This week, I had a meeting with a client we have worked with for several years. It was time to get her risk profile updated. We had sent her a link to complete, but when she came into the meeting her “homework” was still not completed.
When I inquired why her profile was still incomplete, she told me that work was too crazy to carve out any time to complete her profile, and she just was not interested in working on it at eight at night when she was bushed. The weekends were also out because that was her time to engage in catching up on errands and fitness activities.
When we dug a little deeper, her missed assignment was a symptom of a life out of balance. Her first reaction to me pointing this out to her was that there was not much she could do about it. She was not enjoying life as much as she thought she could, but felt that was the price she had to pay for gutting out a few more years before she could retire and enjoy a bit more freedom.
As our conversation progressed, it became apparent that although there were many factors contributing to her overload, she needed to better define her priorities today. To help her see the light, we mentioned that, being in her mid-sixties, she had already experienced roughly 75% of her life expectancy. The question morphed from ‘why did you not complete the risk profile,’ to ‘how do you really want to spend the remaining 25% of your time on Earth?’
That got her thinking. She enjoyed her job and did not want to walk away from it, yet she needed more time to just catch up with her life. Framing today in the context of her remaining years motivated her to initially try working four days a week on a trial basis.
She planned to mention this idea at her annual review; however, she was willing to view her vacation time differently now. Instead as a bank of time to be used to escape from work, she could now use some of it to reduce her weekly commitment, thereby restoring balance in her life.