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Self-Management: How Well Do You Maintain Balance?

By Dr. Geri Markel On Balance

Today’s senior executives will tell you:

Work/life balance is, at best, an elusive ideal and, at worst, a complete myth. But by making deliberate choices about which opportunities they’ll pursue and which they’ll decline, rather than simply reacting to emergencies, leaders can and do engage meaningfully with work, family, and community.”*

If trying to reduce stress and maintain balance in your life makes you feel like a tightrope walker, you’re not alone. Whether a leader, team member, or entrepreneur, most of us have so many demands on our time and energy, life can feel like a three-ring circus. Take this quiz to see how well you are meeting responsibilities, while also recognizing and fulfilling personal needs and wants.

Instructions: Next to each question, decide whether your answer is “True” or “False”


  1. The only way I can successfully manage my life is to take care of myself physically and emotionally. T / F
  1. Nurturing myself enlarges my capacity to help others. T / F
  1. I eat healthfully and exercise regularly. T / F
  1. I get check-ups, go to the dentist, and take preventative precautions. T / F
  1. I set aside personal, quiet time for myself, whether I’m meditating or simply letting my thoughts drift. T / F
  1. I experience the gifts of each season: ice skating, sledding, bundled-up beach walks; gardening, hiking, more time outside; camping, swimming, barbeques; harvesting the bounty, gathering wood, spending more time inside. T / F
  1. Creativity nurtures me, too. I do what I love, whether that’s cooking, drawing, painting, writing, dancing, singing or another creative pursuit. T / F
  1. Reaching out to others enriches my life. I spend quality time with family and friends. T / F
  1. Contributing to the world provides connection and purpose, so I give my time, energy and experience where it is most useful. T / F
  1. I notice and heed the emotional signals that tell me I’m out of balance: irritability, overwhelm, resentment. T / F
  1. If I feel that I’m catching a cold, I realize I may have stressed my immune system with over activity, so I stop and take care of myself. T / F
  1. When I need or want to, I say no to requests for my time. T / F
  1. I listen to and honor the requests my body makes for such things as a nap, a walk, green vegetables, hot soup. T / F
  1. If I have something planned for myself, I don’t just toss that aside when someone makes a request of me. T / F
  1. I’m busy, but I find time to do the things I want to do. T / F
  1. I’m happy. I regularly experience well-being, contentment, even joy. T / F

If you answered false more often than true, you may want to take a look at the questions to which you answered false and see if you can incorporate something of its message into your life.


*Note: Author’s content used with permission, © Claire Communications

More articles like this:

Attention and Work-Life Productivity

The Myth and the Madness of Multi-Tasking


Dr. Markel offers Work/Life seminars, empowering keynotes and talks on a variety of topics for improving executive functioning and leadership productivity. Learn More

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