We have all heard the collective lament, ‘My career is not exciting anymore. I don’t feel energized to go into my shop or my office. I don’t even have enthusiasm for the student’s sports activities at the high school. I used to love being involved in those games and the play offs. What’s happened to me?”

The workforce market has demonstrated to us nationally, that this phenomenon happens not only to middle management, but uniformly at the highest levels of corporate executives. Individuals appear to ‘wake up’ and be utterly frustrated, overstressed, and completely disillusioned with the organizational working model. Many have sweated for years trying to prove their worth. Some have had to fill in for missing colleagues a tremendous statistic from divisional layoffs. Consequently, there comes a day when they can no longer find fulfillment in the treadmill of long hours or just being the last survivor in a long line of downsizing. Add to this the complexities of family & community life, these folks feel emotionally empty for any engagement. We used to associate the term over this condition as work burnout, but at the deepest internal level we know it is life balance fatigue.

According to a study from the Families and Work Institute, 1/3 of U.S. employees are chronically overworked with about half being overworked in the past month. The well known company of CareerBuilder reports, the American worker has the least vacation time of any developed society. In 2005, 33 percent of workers said they checked in daily with the office while on vacation. Forty-four percent of working moms admitted to preoccupation about work while at home and one-fourth stated bringing home projects at least one day a week. Thirty-seven percent of all working dads stated they would consider taking another job with less pay if it offered a better work-life balance.
Life balance fatigue can affect your immune system and has been linked to migraines, digestive disorders, eczema, high blood pressure and heart disease. And, it causes continual emotional distress. What are some of the signs and symptoms of having life balance fatigue?
? Are you more cynical, critical and sarcastic at the workplace?
? Have you lost the ability to experience spontaneity?
? Do you force yourself into working and can’t seem to get started once you’re there?
? Are you more irritable and less patient with colleagues, customers or family?
? Do you feel that you face insurmountable hurtles at work making you less productive?
? Have you lost the feeling of satisfaction from your achievements, feeling disillusionment?
? Do you have a hard time laughing at small glitches in your daily life?
? Have you starting self-medicating, using food, drugs or alcohol to feel better or to become numb?
? Have your sleep habits or appetite changed?
? Are you experiencing headaches, chronic neck pain or various muscle pain?
There are no quick fixes to this culminative process. However, any of these items can help you to scrutinize where you can adjust your daily routine:
• Analyze your work processes for efficiency. One individual cannot do the work of an entire department. Organization and the correct working tools, whether its new software or a work-flow improvement, will keep you from being overwhelmed and return some precious hours to you for other life activities.
• Revaluate both your professional and personal goals. You may have committed to projects or goals that are out of date with where you really want to be successful now. You can delete older activities such as, the rummage sale at the community center, without damaging your public image.
• Get moving. You don’t have to be a marathoner to start the body’s endorphin production. Try salsa dancing, bowling, tai chi, or any activity that starts relieving stress and can diminish those various muscle pains you have.
If you think you have life balance fatigue, ask yourself:
• Should you consider a career change? What changes would this require relocation or the separation of family for a period of time? What investments do you need to make in your working lifestyle to make this change a reality and achieve the fulfillment you feel you have lost?
• Do you suffer guilt over ‘breaking out’ of accepted social practices in pursuing a new direction? What would be the benefits and consequences of this when it breaks out of the family’s' accepted social practices or even those of your faith
• How can you reduce your commitments in all realms so that you return some time to yourself for personal fulfillment? Can delegate some of the older activities to other resources such as, the college student union body or summer interns?
• What triggers can you set for yourself when you’re about to hit the ‘overwhelmed’ button?
• How can you set aside 20-30 minutes a day to hear your own thoughts and renew your internal calm?

“If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be; and, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Author's Bio: 

Bradley Morgan is a corporate and ontological coach who served as a hi-tech executive for over 17 years, in companies such as, IBM, Bay Networks, Premysis, and Brocade Communications. Bradley’s credentials include a BS from Georgia Tech, a MS from UCLA, a certificate in gerontology from the University of Boston (CGP); and a Professional Coaching Certification (PCC) through the Newfield Network program. In the telecommunications industry, she developed both domestic and international systems engineering teams for technical expertise and executive level leadership. Bradley is a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF), American Management Associates (AMA), the American Society on Aging (ASA), the American Parkinson’s Disease Association (APDA); and, the Northern VA Fall Prevention Coalition (NVFPC). Visit the Web page, www.walksbesidecoaching.com.