Episode 187 | Reclaim Your Life | Mel Kettle

How to reclaim your life from the hysterical demands of the modern workplace

How to reclaim your life from the hysterical demands of the modern workplace.

If you feel like your job is grinding you into dust – you are not lone.

An alarming percentage of us feel like our work is keeping our anxiety levels disturbingly high, keeping us from doing the things we love and spending quality time with the people we care about.

Our work is knocking our lives out of shape.

Sometimes it feels like we humans have taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way and we’re following a path where priorities are completely out of whack – the important things are pushed to the side for the hysterical demands of the modern workplace.

And often – and this is the worst bit – we accept it as just the way things are. And we struggle on.

It’s wrong and we know it.

My guest in this episode is Mel Kettle. Mel knows about a life knocked into the wrong shape as well as anyone.

But she’s done something about it. Her brand new book is called Fully Connected – How great leaders prioritise themselves, reclaim their energy and find joy.


Lessons Learned

Mel’s Mission

Mel is on a mission to help people understand that if they don’t put themselves first – prioritise their health, understand what their boundaries are, and enforce them as much as possible – then they too could be on the edge of a stroke at 30.

All great leaders prioritise themselves so they are clear headed and energetic.

A very human foible

Why do we humans keep grinding ourselves into the dirt for the sake of activities that we don’t enjoy and that we know are ephemeral in value – .i.e working from 6am to 7pm? Always making ourselves available to our work, putting our family, our health and the things we actually enjoy doing, last. And very quickly forgetting who we are as a person, because we’re stuck on this awful treadmill…

Why are we so willing to do that?

  • We are trying to build a career
  • We work in organisational cultures that value ‘time at the desk’

But the good news is that it’s changing. The past couple of years have given people the opportunity to think about what is truely important to them in their lives.

Some people are just not prepared to put up with the ‘grind into the dusk’ work model – because they’ve had health scares or other jolting wake-up calls.

2020 gave us a change to glimpse the other side. We’ve had more time with our families through the pandemic – because we’re not commuting or travelling for work – we’ve realised how much we love the people in our life.

The pandemic has lead to the ‘great resignation’ and ‘quiet quitting’.

I want my life back!

What if we’re not ready to make the (admirable) wholesale change in our career – like becoming a delivery driver? We want/need to stay in our current job but we want to take steps to GET MY LIFE BACK?

  1. Make a list of the things in your job that are giving you the ‘ground into dust’ sensation
  2. Talk to someone in your workplace about changing some of those things – at least one of them
  3. You might think ‘I really want to keep working at this level, but this job is not for me,’ and take a sideways step in or outside your organisation
  4. Assess – what are the things you love doing in life and how can you find time EVERY DAY to do something that brings you joy. Infuse more joy into your life

What role do organisations play?

We’re trying to solve these problems from an individual point of view – which is appropriate because only we will genuinely care for our life and wellbeing. But what about the organisational level – what could they do?

  • Research tells us that when leaders prioritise themselves, they are happier and healthier at work. The flow-on effects within their organisation are teams that are more aligned, more engaged and feel like they belong. 
  • When people feel like they belong at work we have greater focus, greater productivity and higher profit.

Isn’t that enough reason for organisations to genuinely encourage individuals to look after their well-being?

Nuggets of gold:

  1. Go to the doctor for a check up – blood pressure, full health check – the works. Because if you’ve been feeling under pressure for a period of time there is little doubt it’s had an impact on your health.
  2. Find something to do every day that you love. Don’t make excuses – create the time – make it happen – it’s essential for your quality of life. Giving yourself something to look forward to increases your quality of life.
  3. Work out your priorities – get very clear about what matters in you world. That will make it easier for you to say ‘yes’ to the right things and ‘no’ to everything else.

Connect with Mel:

 Mel Kettle is an internationally recognised coach, mentor, speaker, facilitator and author. She works at the intersection of communication and leadership to help senior executives, boards, business owners and leaders create real connection and sustained engagement, so they can lead themselves, lead aligned teams and lead cultures of belonging. Mel is also committed to helping women and organisations better understand the impact of menopause in the workplace. 

  • www.melkettle.com/ 
  • LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melkettle/ 
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/melkettle 
  • Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/melkettle/ 

Connect with David: 

David Frizzell on Linkedin

David Frizzell on Twitter


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