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Work Life Balance: Work Life a Balancing Act By Thomas Murrell

Australians are loosing their laidback, carefree reputation, as we continue to work longer hours, exercise less and neglect our leisure and family time.

Recent research indicates that 67 per cent of Australian professionals spend at least 20 hours a week thinking about their job when they should be relaxing, and less than half take their entitled annual leave.

Why is juggling work and life priorities an increasingly difficult challenge for many people?

Could it be we are trying to pack more and more into our busy lives?

Or is it the fact we are now so overloaded with information that our attention span is getting shorter and shorter as we strive to wade through the deluge of messages now coming at us in a range of forms.

The Gartner group has found that we spend on average an hour a day dealing with emails and that only includes work related communication.

We are creating unnecessary stress for ourselves, which is taking a heavy toll on our families, not to mention our health.

Is this due to the information rich society we now live in?

Marketers in the US now know the average teenager is exposed to more than 3000 discreet advertising messages each day and by the time they have reached 18 they will have seen more than 10 million.

How do you manage family commitments while enhancing your career and dealing with all this increased clutter?

Well, most people are aware of their tendency to overload on work or information but simply donít know what to do to get their life back to a healthy balance.

Being successful isnít only about your career and your possessions, itís about waking up every day and feeling good about the person you are and the life that you have created.

Many people are searching for ways to achieve positive and lasting change both in and out of work.

As Paul Valery said early in the last century "the trouble with the future is - it isn't what it used to be".

The reality is many people are now living out someone elseís life dreams without leaving the comfort of their own lounge room. Why renovate your house or makeover your garden, when you can fantasise and watch someone else do it on TV for you?

If you find yourself in this twilight zone you are not alone. Perth has more sunshine than any other capital yet Western Australians watch on average 14 hours a week of television.

Most people spend more time watching TV than taking time to create positive changes in their lives.

Life is not a rehearsal so why not step up and make a difference?

Take the example of two Perth primary school girls; Sarah Duff and Sarah Poggioli both aged 11 years. They raised enough money to hire a plane to fly over their school pulling a banner with the following message: "believe you can reach your goals, then you can".

It is amazing how children can help put life into perspective.

So what are the secrets to a healthy work life balance in a busy and demanding world? Here are the Top 5 ways you can get the life you deserve.

1. Work at being an optimist and take action. Take a positive attitude to life, get out and do things. Make things happen and take action.

2. Have strong self-belief. Believe in your potential to create the life you really want for you and your family.

3. Exercise regularly and eat well. Your physiology directly influences the quality of your life.

4. Visualise happy endings, schedule fun, and keep life simple. Make time to enjoy life. To laugh. To take time out. 5. Find perspective. Take the helicopter view to see the big picture and delegate if you canít do it all yourself.

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