The Garrett Learning newsletter. Worklife imbalance and dogs – July 2023


First things first, what’s been happening at Garrett Learning?


I’m on another level at the moment, I’m growing and developing my knowledge in all different directions. I’m on a continuous learning cycle. This month I attended a Doggy First Aid course. Meet Jeff! I had a great day fussing him! He was a fantastic canine support instructor! 

I love learning and these skills will be extremely valuable as the summer holidays are here and my family members will drop off their beloved pooches to me as they jet off on holiday. The dogs will have a mighty fine time with ‘Aunty Wendy’. I absolutely love the company of dogs and I will benefit from all the extra walks/breaks I will take throughout the day.  


Let’s talk about work-life imbalance!

Have you mastered the art of work-life balance yet? If so, please share your secrets with us! Or do you feel it is another unnecessary pressure we place upon ourselves?


There are increasing demands of life, looking after children, elderly parents, running the home, working, and managing a business. Plus we should try and fit in all the ‘good stuff’ that we’re told to do to keep us well: exercise, eat healthy, connect with others, take a break, rest, reflect and fit in a lunch break away from the desk. All of this should fit neatly into 24 hours! 

The pressure of managing a ‘work-life’ balance can feel like an impossible and unrealistic goal – what does it look like anyway? It’s going to be different for everyone. 

There is an ongoing debate on whether we are managing work-life balance. CIPD reports 60% of people surveyed working longer hours than they want to and 24% over-work by ten or more hours a week, which is causing disruption to family life and they reported that they find it hard to switch off. 

(Read the full article here:

We could find ourselves in a negative cycle, if we aren’t managing to switch off, rest and reflect, this could have a negative impact on our sleep. If we don’t sleep well, the knock-on effect is that it’s difficult to perform well at work. This will hugely impact your business/organisation: reduced efficiency and productivity, leading to staff absence, presenteeism, and therefore impacting the bottom line; sick pay, high turnover, the associated recruitment costs and grievances.  

There are signs of poor work-life balance: 

  • Starting the working week tired and exhausted
  • Feeling irritable 
  • Complaints about workload and ‘not getting everything done’, but struggling to focus
  • Missing personal commitments due to work
  • Not prioritising medical appointments over work. For example, not attending medical appointments as ‘I’m at work’
  • Frequently working overtime shifts
  • Not taking annual leave

When I was 23, I found myself working 50-60 hours a week, sleeping with a notebook and pen by the side of my bed to capture my work related thoughts as I woke throughout the night. I never switched off from work. I didn’t take any annual leave in the first year as I thought it would impress my boss as I’m so ‘hard working’ and therefore be offered a promotion. The promotion didn’t come, I was completely exhausted, burnt out and ended up handing in my notice.  

Can we break the cycle? – We certainly can try!

  • Manage annual leave – if you/your team haven’t taken any time off in a while, encourage them to book in a break. People often return to work refreshed and raring to go!
  • The introduction of well-being plans will identify what the individual wants and needs to be physically and mentally well. Check out for an Wellness Action Plan template. 
  • Adapting a flexible approach to work, including hours worked and the location, allows employees to work around their personal schedules; which will reduce stress and help manage the increasing demands of life.   
  • The ‘four-day working week’ (I’m a personal fan of this idea!) 

The UK Campaign is currently being trialled and hopes to improve employee well-being by compressing the hours worked into four days without affecting pay and benefits.  

At Garrett Learning we can help train your team to spot signs of poor mental health with the MHFA England Mental Health programmes. The current open course dates are as follows:

Book here: 

Three tips on improving work-life balance:

  • Anyone that knows me, knows that I absolutely love holidays! Book some time off, change location for this break if you can. Try to switch off from work, take that all-important ‘you time’. On the last trip I went on, I left my laptop at home! Next time I will also try to leave my phone.
  • Plan your working week. Schedule start and end times, including breaks. Eat lunch away from your work area.  Add in appointments. Block out time to work on tasks. Reduce the number of times you check your emails (if it’s really important they will call you). Add in your leisure time or family activities. Unplug from technology. Try some of these ideas and reflect on how it makes you feel. 
  • Book in a workcation (work from another location) – take yourself away, alone or with likeminded friends/colleagues, change of scenery, and imagine a view of the sea, countryside or the mountains. This break from the normal routine will do wonders for your creativity, productivity and wellbeing, as well as collaborating and re-connecting with people! (I’m taking my own advice here as next week I’m off to Weymouth for a workcation – more on that next month!)   

Remember there is no ‘perfect work-life’ balance. It’s about how you feel and when you perform at your best without it impacting your mental and physical health. 

Want to find out more about how Garrett Learning can help you??

Garrett Learning creates welcoming, memorable, and learner-focused learning experiences to reach individual and business goals.  

Book a discovery call with us to see how Garrett Learning can offer:


  • Lunch and learn workshops
  • MHFA England Programmes  Open courses
  • Bespoke training 
  • 1:1 well-being strategy development
  • Business mentoring


Chat with Wendy: Book a call

We (Wendy and her growing team!) are here for you when you need us. We are here to hear you! We are kind in nature and open to hearing everyone’s point of view. Our training and overall learning experiences are built to ensure you feel comfortable and can be yourself. 

If you want to discuss your future plans, we’d love to hear them! Get in touch!

​m: 07859 878 599

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