voices in the family

Work life balance


[Rebroadcast from June 14, 2013]

Whether you’re a recent graduate just entering the workforce or you’ve been on a career path for some time, one thing is certain: it’s not always easy managing the quality of our work and personal lives. More often than not, we find ourselves overbooked in both arenas — to the point of not doing anything the way we really want to — and running out of steam in the process.

Dr. Dan Gottlieb discusses work-life balance–what’s really achievable and what’s satisfying, with guests Julie Cohen and Marty Nemko.

Julie Cohen, PCC is a career and leadership coach in the Philadelphia area. She is the author of Your Work, Your Life, Your Way: 7 Keys to Work-Life Balance.

Marty Nemko, Ph.D. is a career coach, educational psychologist, author, and host of Work with Marty Nemko on NPR affiliate KALW in San Francisco. His most recent book is How to Do Life: What They Didn’t Teach You in School.


Recommended reading:

  • Your Work, Your Life, Your Way: 7 Keys to Work-Life Balance by Julie Cohen
  • How To Do Life: What they didn’t teach you in school by Marty Nemko
  • Work + Life by Cali Williams Yost
  • Off Balance: Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction by Matthew Kelly
  • In Search of Balance: Keys to a Stable Life by Richard A. Swenson, MD
  • Life Matters: Creating a Dynamic Balance of Work, Family, Time, & Money by A. Roger Merrill, Rebecca R. Merrill

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  • Lyn Stein

    On Monday while I was driving to babysit for my granddaughters, I listened to your show. Some of the conversation was about “shoulds.”

    Many years ago, I went through a very stressful period at work and saw a therapist to learn how to cope better. One of the things I discovered was that I had an impossibly long list of “shoulds.” No one could have possibly handled my long list. I developed a technique to figure out what were acceptable “shoulds” and which were unacceptable. My benchmark deals with laundry. An acceptable “should” is I have no clean underwear; I should do the wash. An unacceptable “should” is the laundry basket is full; I should do a load of wash. Now, when I think that I should do something, I ask myself is it no clean underwear or a full laundry basket. Then the decision is easy. Women I describe my strategy to almost always give me a knowing nod. Generally, this example doesn’t work as well for men but those who do laundry get it right away.

    Maybe this technique can reduce some of your listeners’ distress.




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