Do You Have Whirlwind Tunnel Syndrome?

Here you are, your career is finally on track and going great! You feel like you are making the right choices and even enjoy working really hard, most of the time. You even make it to the gym a couple of times a week and remember to stay away from carbohydrates at most meals. And then comes that moment when you feel that breeze ruffle your hair a little bit, a slight tease before you get hit by the gale force. Suddenly you are flipping and flying around the whirlwind tunnel trying to figure out which end is up – aggravated that you missed a great opportunity to pitch a new client, realizing that (yet again) if you don’t leave right now you’ll be late for your next meeting and geez, you spaced out on your sister’s birthday!

All that stress training, let alone working out, is out the window and you find yourself running to simply stay in place. You are asking yourself, “How do people do this? Is there such a thing as career life balance? Where is the equilibrium!!!!!!?”

If spinning around out of control isn’t your definition of success, nor how you define a fulfilling life, perhaps these steps will help you make the escape from the whirlwind tunnel!

7 Tips for Taming the Whirlwind Tunnel

1. Eliminate and Delegate - Make a list of what could you eliminate or delegate. Just because your mother cleaned the window sills weekly, doesn’t mean you do. And there are probably many other tasks that you do because they are habit or somehow you started doing them. Take a good look and get rid of the unnecessary activity.

2. Plan - Plan the month in advance to the best of your ability. Then review your calendar and set your goals each Sunday evening and again before closing down at work each day.
Look at your calendar before booking something new. Categorize re-occurring events, daily habits, calls, appointments, kid’s activities and exercise. Studies show those 15 minutes of planning time saves up to two hours of wasted activity.

3. Schedule time for you - Make appointments with yourself to do the things that are important to you, in Stephen Covey’s words, those things that are important and not urgent. For you this may mean 30 minutes of reading by yourself, working out, time alone with your spouse, or lunch with a good friend.

4. Create accountability and celebrate success! For each project and large task, tie in an outcome and deadline to create leverage and helps ensure your success.

5. Design it, Live it! Imagine and play with what your perfect week would be like. Write it down, schedule it and then begin to live it. What time do you want to go to bed? How much time do you want to have to get ready in the morning? What do you intend you create? I’ll bet if you believe that you can’t do it – you’re right!

6. Breathe. Yup, it sounds simple and most of us forget to do it when the going gets tough. When you feel that breeze hit your bangs – stop. That’s right, stop. Remember that the thing protruding from your face is called a nose. Pull air in through it, feel it go down and fill up your lungs, keep pulling it in. Hold it, hold it a little longer. Now, release that breathe slowly, feeling your lungs deflate, pulling in those fabulous ab muscles, keep blowing until your lungs are empty. Now repeat twice more.

7. Givers Gain! Recognize the opportunities you have each day to make someone else’s day just a little easier, whether it is slowing down to let a fellow motorist into your lane, or picking up a piece of litter on the road. As Myrtle Reed says, "If we all tried to make other people's paths easy, our own feet would have a smooth even place to walk on." It sounds a little counterintuitive, but giving something of ourselves allows us to realize that time and space are really about connection to one another. The wind stops blowing so hard when we reach out a hand to connect.

While work and life run at a crazy pace these days, these tips let you take control of the storm and help stop the whirlwind tunnel from spinning out of control. This is the first of a series of columns about how to gain career life balance. I look forward to hearing how these work for you and what career life balance issues you are facing. Feel free to contact me with your challenges, suggestions or tips at

Author's Bio: 

Dawn Quesnel (“Coach DQ”) – President and Owner of Career Life Balance -

As a professional coach Dawn help sales, marketing, advertising, and creative professionals, as well as a variety of corporations, small business owners and individuals, in areas such as personal growth, career transition, job placement, launching new businesses, every day life challenges, goal setting...and the list goes on. She truly believes you can do anything you want to do as long as you put your mind to it. Her mission is to help you believe it, too.
She received her coaches training from the Coaches Training Institute (CTI), the first and largest (in-person) coaches training school in the world, accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF). She is a member of the ICF and continuously trains and develops her skills as a professional coach.
Some of her recent accomplishments include: Co-founder of the Boston Coaching Studio; Host & Producer of a weekly Radio Show entitled “Career Life Balance”; Monthly column on; Board of Directors for the Board of Taunton Youth Court; Volunteer for the Taunton High School Peer Mediation Program; Member of Toastmasters; Member of the eWomenNetwork; Co-Leader of the Boston Co-Active Coaching Community; Speaker and workshop leader with MBS Connect.
Early in her career she had the privilege of completing training programs for Walt Disney and the Hilton Corporation. She learned several invaluable lessons from these world-renowned programs, particularly the power of imagination, image, and client satisfaction. And it was this experience that has followed her throughout her career and contributed immensely to her success.
Before becoming a Professional Coach, she was an Executive Recruiter at two of Boston's premier agencies — breaking records and consistently being awarded "Top Biller." It was once she opened up her own recruitment firm, Executive Staffing Consultants that she realized she was doing more than just placing sales, marketing, and advertising professionals. She was coaching them on how to meet their career objectives, which in turn had a major impact in their personal lives. This realization led to the launching of her coaching practice, Career Life Balance. Through these combined efforts, her clients find within themselves the resources and the wherewithal to take their careers and personal lives to the next level. The same is possible for you!
One of her biggest personal goals was to live in a foreign country and learn another language. She accomplished this in Milan, Italy, where she learned to speak Italian and worked as a model and casting agent for clients such as Esprit, Dolce Gabanna, and Aveda. I am a Certified Reiki Master Teacher. I enjoy snow skiing, cooking, gardening, traveling, and helping people pursue and attain their goals.
Dawn Quesnel, CPCC, PCC