Jan 24, 2022

Cracking the Code for How to Achieve Work-Life Balance

Welcome to the Burned-In Teacher Podcast. It's been about a month since I last joined you, and in today's episode, we're delving into the crucial topic of work-life balance—how to achieve it. This matter holds immense significance for me, and it seems equally important to you, considering the influx of questions I've received lately on the subject. And in this episode, I'm going to reveal some surprising insights during our discussion.

As I mentioned previously, I'm transitioning to releasing two episodes per month starting this October. However, even maintaining that frequency has been a challenge. It's essential to understand that my commitment to you and the Burned-In Teacher community remains unwavering. The struggle lies in effectively juggling the various aspects of my life. But before we dive into that, I want to remind you of an exciting development. I've introduced a new platform on my website, burnedinteacher.com/ask. This platform empowers you to ask specific questions that are relevant to your situation. I'm keen on understanding your unique challenges and addressing them comprehensively. You can either type your question on a Google form or, if you prefer, record your voice on SpeakPipe, allowing you to elaborate on your circumstances and queries. While the time limit is a minute, it's all about getting to the core of your concerns.

Upon introducing this platform, I received an influx of questions, particularly revolving around work-life balance. This podcast is all about addressing topics that matter to you, not just my personal interests. It's evident that this balance is a critical issue that we need to explore today and dive deeper into in future episodes.

Numerous queries have come in from various angles, but they all revolve around the challenge of finding an equilibrium between work and home life. From managing too many to-dos and battling with busy work to desiring a healthier balance and struggling to attain it, there's a wide range of perspectives on this matter. I recognize that the current moment amplifies these challenges due to the unprecedented conditions we're navigating.

What I've come to realize is that conventional forms of self-care, like bubble baths and staying hydrated, can only do so much to help us weather these stormy times. Work-life balance isn't about rigidly allocating specific hours to work and personal life; it's about achieving harmony. However, it's unrealistic to expect perfect equilibrium, given the myriad demands on our time and energy.

To this end, I'd like to introduce the concept of the "seven pillars," an idea presented in the book "The Work-Life Balance Myth" by David J. McNiff. These pillars encompass different aspects of our lives: work, family, personal, physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual. Focusing solely on work and family as the primary sources of happiness and stability is a recipe for burnout. When the pressures of work and family mount, we need to draw strength from the other pillars to navigate these challenges effectively.

Let's break down these seven pillars:

  1.  Work: This is our professional commitment and the primary source of our livelihood.
  2.  Family:  This encompasses our relationships with loved ones and our responsibilities outside of work.
  3.  Personal: Engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation, contributing to a sense of well-being.
  4.  Physical: Prioritizing physical health through exercise, diet, and taking care of our bodies.
  5.  Intellectual: Stimulating our minds by seeking new knowledge, learning, and curiosity.
  6.  Emotional: Nurturing our emotional well-being through open communication, support, and empathy.
  7.  Spiritual: Cultivating spiritual growth through practices such as meditation, mindfulness, and reflection.

A crucial point is that relying solely on work and family for our well-being leaves us vulnerable to burnout. Instead, we must leverage the strength derived from the other pillars to thrive in the face of challenges. Rather than focusing on achieving an unattainable balance, we should aim for harmony by drawing from these diverse sources of fulfillment.

As we navigate the complexities of teaching, life, and the amplified stresses of the current times, it's evident that we need more than work-life balance to emerge unscathed. The seven pillars offer a holistic approach to building mental resilience, enabling us to overcome hardships with grace and poise.

This episode is just the tip of the iceberg, and I look forward to diving deeper into these concepts with the help of guest experts in the future. Remember that seeking harmony among these seven pillars will empower us to face challenges head-on and build a more resilient, fulfilling life.

If you're eager to explore these ideas further, I encourage you to check out my free workshop at burnedinteacher.com/workshop. This workshop will delve into the mindset shifts necessary for handling challenges in a healthier manner.



  1. Reflect on the 7-Pillars of your life with these questions: 
    1. What are you doing that personally brings you joy?
    2. What are you doing to physically take care of yourself?
    3. What are you doing to stimulate yourself intellectually?
    4. How are you taking care of yourself - emotionally?
    5. How are you taking care of yourself -  spiritually? 
  2. Find something to read that inspires you.  I highly suggest you check out Blinkist - click here to get your 7-day FREE trial
  3. Take your first step towards burnout by signing up for my FREE Masterclass: How to Beat Teacher Burnout Even When It Seems Impossible.



The Work-Life Balance Myth by David McNeff



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