Womens Healing Org International
   Supporting the Health &  Wellbeing of Women
Balancing Work, Life and the Books
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Now available!!!! Corporate Wellness Video - How 6 best practice workplaces set up, manage & sustain their health and wellbeing programs. View here

Also now available - undertake module 1 of the "Your Life - Your Money E-Course FREE!!!!

To Access the Your Life - Your Money! e-learning program click here.

Now available! 6 Workplace Health & Wellbeing Videos and a 68 minute Corporate Wellness DVD. View a video clip

Order Dr Susan Jones new e-book
"Simplify Detoxify Meditate"
click here!!!!!
and receive her second e-book "Renew Your Life" for free!

Work/Life Balance, Time, Stress and Money Management from the Experts:

1. Your Life - Your Money! Making your life work for you co-authored by Louise Brogan, Director, All Money Matters. Access Part 1 of this exciting life planning and financial literacy e-learning program free at this site!

2. How a woman can achieve financial wellbeing by Jane Furnival, BBC-1 TV's thrift expert and author of "Smart Saving Tips" and "Smart Spending".

3. Womens' Health - Womens’ Wealth by Louise Brogan, Founder and Director of All Money Matters and co-author of "Your Life - Your Money: Making Your Life Work for You".

4. Choose a Balanced, StressLess Lifestyle by Dr Susan Smith Jones, PhD who is an international speaker and author of 17 books on health, fitness and balance.

5. Work at Home Tips by
Kerry Fallon Horgan, CEO, Flexibility At Work author of the book,"Time On, Time Out! Flexible work solutions to keep your life in balance," and the e-program, "Creating & Managing Flexible Workplaces".

6. Make Life Choices That Fit Your Nature by Dr Eve Wood who is a medical doctor, psychiatrist, speaker, professor, author, radio host, columnist and mother of four children.

7. Nine Steps to Workplace Flexibility by Kerry Fallon Horgan, CEO, Flexibility At Work.

8. Top Time Tips To Help You Live a Less Complex Life by international time management speaker and author, Robyn Peace.

9. Top Ten Tips for Working Flexibly by Kerry Fallon Horgan, CEO, Flexibility At Work and author of "Time On, Time Out! Flexible work solutions to keep your life in balance."

10. Video: CEO Rob Davidson on leading in a flexible work environment and Flexibility At Work.

11. Creating Flexible Workplaces by Kerry Fallon Horgan - Have your say on flexible workplaces and work/life balance issues on the Open Forum.

12. Getting Life Balance by Kerry Fallon Horgan, CEO, Flexibility At Work

13. The Fallacies of Flexibility: How misperceptions block work/life balance by Kerry Fallon Horgan author of "Time On, Time Out! Flexible work solutions to keep your life in balance".

14. Best Practice Workplace Health and Wellbeing Programs - How 6 very different workplaces implemented and now manage and sustain best practice corporate wellness programs is the focus of this 68 minute DVD. See below


 Your Life - Your Money! Making Your Life Work for You co-authored by Louise Brogan, Director, All Money Matters

Access the demo of this exciting program here! This is an  audio/visual program so remember to turn up your speakers or plug in your headphones.

In the "Your Life - Your Money" e-program you will:
    *discover a workable life plan to achieve your goals
    *gain the knowledge, skills and cashflow needed for life balance and life satisfaction.

Doing this e-course will enable you to:
  • Establish realistic and motivating life and financial goals,
  • Find out what level of income you need to cover your expenses, save, and invest.
  • Learn how to prepare and use your cash flow statement,
  • Identify how to reduce and control spending, consumer debt & those "must haves",
  • Understand your money habits.
1,000’s of people have completed this Program. Every one of them benefited from it and experienced positive change in their lives. We want the same for you! Just remember, you have to finish the Program, including all the exercises, to get the full benefit!

"An excellent course to help one gain confidence around money and to understand one’s limiting beliefs..” Y.W.

Your Life - Your Money! consists of 10 modules which include:
  • A 12 step life plan.
  • An indepth look at the attitudes and beliefs around money that may be blocking your financial success and an interactive attitude and beliefs survey.
  • Tips on general money management.
  • A step by step cashflow plan and cashflow e-tool download.
  • How to manage debt.
  • The power of compounding.
  • Making the most of saving and investing.
  • How to work with a financial advisor with practical questions to ask.
  • The program concludes with an “abundant living plan” download, which gives you a personal action plan for financial success.
This is a truly exciting program to help you achieve work/life balance, financial success and life satisfaction.

For further details and the program demo go to the All Money Matters Website

 How a woman can achieve financial wellbeing
by Jane Furnival author of "Smart Saving Tips"

Don’t put your head under the sheets! Money is NEVER boring. Disputes about it fill the Courts and the newspapers every day. It is as important as love and sex. It’s about passion and power.

Having money gives you the power to make choices in life. You can afford to accept the job that is more fulfilling, but less well-paid; or to take time off to go round the world; or to have a baby; to retire early; or even to pay for surgery, rather than wait for years.

Traditionally, women don’t ‘do’ money. It’s not considered feminine. But I wish I had a pound for every woman I’ve counseled, who has woken up to the fact that her man was boshing up the bank balance – or had a secret savings fund he wasn’t prepared to share with her.

So my first suggestion is: if you have this problem, have a joint bank account and keep involved. Ask questions. Read letters. Listen to the News, which often highlights financial changes that affect you, like tax or benefits. Know where things are filed.

One woman I helped, saved her family home from being sold by discovering that her husband was paying insurance on their loans which he was not even eligible to claim. Reclaiming that, saved £15,000 in a day.

I’ve had two giant financial crises in my life. The first happened when I was eight months’ pregnant with my second son, and the newspaper I worked for went bust, leaving me broke. The second happened two years ago, when my husband persuaded me to give up a well-paid journalistic job – then was suddenly fired by his business partner of 16 years after a disagreement, and left with three months’ salary. He had a nervous breakdown and while our lawyers were arguing over the fallout, I had to put my work life on hold and concentrate on keeping our three children and the house.

Now he’s better and that’s behind us. We survived! But I use the techniques I write about every day in my life, and learn new ones all the time.

I’ve written books full of detailed suggestions and encouragement about sorting out your finances for life (see www.smartspending.co.uk) but I’ll cut to the chase for you, with a few shortcut suggestions and issues for you to ponder.

Many of them are to do with adjusting your attitudes to life. You don’t have to do them all, and don’t be too hard on yourself. With the right approach, in time, you’ll get where you want to be.

"What will other people think?”

Few women can live without thinking this at least ten times a day! To sort out your finances, you may have to get your head straight about other people.

It’s a common mistake for women to imagine that other people are richer and happier than oneself. Also, we all have urges to imitate or compete with others – and there is a natural impulse to look at someone else’s home or baby and think, ‘I’d like one like that’.

Now, I suggest that to save money and energy, you withdraw from competition with others. It’s liberating.

If people are better-off than you, enjoy their lovely homes and hospitality, but don’t try to impress them by overspending in return.

One of the best gifts I ever gave was a book of stamps to a millionaire. He loved it: it was useful, modestly-priced and he'd never seen one before!
It is better to tell the truth and stick within your means, and people respect you more.

Secondly, deal with demanding children who want you to buy them stuff. ‘I only have X sum of money. You can have this, or that. Not both.’ Leave it up to THEM to decide. Be consistent – don’t say ‘No’ then buy them the item anyway. This has worked with all my kids and the eldest, now 20, is a honey about money.

Thirdly, you may need to deal with overspending partners and family members. It can be a good idea to draw up a ‘money family tree’ exploring your own and your partner’s parents’ and grandparents’ approaches to spending. You may gain insight into why your partner is as they are.

If your partner has a compulsion to buy tools, tell them to use the tools they’ve bought to get some jobs actually done! Likewise the average spend on ‘nothing much’ in a shop attached to a petrol station is £30. Embargo ANY such spending and the family fortunes will benefit.

If you’ve reached a family crisis, have a family meeting. Everyone must make a suggestion about how they can cut back. No recriminations. If anyone storms out, the others will enforce a cutback on them without their input.

Consider a major change like moving house, which can be more effective than a lot of smaller cuts


Don’t buy: takeaways, meals out, expensive stuff for your hair and body, sports gear, shoes or clothes or anything for your ‘collection’. Vitamins unless medically prescribed, CDs and games, DVDs, tickets to shows, toys unless for a child’s birthday or anything for a ‘look at me’ effect.

Spend a limited sum only on going out, alcohol and transport.

If you fail, or MUST have a treat, one day, can you cut back the next day? For instance, don’t buy expensive coffees from a shop every day, but take a Thermos to the office three days a week.


Try to pay your rent, mortgage, taxes and anything else which could lead to you losing your home or ending up in court. If you can’t, ask lenders for a ‘payment holiday’.

* Pay storecards off and CUT THEM UP. If they were backstreet moneylenders charging the kind of interest some of them charge, they’d be closed down.

* Check out websites for BETTER CREDIT CARD DEALS. But don’t use these to go on spending. Use the money saved, to pay off some backdebt.

The lifestyle changes that will save you thousands.

Think of the things you value. Do you want a lovely home? Or do you want to travel a lot? You can have the things you want, but you can’t have it ALL.

List your life aims. See a financial planner and think things through. It’s no use planning a big wedding without the money – either for yourself or your daughters.

• I divide people into fritterers and bingers. The first group spend small sums all the time; the second group splash out. Know yourself. Also, sorry to say this, but spending money at discount shops is not the way to save money. See the next point!

• Stop going shopping as a hobby. Idling about the Mall ‘just looking’ is not the way to save money. Book up your time at weekends with something more interesting – or if you have to shop, take a toddler or a man who hates shopping. They will make sure you don’t browse. If you want to look at nice things and
dream, do that – browse magazines and catalogues, enjoy, then throw them away quickly.

• Live here in the real world, not the future. Accept the way things are. You are unlikely to find Father Christmas appearing to pay off debts, nor to marry a well-paid footballer or equivalent. You DO need to keep an eye on money.

• You do not need to ‘reward’ yourself with gifts. Half the world’s work is done by women who are ‘not feeling very good about themselves’ but manage to crack on, without buying themselves nail varnish or a new pair of shoes.

• Don’t make collections of things unless you are seriously knowledgeable. You will get bored and the stuff will gather dust.

• Don’t be a snob about where you shop. Shopping in poorer areas of town, brings you savings: store chains pitch prices lower in less affluent areas.

• The one exception to this rule? Shop for clothes in thrift shops in expensive areas of town, for good quality bargains.

• Don’t be icky-sticky about buying secondhand things in thrift shops and dress exchanges and agencies. Secondhand does not mean ‘dirty’ or less good or the entire art and antiques world would collapse. Many things in smart shops have been lent to models – even underwear (Yucky but true!) that goes on the shelves the next day. I’ve seen it happen! A prestige store once lent me a bra for a day when trying on clothes for a TV show, then put it back on the hanger.

• Mend things. Oh, so you think you’re too busy to sew on a button? OK, what will you being doing with that time? Watching TV? Yeah, well, go to the naughty step for being silly.

• Check out your local barter schemes. In the UK, the LETS scheme enables you to swop anything from babysitting to spare seeds to the loan of a ladder, for other people’s skills from massage to plumbing.

• Before buying, see if you can get it free from a website such as www.freecycle.com. There are more and more of these sites on which nice people advertise stuff they don’t want, to the first person who turns up and takes it away.

Shoes are a particular flashpoint for many women. Before spending on new shoes, go home and look under the bed or in the back of the wardrobe. The chances are, you have that pair of shoes already.

Never shop when you’re hungry. You add 30% on average to your bill according to one supermarket survey.

Look high and low on the shelves of supermarkets. The most expensive things are placed temptingly at eye-level.

Make a shopping list. Swop with a friend and compete to see who can buy the things on the list most cheaply. Or have a family competition to see who can shop most cheaply – loser does the washing up for a week.

Save loads by not buying ready-prepared supermarket meals. My personal research shows that they can be up to eight times the cost of the raw ingredients.

Try to grow vegetables. A pack of seeds will grow you enough lettuce in a window box to last weeks.

Keeping hens is a wonderful hobby for a woman. They are very calming, therapeutic and emotional creatures, will eat good food scraps and produce eggs. My hens are rescue ones from the Battery Hen Welfare Trust, 50p each, scruffy and cheerful.

OK, your really need to buy something? Here’s how to get the best price.

• Shop well, shop once. If you really need something, buy good quality that lasts years.

Check out websites for discount vouchers before going anywhere. Sites in the UK include www.littlemissthrifty.co.uk but everywhere has them and they give you a good discount from major stores.

• Use the phrase, ‘What’s your best price for this?’

• Shop during inclement weather for bargains. All managers have sales targets to hit and if it’s boiling or freezing, they’re more likely to offer a discount.

• Take cash, find the shop manager not the Saturday assistant, look him or her in the eye and smile. Say, ‘How much for cash?’ and SHOW the cash, even if you don’t have it all, then and there.


Don’t expect yourself to be perfect or you’ll give up trying to save money. Ask for help if you need it.

About Jane Frunival

Jane Furnival
is BBC-1 TV's thrift expert, dubbed ‘Queen of Thrift’ by the Guardian newspaper. You can hear her on various radio programmes most weeks or check out her websites via www.smartspending.co.uk which also contain a downloadable budget planner.

Jane had once been creative director of an ad agency, so thriftless that she once sent a bike messenger to buy her a bucket. This changed when she became a journalist, and the newspaper she worked for went bust when she was pregnant and with a young son. The experience proved a crash course in the art of living comfortably - but without being comfortably off. She refreshed her money-saving skills recently when her husband suddenly lost his job in his own business during a boardroom coup, and she had to keep the family going on no income for over a year while he had a breakdown. They sued his former partner, settling the matter privately eventually through dogged determination.

Jane’s latest book, Smart Saving Tips, is published by Hay House and is available from www.amazon.com (£6.99) or through her website. A longer and more thoughtful version of the same book is Smart Spending with Jane Furnival: You CAN save £1000 in 4 Weeks, also published by Hay House in 06.

Jane has written for many newspapers and magazines worldwide, especially the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph. She is known for being a fund of useful information and for being funny and approachable. She has an English degree from Oxford University. Jane has lived for 27 years with her husband and their three sons aged 20, 15 and seven. Having lived in a houseboat, a chapel and a triangular house, she now lives in a Tudor rectory, with her large dog, two cats, and hens – www.oldrectorycheam.co.uk will give you the lowdown on what she does there when not offering money-saving advice.

             Womens' Health - Womens’ Wealth
by Louise Brogan, Founder and Director, All Money Matters, and co-author of the e-learning program "Your Life - Your Money: Making your life work for you!" Access a demonstration of the innovative and informative e-learning program here 

There is an awesome healing power in working on our money issues.   I am constantly amazed and surprised by it!

For decades, I have worked with and witnessed 100’s of women (and men for that matter) transform their lives, purely by working on their money issues.

How does it all start?

Well, we at All Money Matters know that money management is a process; being wealthy is a process; living an abundant life is a process. It is not about how much money we have, but rather how our relationship with money runs in our life and how we choose to live in that relationship.

This process has 3 dynamic parts to it. They work together to form a fully rounded, holistic money management, and personal growth, model.


When we are willing to allow change in our lives, then we are less likely to block the process and words like ‘can’t’ and ‘impossible’ don’t have any real or lasting influence on us. This part is the key because we have the motivation to do whatever it takes.   


We see how our attitudes and beliefs influence our financial, and life, decisions. When we have this awareness, we can choose our actions and responses, taking responsibility for them and the consequences.


We do whatever is needed to manage our money and grow our financial foundations. Choosing our direction and determining the steps, regularly doing our cash flow, cutting up those credit cards (if need be) and putting a debt repayment or savings and investing plan into place, inspecting that property, speaking to a financial planner, buying those shares on line.

Here’s the crux - we CHOOSE to initiate this process.

Then, by choosing to live this process, each day, we gain greater clarity about ourselves, our purpose, our passion. By choosing to get help and support to accept and transform our limitations, celebrate our strengths and learn further financial skills, we bring back the zing and zest into our life; AND we grow our wealth too!

Now that is empowering!

About Louise Brogan

Louise Brogan is the founder, co-owner and director of All Money Matters and co-author of the life changing e-learning program "Your Life - Your Money! Making your life work for you". Access a demonstration of this innovative and informative e-learning program here !

Her ‘on the job MBA’ started with working on the trading floor of the Stock Exchange at the ripe old age of 15. Once out of school, she studied and worked in the accounting then stockbroking industries, giving her extensive experience in investment advising. She ran her own investment consultancy business and was one of only five women members of the Australian Stock Exchange Ltd. 

She went on to purchase her first investment properties in Sydney; had a stint in co-managing the family country pub whilst building it back up for sale; and is currently involved in a 200 unit property development on the Queensland Whitsunday Coast.   

She continues to be an involved and passionate investor; managing and growing her share and property portfolios. This, plus years of counselling and psychotherapy study, gives her a solid foundation for an integrated approach to money issues, money management and investing.

 Choose a Balanced, StressLess Lifestyle
by Dr Susan Smith Jones, PhD ©
(Excerpt from Susan's book: BE HEALTHY~STAY BALANCED)

Make Stress Your Friend

Stress is a major problem in modern life. Technological advances have increased the pressure to keep busy, even during leisure hours. We talk on the telephone while we drive, watch television while we read, and conduct business while we listen to the radio. We are all continually overstimulated.

Most of you receive more information from television, computers, radio and satellites than our ancestors of several generations ago ever could have imagined! This year alone you will probably make more appointments, meet more people and go more places than your grandparents did in their entire lives. All this manic rushing around creates a life filled with stress.
Given our current pace, we have little time to relax and cultivate relationships with our spouses, children, friends and nature. Is it any wonder that stress-related diseases are now on the rise? Some studies even suggest that 80-90 percent of all doctor visits are for stress-related complaints. Stress-related illness is implicated in our rapidly escalating health care costs, and health problems attributed to job stress are estimated to cost U.S. businesses $150 billion every year.

I see unrelenting stress as a sickness of epidemic proportions — a “busyness” or “hurry” sickness. But you don’t have to let it overwhelm you. You can choose to slow down, relax and create a life of balance and joy.

Let’s see if you can find any of these signs of “hurry” sickness in your daily life.
1. Do you eat in a rush, eat while standing or walking, or eat while driving?
2. Does your busy life prevent you from spending much time at home? And when you finally get home, are you too tired to do much beyond collapse and “veg out” in front of the television?
3. Do you routinely drive too fast, run yellow lights, constantly change lanes and jockey for position? Are you impatient with other drivers?
4. Do you talk fast, have problems communicating how you feel, and lack the time to give emotional support to your family and friends?
5. Is your life so full of undone chores and responsibilities that relaxing has become almost impossible?
6. When you’re not doing something productive, do you experience anxiety and guilt?
7. Do you often feel tired and run-down, cry easily or have trouble sleeping?
8. Have vacations become more trouble than they’re worth?

What causes our need to rush and discount our own physical health needs? We can blame it on economics — and the need to make enough money to pay for all of our chosen lifestyles. We can blame it on the fact that everything’s moving so fast, and we have to, too. But I believe the real cause is something deeper. By crowding our schedule with “more”—more socializing, more eating, more work, more activity, more appointments—we may be trying to fill the emptiness we feel inside ourselves.

When you constantly direct your attention outward, it’s easy to lose the sense of inner wonder, calmness, balance and beauty where true happiness, joy and peace originate. By slowing down and redirecting your energies inward, not only will you train your brain to relax, you will begin to reestablish the wholesome sense of selfworth necessary to positively change your life.

Is Stress Getting the Best of You?
How do you know when stress is getting the best of you? According to the latest edition of the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide, physical symptoms of stress include headache, heart disease (two symptoms are atherosclerosis and high blood pressure), insomnia, absence of periods in women, impotence or premature ejaculation in men, digestive tract disturbances (such as ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, peptic and duodenal ulcers), back pain, frequent colds, shallow breathing, racing heart, herpes virus breakouts, slow wound healing and tight neck and shoulders.

Behavioral symptoms include an increase in smoking, an increase in alcohol consumption, grinding teeth, compulsive eating, an inability to get things done and bossiness. Emotional symptoms of stress include edginess, loneliness, nervousness, crying and a sense of powerlessness. Cognitive symptoms include forgetfulness, inability to make decisions, trouble thinking clearly, thoughts of escape, incessant worrying and lack of creativity.

You may not be able to change your boss’s tendency to favor weekend workdays or control the bumper-tobumper traffic to and from work, but you do have access to some powerful stress-busting tools. The simple fact that you are perusing this book tells me that you may be feeling out of balance and stressed out in one or several areas of your life.

As a holistic lifestyle coach and healthy living counselor for more than 30 years, I’ve worked with thousands of people around the world. I offer my clients simple, yet essential, choices to bring purpose, balance and health back into their lives. Stress may be a fact of modern life, but you don’t have to let it become your way of life. You can become the master of your life, create a lifestyle of vitality and joy, and keep noisome stress to a minimum. The path to contentment is in choosing to have your life in balance.

You Can Do It Too!
Recently, I gave a talk in Los Angeles on “StressLess Living: The Power to Be Your Best,” during which I shared the essential stress-buster choices you’ll read about later in this book. After my presentation, I went into the ladies’ room and found a woman crying. I recognized her. She had been sitting in the front row of the audience and had cried through much of my talk. Since I had no plans for the evening, I asked if she would like to join me for dinner. She was surprised by my unexpected invitation, but she smiled, wiped away a tear, and nodded yes.

Melissa’s story was heartbreaking. Her husband recently had left her for a much younger woman. She was almost one hundred pounds overweight, had no job, was living temporarily with her sister and needed to find a new home for herself and her children. She was so clearly depressed, she was actually considering suicide.

One morning, when she was feeling at her lowest, she took a walk and noticed a flyer for my talk in the window of a natural food store. Something inside her told her she had to attend—even though she had never attended a motivational talk before.

Melissa believed in the ideas I discussed but wasn’t sure how to implement them in her life. She knew she was falling downhill, but she didn’t know how to climb back up. She wanted more than anything to turn her life around—to find a job and a decent place for her children, to lose weight and get back into shape, and to live a balanced life.

After listening to her story, I asked her to consider the possibility that the universe was taking everything away from her so that she could and would, for the first time in her life, put herself first. Like most women, she was so accustomed to putting everyone else’s needs before her own that she took no time for herself.

She was learning the hard way that you can’t run on empty forever. She was being forced to learn that she had to take loving care of herself first, before she could nurture, love and take care of others. I told Melissa that if she were willing to make a real commitment to do whatever it took to live her highest vision, I would be happy to work with her. For the rest of that evening, I asked her to share with me her highest vision and to answer questions like: “If you couldn’t fail and if you were living your best life—right now—what would that look like?” At the end of the evening, I wrote out a walking and meditation/prayer program that she could start the very next morning.

Over the next month, I designed a nutrition program for Melissa that included cleaning out her refrigerator and cupboards and removing all the processed (and junk) foods that didn’t align with her new vision of herself. I taught her how to shop for healthy foods and nutritional supplements, how to make fresh vegetable juices and smoothies, and how to create meals that emphasized organic, natural, colorful foods. As well, I customized a cardio-weights-stretching routine for her that she could do at home or at a gym. I also taught her how to visualize her goals and practice deep breathing and meditation. Finally, she and her sister purchased a water purifier so that they could all benefit from the healing power of alkaline water that has a pH of around 9.0. (For more information on my favorite water purifier, Ionizer Plus, please visit my website: www.SusanSmithJones.com and click on Susan’s Favorite Products.)

As it turned out, Melissa’s favorite stress release and healthy living practice, from everything that I taught her, was making fresh vegetable juices in her new Champion Juicer. (If you visit www.SusanSmithJones.com, and click on Susan’s Favorite Products, you will learn more about this stellar juicer. Not only is there an article you can peruse, there are also a variety of audio interviews that you can listen to at Susan’s Favorite Products.) Her kids loved juicing, too, and actually took it over as one of their daily chores. Of course, I also encouraged them to start drinking more purified water, too. Melissa confessed to me that she couldn’t ever remember drinking more than 3-4 glasses of water a day. When I told her that I drink at least two quarts of purified, alkalinized water every day, and an additional 2-3 glasses of juice made fresh daily in my juicer, she was surprised and motivated to increase her daily water and juice intake.

Melissa was an inspiration to me, her family and all of her friends. Her dedication and commitment created miraculous results. Three weeks after getting her parttime job, she applied for and was hired for a full-time one at a florist shop. Within four months she had saved enough money to move into a large, new apartment with her very happy children.

Today, Melissa is down to her ideal weight, works out regularly, frequents natural food stores and manages the florist shop. She now lives with a sense of freedom, control and power over her life. She learned, firsthand, that breakthroughs and miracles occur when you are willing to live a balanced life—one that minimizes stress and
maximizes joy.

Dying to succeed
Arthur, the president of a major American corporation, came to see me for a consultation. He also was very stressed out, but for different reasons than Melissa. He was impatient, aggressive and sometimes hostile. He was totally unaware of how to make the necessary choices to quell stress and support his well-being. He routinely put in six or seven long, pressure-packed days a week at the office or traveling on business. He always had to be first, always had to be right, and always had to be busy with work to feel worthwhile. Playful behavior did not enter into his lifestyle.

As a fancier of rich foods and a popular high-fat diet, he put away vast quantities of cheese, ice cream, steak, butter, processed foods and cream sauces. He knew his food was loaded with cholesterol and saturated fat, but he loved it all the same. As he told me once, when it came to food, he could resist anything but temptation. His exercise was shifting gears in one of his expensive sports cars.

Arthur was chronically exhausted, but he thought that if he just had more time to spend in his hot tub with a drink, he could easily relax and “unwind.” He had trouble sleeping at night, and experienced frequent headaches and backaches. He also developed several colds and a few bouts of the flu each year, but he assumed that was normal, and usually continued to work when sick. It wasn’t until he began to sink into a deep depression that his wife urged him to have a medical checkup—his first in more than five years.

The doctor’s report came as a shock to Arthur. He was only forty-five years old, but he had high blood pressure and serious hardening of the arteries (a symptom of heart disease). He was told that if he didn’t make some changes in his way of life immediately, he was headed for a heart attack within six months. He also was headed toward needing quadruple-bypass heart surgery.

As providence would have it, the day after receiving the doctor’s report, a friend of Arthur’s told him about my holistic health private retreats and gave him several of my books and audio programs. Arthur quickly sought me out. During the months we worked together, Arthur truly became a great inspiration to me, partly because his transformation was so dramatic. I had never worked with anyone quite so stressed and desperate, or who led such an unhealthful life.

Fortunately, we were able to direct Arthur’s innate drive to succeed toward a wholesome goal. During our first visit he made an important personal choice—he chose to make a commitment to change his life and restore the health of his younger years. I immediately started Arthur off with meditation and mindfulness training. As I explained to him, according to the cover story in Time magazine on “The Science of
Meditation” (August 4, 2003), meditation can help people reduce the psychological and physical effects of high stress. In the study, the participants who underwent “mindfulness training” experienced an average 54 percent reduction in psychological distress after three months on the program. The group that did not receive the meditation training experienced no significant reduction in their stress. (You’ll learn more about meditation in Part 2 of this book.) Arthur took to this meditation discipline like a butterfly to buddleia (that’s a beautiful, colorful butterfly-attracting plant).

The other practice I prescribed for him was bodywork at least two times a week. He worked with me and a variety of other bodywork practitioners, exploring massage, acupressure, acupuncture, aromatherapy and energy healing so that he could determine what was of most help to him. All of these disciplines can help reduce tension, relieve headaches and backaches, improve sleep and bring relaxation, calm and balance back into your life. A skilled massage therapist can knead tensed muscles and help dissipate any stress you may be holding in.

Today, Arthur and his entire family are the picture of health. Recently they all participated in a 10-K run, and the following day they left on a two-week health and fitness vacation.

As Melissa and Arthur learned, choosing to live a balanced, stressless life, one filled with vibrant health, means much more than just feeling fine. It’s about body, mind, and spirit working as one—harmoniously. It’s hard to celebrate life when you’re totally stressed out or when you’re burdened with aches and pains, lethargy, obesity, heart disease, cancer, arthritis and the other prevalent diseases and ailments of our society. In my decades in holistic health work, I have seen thousands of people markedly improve their well-being and enrich their lives through the simple lifestyle and behavior changes that you’ll read about in detail in Part 2 of this book. But for now, please give this some thought: What changes can you make in your life today or this week that will put you on the path to looking and feeling great? And what can you do in the next hour that will make a positive difference in how you feel. Choose to take action NOW!

About Dr Susan Smith Jones

For more than three decades, Susan Smith Jones, Ph.D., has been one of the world’s most recognizable names and faces in the fields of health, fitness, and balanced living. In addition to being the author of 17 books and a variety of audio programs, and hundreds of magazine articles, Susan taught students, staff, and faculty at UCLA how to be healthy and fit for 30 years! A frequent guest on talk shows, she is also renowned as a holistic health consultant and a much sought-after motivational speaker to community, corporate, and spiritual groups worldwide. Susan has assisted thousands of people in becoming more aware of how their food and lifestyle choices affect their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. 

To order BE HEALTHY~STAY BALANCED: 21 Simple Choices to Create More Joy & Less Stress as well as all of Susan’s other books and audio programs, please call: 1-800-843-5743 PT or visit: www.SusanSmithJones.com

To receive a special gift from Susan, to find out more about her work and life, or listen to her free telephone seminars, please visit: www.PagingSusan.com.

 Work at Home Tips by Kerry Fallon Horgan,
Managing Partner, Flexibility At Work and author "Time on, Time Out!"

The personal and business benefits of a well-managed work from home program are enormous. These can include increased morale and productivity, retention of staff, lower absenteeism, reduced stress and burnout, improved health and safety and reduced office space and overhead expenses.

In the USA, technology leaders like IBM and HP have changed office space dynamics by having one desk to every three or four employees. Westpac estimated that they save $1.4 million a year in technology costs by having 100 business banking managers working from home.

When I asked a finance sector General Manager, why they had introduced such flexible work practices he cited the success of their help desk workers’ telecommuting program. Half of the help desk team work from home one week and the other half of the team are at home the second week. So each person works a week at home then a week in the office. That team has reported a 20 percent increase in productivity. No one had resigned in a four year period - unusual in this kind of work which tends to have about an 18 month turn around.

The help desk team manager explained how their work from home team operates,
"We have organised ourselves into two groups. While group one works from home, group two works in the office. On alternate weeks they swap. On Fridays everyone comes in to the office for a team meeting and training.

We provide a service to our customers until 8pm every day. The people working from home cover the phones until then. This initiative has also helped us save money in taxi fares home for those working late.

Each person at home has a ‘buddy’ in the office who does anything for the work from-home person that can only be done in the office. A direct, priority telephone line into the office gives work-from-home people immediate access to assistance. When someone calls in to the help desk they can’t tell whether they’re talking to someone in the office or home.

Some people feel isolated with long periods at home, so occasionally they will come into the office on a home day. It’s also important to make everyone feel a part of the team, and that’s something we constantly work at. We are very conscious of maintaining the team’s morale and dynamics. We use a call logging system with a broadcast facility. When someone types in a message it pops up on everyone’s screen. It is used for passing around work information as well as keeping in touch with one another,"

"In my opinion it is the single best thing we have ever done in our team that has benefited the business and the staff. They see working from home as a real benefit of working here. I know a number of key staff would have moved on without it".

Employee surveys have found that the benefits expressed by home-based workers included a reduction in stress, more sleep, more time with their children and for non work activities, and increased effectiveness and productivity due to fewer distractions. Some managers also said that their communication and team management skills have improved as a result of home-based work because it has forced them to focus on the issues of managing performance and communication in a new way.

Achieving the positive outcomes possible from home based work requires:
  •   the selection of appropriate work and workers,
  •   management and co-worker support,
  •   setting clear performance objectives,
  •   planning for safety and security,
  •   the availability of appropriate technology and the ability of the home worker to use it.
It’s important that your OH&S policies and procedures reflect that your employees can work from home. Policies need to indicate agreed inspection times, there should be procedures for reporting and remedying faults, processes for undertaking modifications, and a contact in the organisation with whom the worker can discuss OH&S concerns.

Security is an objection raised by many employers for not allowing employees to work from home. With all flexible work options, trust is a key element of making these practices work. A value sadly lacking in many organisations.

To address security issues, expectations need to be clarified from the outset. Guidelines can be developed covering overall security of the home, the materials that can and cannot leave the office, procedures for classification and handling of sensitive and confidential information, and access to the home office by other members of the household. Employees should be updated regularly on confidentiality and privacy issues.

Each employee and their manager needs to spend time discussing measures of productivity, work flow, time management, communication and other issues that have the potential to ruin the arrangement. thorough planning is needed for the success of a home based work program.

Success breeds success and it’s often a good idea to trial a successful pilot for three to six months before finally committing to a full scale telecommuting program.

This article has been adapted from the book "Time On, Time Out! Flexible Work Solutions to Keep Your Life in Balance," which provides key strategies and checklists for the introduction and successful maintenance of home based work. You can obtain your copy of this e-book and our leading edge e-learning program "Creating & Managing Flexible Workplaces" at Flexibility At Work.

Kerry Fallon Horgan is an author, trainer, life coach, public speaker and workplace advisor. She is the CEO of Flexibility At Work and the Womens Healing Org International. Her background includes chairing the major Advisory Body to the State Government on Women’s Issues, as a Board Member of Women & Management,  Past President of The Financial Counsellors Association and as a diversity consultant to the St James Ethics Centre.

Kerry is a Master practitioner in the Strategic Relationship Manangement Coaching Method and Play of Life tool. With Dr Carlos Raimundo, she trains therapists, psychologists, counsellors, coaches and managers in this international award winning method. She works as an executive and life coach with this method.

Kerry is co-author of “Time On, Time Out! Flexible Work Solutions to Keep Your Life in Balance” (now available as an ebook) & "Financial Counselling: A practical guide to everyday problems." Her book, CDs, Video and free tips, articles and e-news on work life balance are available at the Flexibility At Work website.

                                Make Life Choices That Fit Your Nature
By Eve A. Wood, MD
Based on Dr. Wood’s book, 10 Steps to Take Charge of Your Emotional Life
(available at Amazon.com)
You have unique gifts and talents that you are meant to access, develop, and share with others. We all need what you have to offer. Similarly, you have your own distinct personality and way of being in the world. We all do.

Certain kinds of experiences, relationships and environments will nurture you. Others will unsettle you. Whenever you operate from a connection to your essence and purpose, you will feel at peace. But, being human, you have areas of limitation and challenge. If you ignore, disregard, or refuse to accept your nature and problems, and push yourself into places you don’t belong, you will experience discomfort and failure of some sort. No one wants to do a bad job, fail, or feel miserable. But we all do sometimes. Whenever something’s not working in your life, there is a reason for it; you are, in some way, disconnected from your essence and life path. But you can fix that. Perhaps, unknowingly, you are trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. You could be doing that in your choice of friends, lovers, or even your career path. 
We all have strengths, passions, and gifts; and we all have limitations, challenges and hang-ups. Given our unique natures, we each feel comfortable in some situations and miserable in others. But we don’t tend to honor our personalities, or cut ourselves much slack. We often focus on our flaws and devalue our gifts. We beat ourselves up when we don’t like someone, or feel we don’t fit in. We view those around us as better, more talented, or even perfect! We compare ourselves to others, and neglect to see the whole picture.
You too can become adept at identifying your nature, essence, gifts, passions, limitations, and areas of challenge. Using the right building blocks, you can create a big picture plan that works for you. As you take charge of your emotional life, you will learn to make life choices that fit your unique and wondrous nature. Your inner wisdom is brilliant. You can access it and use it to make your life work.
Given what we go through to get “growed up,” many of us find it hard to know who we are, or to believe that there’s any value in being true to ourselves. But I’m here to tell you there is! And to help you reconnect with who you are, and what you are meant to do with your life.
One way to get clarity about the fit between your essence and your life choices, is to make two lists. In the first list, write down all the people, places, things, activities, and values that you hold dear. Rank them in order of importance to you, with number one being the most important and so on. Then make a list of all the ways you invest your energy and time. Think of a typical day, week or month. How much time in a given week do you spend in each activity? List your involvements in order of energy spent, with number one being most energy or time spent, and so on.
You should end up with two lists. In the ideal world, you would be devoting the bulk of your energy or time to what is most important to you. The numbers would line up between the two lists. If you find that your number one priority consumes the bulk of your time, and your next priority the second greatest amount of time and so on, you are amazing and well on your way to wholeness. Most people find the comparison of their two lists to be far from ideal.
Begin thinking about the mismatches between your two lists, or about the disconnects you have identified between your essence and life choices. You can actually fix some of the problems by simply identifying them and making a conscious choice to allocate your time differently. For instance, you may value your marriage more than your social life, but realize you are spending more time hanging out with your work buddies than with your spouse. Simply cut down on free-time with coworkers, and plan more couples time into your week.

But what about the more complicated mismatches? Or the confusion that lingers for you about who you really are? Or the roadblocks you have encountered as you’ve tried to make your life reflect what most matters to you? What about your stuckness?
Ask yourself questions.  Where are you, and why might you be stuck along your path to take charge of your emotional life? What should you do to get moving again?
We have an amazing capacity to self-heal. We carry around a lot of beliefs that imprison us. Given enough guidance in identification and transformation of our self-destructive brain circuits, we can actually learn how to reprogram some of our negative self-talk loops on our own. And even if we can’t do it all alone, we can and need to do a lot of self-talk to take charge.

You were born with everything you need. You came with special gifts, intuitive wisdom, burning passion, and a particular purpose for entering this wondrous planetary sea of beings. You exited the womb ready to manifest your own special greatness, and those of us already here were waiting for you to arrive. This is a spiritual law of the universe.
Excerpted from Dr Wood's book, 10 Steps to Take Charge of Your Emotional Life (Hay House, 2007), available from Amazon.com

About Dr Eve A. Wood
Eve A. Wood, MD is Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona Program in Integrative Medicine.  A practicing psychiatrist, author, speaker and consultant, Dr. Wood is a pioneer in the field of integrative psychiatry.

Dr. Wood has served on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the Executive Committee of the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital, written articles for medical and professional publications, lectured widely to professional and lay audiences, appeared on over 120 radio programs and been the guest on many television programs in major cities.  Dr. Wood has her own call-in radio show, Healing Your Body, Mind and Spirit, which airs every Tuesday at 3pm PST on Hay Hourse Radio.

Dr Wood's books and kits include:
  • 10 Steps to Take Charge of Your Emotional Life: Overcoming Anxiety, Distress and Depression Through Whole-Person Healing 
  • There's Always Help; There's Always Hope: An award-winning psychiatrist shows you how to heal your body, mind and spirit
  • Stop Anxiety Now kit
  • What am I Feeling and What does it Mean kit

Further details at http://www.drevewood.com

 9 Steps to Workplace Flexibility by Kerry Fallon Horgan, CEO, Flexibility At Work

Each organisation is at a different place along the flexibility continuum. Many workplaces are just starting out. Some have flexibility well integrated into their organisational culture and see flexibility as “just part of the way we do business around here”. Most are somewhere along the continuum with a large gap between where they are now and where they want their flexible workplace program to be.

The question is “how do we bridge that gap?”

Though each workplace requires a unique answer to that question, there are a number of strategies that can apply. In more than a decade of assisting organisations with their flexible workplace programs, we have developed a 9 Step Change Process to make flexibility a reality. Some or all of these strategies are implemented depending on the needs of the organisation.

The 9 Step Plan:

1. Develop the unique business case for your organisation. What are the issues that flexibility can help address and what are the relevant metrics? Issues can include attracting and retaining talented staff; lowering absenteeism, presenteeism, stress and burnout; increasing moral and productivity; and legal compliance.
2. Analyse the issues. It’s crucial to understand the many individual, management and organisational issues, that if not addressed, can undermine your program and be very costly in time and lost opportunities. Our Work/Life Audit is a customised survey used to analyse individual needs and barriers to change to a flexible workplace. The data from this survey forms the basis of the organisational information needed to develop strategies for implementing and maintaining a flexible workplace. This analysis is a key step in the change process. It is crucial to be clear about the current situation to ensure that you take the appropriate actions to address the challenges.
3. Implement strategies to address the issues. Once the challenges have been surfaced a step-by-step process is developed and undertaken to overcome the barriers to flexibility.

4. Engage senior management. We undertake an action research process with key stakeholders, usually the senior management team and people responsible for driving the change in this area. This process is a facilitated dialogue aimed at attaining top level support for work/life initiatives, developing the business case and working through the personal and organisational challenges to implementing work/life strategies.
5. Address management issues. These issues can include the systems, processes and practices needed for managing flexibility to the myths, misperceptions and attitudes that can undermine flexible work practices. We work with managers on both an individual and group level, applying sophisticated behavioural transformation tools as well as education programs such as the “Creating & Managing Flexible Workplaces” e-learning course. The e-program addresses many of the challenges faced by managers and provides a solid foundation for the implementation of a sustainable flexible workplace program. Further details at Flexibility At Work
6. Undertake a pilot program. It’s useful to achieve success with a team that is passionate about flexibility and then build on that success. Too many times I’ve heard the excuse that we “tried flexible work options and they did not work” following a failed implementation. For successful organisational change to occur it’s crucial to find the right place and the right time. Doing too much too soon is a recipe for failure.
7. Communicate the issues and strategy. Communication must be varied to reach the diverse, information overloaded workforce. For example learning styles for older workers tend to be auditory, for baby boomers – visual, and Gen X & Y kinesthetic. On-going communication strategies are essential for sustainable flexibility. These include success stories in newsletters or on the intranet, keep in touch programs with people on parental or other extended leave, work/life training such as our e-book “Time On, Time Out! Flexible work solutions to keep your life in balance” and audio program “Flexibility At Work: The Opportunities & Challenges”.
8. Engage employees. It is important to understand the issues involved for employees and work with them to develop strategies to overcome their concerns. In our employee workshops we often find people worried about lack of support from managers, command and control management style, the long hours culture, lack of trust, fear about effect on career advancement, lack of management training on work/life issues, concern about resentment from co-workers and about letting team members down if they use flexible options. Our e-program, “Your Life, Your Money! Making your life work for you” enables employees to take responsibility for the flexibility they need. It helps them to discover a workable life plan to achieve their goals and gain the cashflow needed for life balance and life satisfaction.
e. Evaluate the success of your flexible workplace program because success breeds success. Our work/life audit is one such evaluation tool.

For further information on implementing successful flexible workplace strategies see the Flexibility At Work website.


 Top Time Tips To Help You Live a Less Complex Life by Robyn Pearce

1. 'No' is your most powerful time management tool.  
 When we know what our values are, and when we have a clear set of goals in all areas of our lives, we're in a much stronger position to politely and appropriately say 'no' to potential time-stealers and less relevant activities.

2. Every week, block in a few important non-urgent actions.  
It's too easy to get caught up in everlasting deadlines. Change that emphasis by making appointments with yourself, written into your diary or organiser, to work on one or two activities per week of long-term and long-lasting value. Not sure what you could do? Think of the big tasks put off until you 'have time'. Almost certainly they can be broken down into small chunks.

3. Constantly ask, 'What is my highest priority right now?'  
This is a great focusing question. When applied we find it easier to stay on task with activities that really make a difference. We're also less likely at the end of the day to find we've not dealt with our highest priorities.
4. 'How can I do this task more efficiently?'  
Become a 'walking question mark'. There are always better ways to do things. Every time you do a task, look for a shortcut, a way to trim a few seconds or a minute off the task. They mount up to a surprising total over a week.

How do you manage your paperwork? Do you put things away when finished with them? How many unnecessary steps do you take in a day? Notice how often you say in frustration, ‘Bother it. I forgot to get (or do)  ..... '.

Time-saving efficiencies are all around us, but most people don't go looking for them. Instead, they just complain about lack of time!

5. Block in regular sanity gaps.  
Why be wonderfully efficient if we don't take time to enjoy life and the amazing world we live in? When did you last take a complete weekend off - no email, no business calls, no responsibilities other than the people you're with?

Many of us know it's important to clean out old files and regularly defrag our computers - it's a house-keeping process that helps them run better. Think of taking regular time off as a defrag of your brain. You'll come back fresher and you'll also produce better results (just like the computer!) Give your conscious and sub-conscious time to talk to each other - you'll be amazed at the results.
6. Manage your energy well and time looks after itself.  
Around the world I'm hearing the phrase 'energy management' more and more. Think of your energy levels as your filter or indicator as to whether you're doing the right things.

Sluggish energy is a powerful clue - if something isn't flowing smoothly there are almost always ways to either change activity or improve things.

A good filter question: 'What's blocking my energy here? What can I do about it?'

7. Eliminate clutter in all areas of your life.  
This links in part with the previous point. When you walk into a clean tidy environment, how do you feel? The more you're connected to that environment, the more impact it will have on you. Someone else's messy and untidy space may or may not have an obvious effect on you, but I guarantee you'll virtually never want to linger.

Some people only sort out possessions and 'stuff' when they move houses; others do it every spring. Run a constant 'clutter filter' on yourself. Make it part of your daily routine and it’s never a ‘big’ job.

Instead of saying 'I'll just put it here while I think about it', get into the habit of letting go. The reality is, even if you do think about it again, why would you want to? Old 'stuff' is seldom used again by you. Why not recycle it and let someone else have the chance to get value. Imagine every item you hang on to has an invisible silver thread connecting you to it. Does it energise you or pull you down?

8. Don't make email the first thing of the day.  
If you get hooked into email first thing in the day it takes over. In fact, it's an addictive medium. Instead, you take control of your day.

Spend time on the most important tasks for the day, and (unless it's truly vital) don't look at email until at least mid-morning, and then only for a defined chunk of time. Have two or three email slots through the day and you'll keep on top of most of it, with the occasional bigger catch up session.

If people rely on email for urgent information they're using it wrongly. A phone is still almost always the best way to alert someone that there's something urgent waiting. Communication is only what's received, not what is sent. How do you know someone has read your urgent epistle unless you've spoken to them?

Robyn Pearce is an international productivity and time management speaker and author. As a a mother of 6 and grandmother of 10 she has conquered her own time challenges. Robyn works with clients around the globe helping them solve their time problems. She's an author of five books and many other products and one of less than 10% of speakers worldwide to hold the highest professional speaking accreditation – Certified Speaking Professional. See http://www.gettingagrip.com for articles and other free information, including a fortnightly Top Time Tips e-zine.

 Top Ten Tips for Working Flexibly
by Kerry Fallon Horgan, CEO Flexibility At Work and co-author, Time On, Time Out! Flexible Work Solutions to Keep Your Life in Balance”.

If you work part time, job share or have another flexible work arrangement here are some important tips to make it work.

1. Clarify expectations with your manager and colleagues
There needs to be a clear agreement between yourself, your manager, colleagues and people you supervise. This agreement could include: what to do in situations where you are needed and not at the workplace; guidelines clarifying the circumstances in which you can be contacted at home; the provision of technology at home to assist work from home in an urgent situation; and names of back-up people for unforeseen circumstances.

2. Be realistic about what can be achieved in the time available
If you are working flexibly, say in a part-time role, the job must be appropriately designed, to represent a realistic view of the output achievable in the time available. Examine which tasks can be done in your reduced hours or how the job might be done differently. You may need to reallocate tasks to others.

3. Structure your week to your full advantage
For example, a five-day fortnight may be better than a two and a half day week when it comes to paying for parking, and can save on travelling time and transport costs. Consider negotiating other types of flexible work arrangements rather than just part-time work. Working flexible hours or work from home may be a better option for you.

4. Write it down
Whether or not your workplace has a policy on part-time work or job sharing, it is a good idea to have a written agreement with your manager so you both know where you stand and what to expect. The sorts of issues you can cover are:

  • the hours, days, starting and finishing times to be worked;
  • the period of time the part-time work is for;
  • whether there is a right to return to full-time work if desired; and
  • if at any time, with an agreed notice period, your arrangement can be altered.

5. Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!
Make sure everyone in the workplace, particularly the person answering the phone, knows your schedule. If you change your schedule let everyone know what the changes are as soon as possible. If you have clients, let them know when you can be contacted. For example, you could put times you are available in your email signature.

6. Don’t let your career suffer
Make it clear that your career goals have not changed just because you are working part-time, and that you want to be considered for the same opportunities such as training and acting in higher duties. Discuss what training opportunities are available and ensure that you continually update your skills. If a job with higher duties becomes available, ask to be considered.

7. Maintain good working relationships
Keep in contact and ensuring that lines of communication are kept open. Be aware that one-way communication such as e-mail can do more to shut down communication than enhance it. Establish a regular time for phoning your manager and anyone designated to assist with your work. It is your responsibility to keep these relationships working well, and this can include checking with your manager and colleagues to find out and resolve any problems they may be experiencing with your work arrangement.

8. Be strategic in your use of time
Attend key meetings and ensure that any presentations you need to give are on the meeting agenda. If you are working flexible hours, there should be core times when all staff are present, for staff meetings and important announcements. Attend as many work social functions as possible, and continue to be visible in strategic places. If you are on extended leave or working from home, a ‘keep-in-touch’ program is important.

9. Get regular performance feedback
If you are not working full-time you will miss some of the informal opportunities for feedback on your work. Make an effort to obtain regular feedback on your performance.

10. Understand what you want to achieve from part time work
Make sure that your flexible work arrangement is helping you achieve your goals. If it isn’t working for you get help from a life coach or others who have succeeded in gaining the work/life balance they desired.

Kerry Fallon Horgan is an author, trainer, life coach, public speaker and workplace advisor. She is the CEO of Flexibility At Work and the Womens Healing Org International. Her background includes chairing the major Advisory Body to the State Government on Women’s Issues, as a Board Member of Women & Management,  Past President of The Financial Counsellors Association and as a diversity consultant to the St James Ethics Centre.

Kerry is a Master practitioner in the Strategic Relationship Manangement Coaching Method and Play of Life tool. With Dr Carlos Raimundo, she trains therapists, psychologists, counsellors, coaches and managers in this international award winning method. She works as an executive and life coach with this method.

Kerry is co-author of “Time On, Time Out! Flexible Work Solutions to Keep Your Life in Balance” (now available as an ebook) & "Financial Counselling: A practical guide to everyday problems." Her book, CDs, Video and free tips, articles and e-news on work life balance are available at the Flexibility At Work website.
Her leading edge "Creating & Managing Flexible Workplaces" e-learning program has just been launched. Access a demonstration of this e-program here!

 Video clip of CEO Rob Davidson (Click here). Rob talks about leading in a flexible work environment and Flexibility At Work.

 Creating Flexible Workplaces by Kerry Fallon Horgan, CEO, Flexibility At Work

Globalization, technological advances, an ageing workforce, new workplace values of Gen X and Y's and diversity in the workplace have all "upped the stakes" for employers to successfully implement  and manage flexible work practices.

The key for many lies in becoming "Employers of Choice", organisations that are able to attract and retain skilled staff often because they have established a workplace culture that supports flexible work practices.

There are real bottom-line incentives to do so including increased productivity, better customer service, enhanced legal compliance, improved morale, reduced absenteeism, greater overall effectiveness, and an ability to adapt readily to market changes.

There's also that very profitable, but less concise notion of "discretionary effort" - where workers go that extra mile because they believe that employers are doing the right thing by them.

So what flexible practices do employees want?

For the past two years I have been privileged to be part of the judging team for the National HR Awards in the Health and Wellbeing category with Award finalists coming from a range of industry sectors. While these workplaces offered most of the more common flexible work arrangements such as part-time work, job-sharing and work from home, some innovative options were:

  • Sensis introduced an option to purchase up to two weeks leave by reducing annual salary;
  • HBA Health Insurance introduced 8 week's paid parental leave and an additional six months of parental leave beyond the first 12 months;
  • Main Roads WA's provided an innovation day and phased retirement;
  • Greenslopes Private Hospital (GPH) provided cultural leave and one week of extra leave for night staff.

Unfortunately all too many workplaces are still saying, "Well that's OK in the ideal world but not in reality, not for us" or "We've tried it and it didn't work".

This is largely because organisations would prefer to stay as they are than face the challenges that confront them. So, they don't reap the benefits of this new way of working. They'll keep trying to fit "square pegs into round holes" by fitting workers' around the jobs rather than making the jobs fit the best people for the work involved.

So how do we overcome the challenges of implementing these practices?

Every workplace culture is unique, has different barriers and needs different solutions to the challenges that present. The issues can be attitudinal, can be based on misperceptions, systems problems, workloads, fear of the effect on career, leadership and managerial blocks. The list goes on.

To address the barriers, Flexibility At Work developed a systematic culture change approach. This involves developing the business case; analysing organisation specific issues; developing strategies to overcome the challenges; engaging senior management; addressing management issues; targeted, consistent and regular communication; engaging employees; and evaluating the program.

Sounds straight forward, but the problem is that organisations only change if their people change and it has to start from the top. If leaders and managers are working excessive hours, not taking annual leave and not spending time in their outside roles, attitudinal and behavior change is extremely difficult to achieve. No amount of policy making, values statements and systems implementation will change that organisation to one that enables work/life balance.

New and innovative approaches are required. Usually organisations only deal with issues at the "tip of the iceberg". The real barriers to change happen below the surface where behaviors, attitudes, beliefs and mental models do not reflect stated values and policy pronouncements.

So before you contract yet another HR agency to fill that much needed position, take a good look at whether or not, what you do, reflects what you say you do, and look at how you can make flexibility a reality in your workplace.

 Getting Life Balance by Kerry Fallon Horgan, author "Time On, Time Out! Flexible work solutions to keep your life in balance" and the e-program "Creating & Managing Flexible Workplaces"

Many are questioning the current definition of success—people who no longer see climbing the organisational ladder as worth the all-consuming energy it requires in most workplaces. In fact, many people are opting out of mainstream employment because their work does not give them the satisfaction or lifestyle that they want.

Others are staying in these organisations but are doing the hard work necessary to change themselves and their organisational culture. Either way, these people are choosing a life as well as a career, and are no longer willing to make work their sole or even their main priority.

Organisational surveys are showing a growing trend in employees towards seeking work and personal life balance. Research in the US found that over three-quarters of employees would choose increased flexibility even at the cost of career advancement. Over 50 percent would turn down a promotion if it meant spending less time with their families. Further, a survey of a large high-tech US company found that work and life balance was the second most critical factor in keeping the top 10 percent of their performers.

Finding balance in our lives means giving ourselves the opportunity to reach our potential as human beings. Not being in balance is like being shut off from oneself. It is living the life of a one-dimensional being, which on the outside can appear to be successful, but on the inside looks different. Once the busy-ness stops, only a hollow sadness of lost opportunity pervades.

Most people are fortunate enough to have the potential for a healthy vital body, a growing, intelligent mind, spiritual fulfillment, career and financial success, caring, loving relationships, making a contribution to our communities and so on. Yet many fail to take advantage of that potential. Achieving balance in our lives is hard work, it takes constant effort, and there may be a price to pay. But the rewards are immeasurable.

What do you want? What do you truly value? How can you bring about changes in your life and at your workplace if you are not clear about what you want yourself?

To decide if flexible workplace practices will help you achieve a successful, balanced life, you must clarify what it is you want to achieve and make a plan to attain this. Such a plan will be unique to you and will depend on your circumstances and stage of life.

First, allow yourself the time and solitude needed to make a plan. We tend to spend more time planning a holiday than we do planning our lives. It is important to get our priorities right!

In his lectures on the ‘Future of Work’, futurist Robert Theobold recommended that we set aside time for renewal at work. He believes that we are so overloaded we never finish what we ought to do anyway. The purpose of this reflection is to better understand what motivates us to act in the ways we do and the impact our actions have on others around us—time out for self-discovery and for listening to ourselves.

If flexible workplace practices are going to work for you, the issue needs to be more than just ‘I want the time’. You need to decide how you will make the best use of this valuable time to achieve the balance that you want in your life.

Some best-practice organisations are now assisting employees to develop a personal life plan to consider how they can achieve their work and personal goals. Such organisations realise that the attainment of organisational objectives is a function of people achieving their personal objectives.

To help people achieve their work and personal goals, we have developed an e-learning program in partnership with All Money Matters that provides a step-by-step life planning and cash-flow planning process. You can access a demonstration of this exciting one hour e-program, called  “Your Life – Your Money! Making your life work for you” here and undertake Part 1 of this program for free!

 The fallacies of flexibility: How misperceptions block work/life strategies by Kerry Fallon Horgan, author "Time On, Time Out! Flexible work solutions to keep your life in balance" and the e-program "Creating & Managing Flexible Workplaces"

The business case for flexibility is now well established. Workplaces know that sustainable flexible work practices are vital to attracting and retaining the talent needed for a competitive advantage.

The financial benefits of well managed flexibility are enormous. This includes improved morale, better staff retention, lower rates of absenteeism, stress reduction and competitive recruiting. Further benefits are found from having a pool of trained staff, who may be on leave, job sharing or working part-time but who are accessible to cover peak work periods or one-off projects. All this means maintaining optimum productivity, which would not be possible without a flexible workforce.

Yet despite the enormous benefits, many organisations are struggling to create flexible workplaces. This is because the challenges to flexibility are often found below the surface. The barriers that are difficult to shift are contained in the belief systems, attitudes, fears, misperceptions and unclear expectations that abound around the issue of workplace flexibility.

Assumptions and perceptions about flexible work practices remain a major barrier to success. This is largely because they are rarely discussed or are at such a subconscious level that people do not realise these untested perceptions are holding them back.

Some of the misperceptions people hold about flexible practices are that:
- they are solely about employees and their children;
- it is a female issue;
- it will detrimentally effect my career;
- other people at work will be resentful if you use these practices;
- there should be a clear boundary between work and personal life; or
- customer service organisations cannot provide these practices.

Considering these assumptions will help in testing their accuracy. Are they based on fact or on past beliefs that no longer stand up to scrutiny? For example, looking at the belief that flexible practices are solely a female or family issue, the reality is that most people at some time in their lives will need to use flexible practices—be it to study, to travel, to contribute to the community, to pursue an interest, to care for an elderly parent or a sick partner, to spend time with the children. Work and life balance is not an issue for a small part of the work population but for everyone. In fact, organisations that successfully implement flexible workplace policies are seeing them as being non-gender-specific, and both men and women are increasingly taking up these policies.

So how do we surface and deal with these mental models, myths and misperceptions that undermine workplace flexibility? The starting point is sophisticated facilitated dialogue about these issues with those who have the power to make the changes that are needed. To help organisations address these issues Flexibility At Work has developed the  e-learning program "Creating & Managing Flexible Workplaces".

What does the "Creating & Managing Flexible Workplaces" e-learning program provide?

    * Effective strategies for implementing, managing and maintaining flexible work practices
    * The crucial steps that need to be taken at both an organisational and individual level
    * The fundamentals of the why, what and how of flexible workplaces.

An exciting component of this e-learning program is a 12 minute video on work/life issues in today's workplaces. Organisations that undertake this program will also receive for each of their employees copies of our 300 page e-book, "Time On, Time Out! Flexible work solutions to keep your life in balance" and the audio program, "Flexibility At Work: The Opportunities & Challenges".

In the Creating & Managing Flexible Work Practices E-Program:

    * Learn about award winning organisations and practices.
    * Discover what employees want when it comes to flexibility.
    * Hear an impelling business case for making flexibility a reality.
    * Identify solutions to the personal and organisational challenges.
    * Understand the management practices that inhibit and enhance working flexibly.
    * Find leading-edge strategies for implementing and managing flexible work practices.

Advantages of this e-learning program:

    * It enables responsibility for facilitating flexibility to be devolved to managers
    * It provides managers with a tool and the fundamental knowledge needed to make flexibility happen
    * E-learning gives the viewer the choice to undertake the program when convenient to them
    * One or two modules can be taken at a time and used to focus dialogue on the issues raised
    * People can keep going back to the program as often as wanted, which reinforces the learning
    * Cost advantages of no presenters fees, travel costs, training rooms or time away from   the office.

Access a demonstration of "Creating & Managing Flexible Workplaces" here.

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