Without This, Work Life Balance is Impossible and You will Burn Out

Elissa Teal Watson
3 min readDec 29, 2021


3 Mindsets and Work Life Balance

Fiona the Firefighter

If you experience a lot of stress in your relationships and you feel like you have little influence over your schedule, I guarantee that you don’t enjoy a good work life balance. You probably say yes to most requests that are brought to you and your wellbeing is suffering because you don’t have the time or energy to take good care of your own needs. You probably feel like a pinball in a machine or like a fire fighter putting out the metaphorical fires that seem to happen all around you. You are on the road to burn out, my friend. Keep reading!

Cheryl the Chauffeur

If you have a long checklist of things on your to-do list and you do get a lot of things done, you might feel like work life balance is within your grasp. However, even though you feel some sense of accomplishment because you do get a lot of things done, you still feel exhausted and somewhat unfulfilled. You may feel like a chauffeur who is helping everyone else get to where they need to be, but your needs are still often neglected. If you’re being honest with yourself, you may even feel some resentment because you seem to be the one who does “everything for everyone” without much help from them. This way of showing up is way I call the “slow burn”.

If you want a fulfilling work life balance, you need to uplevel your mindset.

In the first paragraph, I described a reactionary mindset. In the second paragraph, I described a proactive mindset which is certainly better, but the key is moving to a leadership mindset.

Edna the Managing Editor

A person with a fulfilling work life balance has the leadership mindset similar to that of the Managing Editor of a Daily Newspaper.

A managing editor has a clear vision, goals, big picture perspective and she works with others to bring the vision to fruition. She plans, collaborates, analyzes, evaluates, delegates, etc. She has to be good with people and inspire them to bring their own strengths and creativity to table. She has to make tough calls on what to include and exclude from the day’s paper because she cannot say yes to everything. She must make sure that what is included is in alignment with the goals of the publication.

Develop a Leadership Mindset

Like Edna, if you want a fulfilling work life balance, you must develop a leadership mindset. You must spend time evaluating requests and decide if they are high quality or if they should be eliminated or delegated. You must say no to things that are not a win/win for you and the requestor. You must work to inspire teamwork both at work and at home. You must tap into your own and others’ strengths and creativity to create a fulfillment in all areas of your life.

By developing a leadership mindset to improve your work life balance, you will gain influence over your schedule and you will feel less stress in your relationship. Developing a leadership mindset and changing your long-time habits and behaviors won’t happen overnight. I encourage you to work with your mentor, coach, or accountability partner to check in with regularly about how you are developing a leadership mindset for improved work life balance.

You may be interested in reading some of my previous posts about work life balance. Click on my profile to find those posts. If you find this post and my other posts valuable, please subscribe and to be notified of my upcoming posts.



Elissa Teal Watson

I write about mindset, emotional intelligence, self-care, productivity, habits, career, and relationship management.