One of the biggest complaints I hear is that life is so busy that there is just no time to take a breath and no ‘ME TIME’! Many of my executive coaching clients are exhausted and nearing burnout – if not there already. People are desperate for more work / life balance, which seems to be forever elusive. Deadlines are mounting, crises are everywhere and there’s always a dozen things competing for our attention. This was true before the pandemic, but I have seen it amplified by the onslaught of disruption we’ve faced recently, global economic strife and corporate pressure to do more with less.
How can we get off this treadmill, take our power back, invest in ourselves and really take Key Steps to…

‘be the difference that makes the difference.’

  1. Acknowledge that you do have a choice. When I find myself feeling overwhelmed and many things encroaching on my ‘ME time,’ I have learnt to acknowledge that it is MY CHOICE to allow these things to happen. I allow my phone to disturb me after hours as I continue to answer emails. I allow myself to work after hours because I’ve taken on too much. I allow my weekends to be sabotaged by catching up on paperwork. And the list could go on. In the moment, I used to fool myself into thinking that I had no choice because the deadline was looming, or the client was applying pressure. The truth, when I could step back enough to get true perspective, was that I allowed this to happen by not having healthy boundaries and making myself a priority, which brings me to my next point…
  2. Make yourself a priority. Are you one of those people who is constantly doing things for others, while putting yourself at the bottom of your own list of priorities? If so, you’ve likely taught people how to treat you and that is why they abuse you – because you do too! It’s time to change the way you treat yourself and move yourself to the top of the list, where you belong. I’d recommend taking one small stand against the ‘busy-ness’ each day… Have at least 1 hour a week set aside to do nothing. Maybe spend 30-minutes technology free. Leave work at work (at least a few nights a week – even one night off is a start). Eat dinner as a family at the dinner table. Give yourself permission to sleep late, play golf… whatever you consider ‘ME time’. Realise that self-care is not selfish but self-enlightened and a critical part of being successful and happy. Remember that you cannot pour from an empty cup. What will you do this week to put YOU at the top of the list?
  3. Don’t wait for the heart attack! All too often, we wait until we have frayed nerves, get physically ill or have a near death experience before we take time for ourselves. Why wait until your life could be over to really live it!? You are better than that… you are worth more than that… 20 years from now, the only people who will remember that you worked late are your children! Start today and remember that every Key Step in the right direction counts and they all add up and enable you to…

‘be the difference that makes the difference.’


NOTE: The information in my blog may be freely shared and re-used in any online or offline publication, provided it is accompanied by the following credit line: This was written by Dr Sharon King Gabrielides, and originally appeared in her free weekly  ‘Key Steps Food for Thought Blog’ available on the Key Steps website.

Dr Sharon King Gabrielides

About Dr Sharon King Gabrielides

Sharon is a dynamic facilitator, speaker and executive coach with over 25 years’ experience in leadership development and organisational transformation. Her PhD thesis contributed a framework for holistic and sustainable leadership development that was published by Rutgers University in the USA. She is faculty of numerous business schools and highly sought-after by leading corporates because she works hand-in-hand with them to create sustainable results and long-term success. In 2020, Sharon was inducted into the Educators Hall of Fame, which is a lifetime achievement award, recognising excellence and her contribution to the field.

Sharon is one of only three women in South Africa to have achieved the title of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) – the Oscar of the speaking industry. She is also a COMENSA Master Practitioner (CMP), a qualified Modern Classroom Certified Trainer (MCCT™) and an accredited Global Virtual Speaker. Sharon is also a registered Education, Training and Development Practitioner (ETDP), holds an Honours degree in Psychology and practices as an NLP master practitioner.

Most important to Sharon is that she has become known for her genuinely caring manner, practical and transformational approach, and for providing valuable tools and that allow people to take Key Steps to really… ‘be the difference that makes the difference.’