Work-life balance is not only about how your job interferes with your personal life. It is also about how your personal life affects your work and, last but not least, how both parts can enhance each other. In my opinion, the right combination of the two is the bottom line to feel in balance.

In my blog, you will have the chance to verify where you are on the path to achieving life balance and, thus, satisfaction. By answering some simple questions elaborated by professors from Curtin University of Technology and the University of Michigan, you will reflect and (hopefully) find out how your work impacts your personal life and vice versa. This self-knowledge can support the decision to make a change (if it is necessary). Ok, that’s it for theory; now let’s go down to business and do some work! 😊

While doing my doctoral research, I came across a very interesting work-life balance questionnaire (not the newest one but still…). It was designed by Professor Gwenith Fisher-McAuley and then used in research by Jeremy Hymen. I was really amazed by the simplicity of the questions and their valuable meaning, so I have decided to share it with you.

I suggest starting with questions about how your work affects your personal life. Read the table and indicate the frequency with which you have felt in a particular way during the past three months using a seven-point time-related scale – e.g., 1=Not at all, 4=Sometimes, and 7=All the time.

When I did this the first time, I struggled a little bit with the differences between each situation, though I finally resolved it. To make it a little clearer, after each sentence, I put an example explaining how I understand the area.


Work interference with personal life

e-      not at all

4– sometimes

7– all the time

Personal life suffers because of work

e.g. I struggled to find time to meet with friends or family


Job makes personal life difficult

e.g. There has been conflict or misunderstandings at home because of work fatigue


Neglect personal needs because of work

e.g. I have been too tired or didn’t have time to take care of my basic needs such as healthy eating, exercise, sleep, or getting health check ups because of work


Put personal life on hold for work

e.g. I feel that all I did was work and that I have no personal life at all


Struggle to juggle work and non-work

e.g. Even when I have been doing enjoyable things in my personal life, I have found it stressful because I’ve been constantly thinking about how the time away will impact my workload.


Miss personal activities because of work

e.g. I’ve missed out on important personal events and being there for loved ones because I’ve been too busy at work


Feel unhappy with the amount of time for non-work activities

e.g. I spend some time on non-work activities but I feel it is not enough because of my work



And now, you can do the same with the opposite situation.

Personal life interference with work

1-     Not at all

4– sometimes

7– all the time

Personal life drains me of energy for work

e.g I have felt unmotivated or exhausted by my personal circumstances to the point where it’s difficult to do my work


Too tired to be effective at work

e.g. I have been physically too tired to work productively due to demands in my personal life, e.g. childcare, difficulty sleeping


My work suffers because of my personal life

e.g I have failed to meet deadlines or be an effective team member because I am so distracted and overwhelmed by my personal issues


Put personal life on hold for work

e.g. Even though there has been significant personal issues that needed my attention, I have had to put them on hold because I am so behind at work.


Hard to work because of personal matters

e.g. I have not been able to give my work the time or focus I would like to because I am constantly having to deal with personal issues.



This test does not diagnose your life, but it does give you valuable feedback.  For myself, I did not sum up all points but just looked closer at those with 7 or 4. Then I asked myself why this was the case and if there was anything I could or wanted to do with that. You can follow my procedure or invent your own. 😊 The fewer points you gather, the closer you are to your life balance (11 is the minimum). The more points you gather, the closer you are to work-life conflict and the need for change (77 is the maximum).


And now, look at the 4 sentences below. They are crucial for balance or, better to say, life integration.

  • My personal life gives me energy for my job
  • Job gives me the energy to pursue personal activities
  • I have a better mood at work because of my personal life
  • I have a better mood because of my job

Think of how often, during the last 3 months have you felt like that. When it was, why it was like that, try to recall all details. This is your direction to follow and an inspiration for change. To have as many such days as described above. I wish you that with all of my heart.

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