Why are 60% of Australian workers not taking their annual leave?

We know that living in the 21st century can be similar to sitting on a rollercoaster zooming along at an incredibly frantic pace. It can be a challenging task to pull on the brakes and slow the rollercoaster down, refuel it, and attend to its maintenance, so it can run at its optimum level.

Deadlines, budgets, IR laws and regulations along with stiff competition can keep a person on this rollercoaster. Family responsibilities, social commitments, and relationship obligations can also add to the speed in which you live your life.

Keeping up such a pace without taking time out for relaxation and play, can affect your personal and professional growth and success. It causes stress, which in turn causes a lack of energy, motivation, and is detrimental to your health. It can critically affect your attitude evoking feelings of resentment, anger, frustration and hopelessness. It can cloud your decision making, and slow down your productivity. You become at risk of anxiety, illness, disease, and burnout!

Committing time for your own needs and desires, and setting reasonable boundaries will ensure you have a valuable and consistent supply of energy, motivation and good health. Your commitment to yourself will guarantee an enthusiasm to keep each area of your life working effectively and successfully.

How do you commit time when time is so limited?

Look and see if you have any timewasters that fill your life up unnecessarily.

Ditch Timewasters - For instance, do you do other people’s work or tasks when they are perfectly capable of doing it themselves? If you do, it’s time to STOP! When you are taking on other peoples commitments, they are not learning to take responsibility for themselves. They are unable to make the mistakes that are necessary for their own personal growth. It’s ‘OK’ to say NO.

Be honest with yourself and write down any unhealthy habits which are eating into your day or weeks. Take small steps towards minimizing these habits, and you will be rewarded with extra time in your day to use more productively, towards creating a balanced life.

Be Aware of your warning signs- Do you have increased aches and pains, indigestion, frequent colds and infections, sleep disturbance, lack of motivation, increased use of alcohol and other drugs? Seek help or advice from a professional.


‘Me Time’- At the beginning of the week schedule into your diary relaxation and reflection time. Add to your diary a non-work related activity which stimulates your mind and makes you feel good, and keeps you smiling.

Meditation - Use meditation first thing in the morning to clear the mass of thoughts bombarding your mind when you wake. Use it in the middle of the night when you wake and feel like you’re plugged into a power socket, which it’s switched on! Use it regularly to tap into a place of peace. Meditation is a scientifically proven practice that can change the function of the brain in an enduring way.

Turn off to all work related distractions at least one day a week. Have a ‘screen free’ zone in your bedroom.

Make a date with your partner. Invest in your relationships NOW! Money isn’t everything- ask a person who has lost a lover due to heavy work commitments. Commit to phoning a restaurant or scheduling into your diary a night to go to the movies, and make a booking! Make sure your date is away from your home, work, and family. One on one time is essential for a loving, healthy relationship. It improves your emotional and social skills, and increases your self worth. If you do not have a partner, make a date with a friend.

Implementing these strategies regularly, will ensure you are Balanced, Bold and in control of your life.

Author's Bio: 

This article was provided by Gael Drum, author of the book “Beyond Burnout to Balance” and a series of relaxation CDs. She is a professional speaker who speaks to people working in a business environment that’s tough, fast and constantly changing, about how to successfully blend life, relationships and work, and how to win the war against unhealthy stress levels. Contact Gael on 0408 439 814 or via gaeld@tpg.com.au.For more information visit link:www.gaeldrum.com.au