Assessing Your Work-Life Options

STEP 1: Are You a Juggler? (Check all that apply.)
 
My workdays are tightly scheduled, and my weekends aren’t much different.
Time spent with my partner, children, and/or friends often feels rushed.
I manage to stay on top of things, but I don’t know how long I can keep it up.
Quiet time for myself—for reading, exercise, hobbies, etc.—is hard to fit in.
I use some of my vacation days to run errands and catch up on chores.
I feel overtired or stressed out more often than not.
My life is certainly not boring, but it’s also wearing me out.
If your score was four or more, take the following quiz to measure your aptitude in each of five alternatives to juggling. You may find this points the way to greater work-life satisfaction.
STEP 2: Beyond Juggling: Finding a Better Way
1.
A
I like to devote my full energy and attention to one thing at a time.
C I like to take care of multiple needs in a single activity.
2.
B I’m comfortable having others do home and yard chores for me.
E I prefer to do things myself.
3.
D My professional work doesn’t necessarily have to be done between the hours of 9:00 and 5:00.
A My professional work is the kind that I can leave at the office; there’s no real reason for me to bring it home.
4.
B I’m good at planning and organizing the activities of others.
C I’m good at putting separate tasks together in meaningful combinations (example: exercising with my friends).
5.
A
When I’m really stressed out, I need to take a break and do something completely different.
B When I’m really stressed out, I buy myself time by paying for more services (take-out meals, cleaning help, yard care, etc.).
6.
D
Acquiring the latest technology (mobile phone, laptop computer, PDA, etc.) helps me make better use of my time.
E The less “stuff” I acquire, the more time I have to enjoy life.
7.
B
I don’t mind scheduling and coordinating service providers (day care, home maintenance, etc.), if it frees me up to do what I want to do.
D I tend to use my PDA, e-banking, automatic bill paying, on-line shopping and other electronic services to save time and effort.
8.
C
If I’m going to invest time in an activity, I want it to pay off in multiple ways for me (i.e., kill two or more birds with one stone).
E I like to keep my calendar as open and unscheduled as possible.
9.
C
I enjoy making a social event out of almost anything—work, chores, school activities, ballgames—by involving friends and/or family.
D I use my cell phone, e-mail, instant messaging and other electronic tools to stay in close touch with my friends and family
10.
E
I try to take meaningful but inexpensive vacations—like camping, visits to nearby attractions, or trips to visit friends and relatives.
A I’m pretty good at using my vacations to truly get away from the pressures of my job and “recharge my batteries.”

Each statement you have selected from the ten questions represents a specific strategy category. Add up your score and find out what yours is!

A

Alternating

B Outsourcing
C Bundling
D Techflexing
E Simplifying

Interpreting your scores:

If your score is 0 or 1 in a strategy, it probably shouldn’t be your primary technique for rebalancing your life.

If you score 2–3 points in a strategy, this could be a useful primary or secondary technique for you. Read more about it at www.beyondjuggling.com, or order the book from Amazon.

If you score 4 points in a strategy, you’re a natural! Use this strategy to its fullest in your pursuit of greater work-life balance. For ideas on how to apply this strategy in your life, visit www.beyondjuggling.com or pick up a copy of the book.

Adapted from the Balance Strategies Profile (BSP), in “Beyond Juggling: Rebalancing Your Busy Life” (Berrett-Koehler 2002). The complete 30-question profile is available in the book or at www.beyondjuggling.com.

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