Kiwi Hacks: Work/life balance

Written by Julia Holmes.

linkedin sales navigator wS73LE0GnKs unsplashIn this month's Kiwi Hacks we continue our guest series with the Network's own Jude Sclater, an expert in leadership and team development. Following on from Jude's first article which looked at how you can position yourself for a promotion at work, this month Jude helps you navigate the ever tricky work/life balance.

Be sure to look out for Jude's final article next month on how to manage yourself and others in the workplace. 

Over to Jude!

Jude Sclater's top tips for how to achieve a healthy work/life balance

Early in my career a good friend that I worked with gave me this advice: ‘when you look back over your life, you’re not going to wish you’d spent more time at work!’

I think this holds true for many areas of our life. Take a moment to think about lying on your deathbed at 90, looking at the people around you, grateful for the experiences you’ve had with no regrets.

This month’s hacks are all about the things you need to do to lead you to that moment.


1. How to get perspective when you’ve got a tricky decision to make.

When you’re being pulled in multiple directions and feeling guilty about letting everyone down it can be hard to decide where the best place to spend your time is. When this happens:

  • Pause
  • Take a long deep breath
  • Take another long deep breath
  • Ask yourself in a year’s time how much will this matter? What will you regret more, doing it or not doing it.

Therein lies your answer.

2. Know when to be a rule breaker

  • My clients often lament that their (fill in the blank) expects them to (fill in the blank) and so they don’t have time to (fill in the blank).
    If this is you, ask yourself: Where did this rule come from? We often follow rules that we think others have imposed on us but that we have actually made up ourselves.
  • What will happen if I break this rule? Will you end up living in a cardboard box if you say no to working late? When challenged with this idea most if my clients say that they would leave their organisation and find a better fit long before getting fired.

3. Ways to say no without saying no

The curse of being a capable woman is that you will keep being asked to do things because people trust you’ll do it and do it well.
If you struggle to say no, here are some options:

  • I’m booked up for the next two weeks, I’m so sorry I can’t make it.
  • I’ve got a full schedule at the moment but ask Sarah, this is an area she is really interested in and I know she’d do a great job.
  • I can absolutely do that, I’m already doing A and B, which of those items shall I put on hold?
  • Yes I can do that for you, I’m working on X at the moment so the earliest I could get started is Thursday next week.
  • If you’re getting pushback just use the broken record technique. Keep saying the same response until they get the hint.

4. Put your oxygen mask on first before helping others

If you don’t, your body will and you’re no good to anyone if you’re burnt out.

One final thought, on my 40th birthday, my mentor told me that the best thing about turning 50 was that you start to care less about things that don’t matter. Her advice to me? Start caring less now. It’s something I’m definitely working on.

Jude Sclater Nov19 62Jude Sclater is a highly experienced leadership and team development specialist who spent 8 years working for Deloitte supporting Senior Managers, Directors & Partners. She is accredited through the European Mentoring and Coaching Counsel and holds a MSc in Organisational Behaviour from Birkbeck. Find out more at or click here to sign up to her monthly newsletter featuring four ideas to inspire new thinking towards success.

What's the Goss?