal balance.

Your proper balance will always change. You stay in
balance by getting out of balance’ – Jim Bird
 EMPHASIS SETTING – is what you are currently
focusing on.

 This determines your availability to different people

and projects.

 Not just recognizing and choosing this, Important to

communicate your emphasis settings to the people in
different quadrants.

 Need to keep evaluating your emphasis settings.

 Why is it important to communicate your emphasis
settings to the important people in your life?
 - Helps you realize you cannot be there for everyone at
all times, thereby reducing stress and guilt
 - When others know and understand your emphasis
settings, they are better prepared and may even
help/assist you.
 Applicable when you have a lot of things to do running
in your mind.
 - Start listing randomly everything that you need to do.
Write down anything that comes to your mind.
 - After making the list, sort through the list prioritizing
them as A, B, or C (A being high-priority tasks)
 - Then just focus on the As and tag them as 1,2,3,4 in
order along with the specific date/time it has to be
done. Follow the same with B and C.
 Writing down helps to instantly multiply the number of
things your working memory could otherwise
effectively handle.
 (P) Projects – Determine the projects that help you
accomplish your specific quadrant goals by using the List
and Prioritize Method

 (A) Activities – Choose the specific activities that help you

complete your project by using the prioritizing method.

 (T) Time – Write down in your calendar the specific time

and day you are going to start and expect to complete each
activity that you are scheduling now.

 (H) Harvest – Reap the rewards and benefits of the PATH

you have made.
 PATH enables you to sort
- your most important activity to move forward with
- your most important project to accomplish
- your achievement and enjoyment goals in each quadrant

 When you are facing uncertainty or dissatisfaction in

any of your life quadrants and considering a project, it
is helpful to create a PATH.
 PATH does not have to be restricted to your short-term
goals only, can be done for your long-term goals as
 TAP – deals with people.

 PATH – deals with projects.

 WAY OF LIFE GOAL – A way of living and a set of
long-term values that you work towards everyday.

 Achievement and Enjoyment are not a point/s on your

journey, rather should be part of your ‘way of life’
goals everyday.
 Way-of-Life goals are different from your Projects.
Projects are short-term and way-of-life goals are long-
Example of unclear goal:
 “Good health”

Example of a clear, specific goal or project:

 “ Maintain my weight below ___kg and cholesterol
level below ___ for the next three months by exercising
at least ____ times a week and increasing fruits and
vegetables in my diet”.
 Achievement and Enjoyment are the two essential
purposes of our journey and we try to keep these in
mind as life goals.

 Example of a way-of-life goal – “Successfully

maintain my physical health through the rest of my life
so I can derive the satisfaction, sense of well-being,
and many other benefits of good health and fitness”