'Finding Quality - Having a Work-Life Balance' by Mette Tonder


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I will share my story - a real life experience – following previous talks at EuroSTAR about Test Management and stress. The reason why I want to tell my story is that experiences like this hopefully can help fellow Test Managers look at their own life and consider if things are getting “out of hand”. If I can just influence one person to take his or her life up for revision – before he or she ends up in the same situation as I did – I have reached my goal.

From my own experience, I will share with the audience the tools that helped me balance my work with my personal life and helped me gain some perspective on all the things that I had gotten myself involved in (Life wheel, Disney model, etc.). I will also touch on some of the warning signs, that I did not pay that much attention to before I was ill, and that I now try to pay “just enough” attention to without them limiting my work nor my life. I will tell, how expectations – also (mainly) from myself guided my choices and how I still need to be aware of what I engage myself in.

I was (am) striving for (high) quality in both my professional and personal life, wanting to do good at work and at home. But one year ago I was suddenly not able to do anything. For 2½ months I was away from work and it took additional 4 months of part time work, before I was back in “full shape” working full time.

I am the mother of two pre-teens and having a career as a Test Manager consultant – how do I make this work? How did I learn to say “no” to all the exiting things that are out there?

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'Finding Quality - Having a Work-Life Balance' by Mette Tonder

  1. 1. Having a Work-Life BalanceMette TønderEuroSTAR 2011, Manchester UKFinding Quality
  2. 2. Key points• What to take with you when you leave this room:o Ask yourself: Do I experience any of the symptoms that wasmentioned…o Regularly?o Consider what YOU will do about it…o You CAN beat thiso But you might need help doing so…o Where to get helpo Practical things to do to gain control of your own life2
  3. 3. About…• This is my story• Mom, Wife, Test Manager, Daughter, Sister, Tester, Agile, Dogowner, Grand daughter, House keeper, Organizer, Gardener, Carowner, Cook, Department manager, Friend, Networker, Goodlistener, In to details, Extrovert, Hospitable, Colleague, Friendly,Perfectionist, High demands, Don’t want to miss out, Linguist,Open arms, Board member, Reader, Smiling, Helpful, Networkfacilitator, Daughter-in-law, Organized, Lists, Mentor, Married,Sister-in-law, Coordinator, Aunt, Loves traditions, Manager,Relaxed, Outgoing, Structured, Habits.3
  4. 4. I saw the sign…• In hindsight…o Sleep disordero Chest painso Headache/Migraineo Forgetfulnesso Burst into tearso …4
  5. 5. Performance orientedTime pressureImpatienceIrritationDistrustfulAggressionType A BehaviorHelp…• Psychologist Coach• Psychological profile StressProfile ©• Stress Profile © = How you handle stress and workloado Many things I already knew – perfectionist, hard to say “No”, eye fordetails – all the things that help me be good at what I do…o What I did not know was my “Type A behavior” = How I by instinctreact when I do get stressed…5
  6. 6. Help … Overview of my life• Wheel of Life (or Life wheel)21345HusbandWorkLisaEmmas sportsTestManager ClubSisterVolunteerworkFriends6
  7. 7. Help… Setting goals and priorities• The Disney Modelo The Dreamero The Spoilero The RealistThe RealistThe realist is pragmaticand practical.The realistasks, "How, inpractice, could wemake this work?"The SpoilerThe spoiler checks bywondering, "There issomething wrong withthis. What is wrongwith this?"The DreamerThe dreamerrepresentsunrestrained creativity.The dreamer isexemplified in thequestion "If we had noconstraints, whatwould we love to donext?"7
  8. 8. My tool box today• NO!• My family week planner• Outsourcingo Cleaning (external outsourcing)o Cooking (internal outsourcing)Who walks Bella (the dog) in the afternoon?Dinner plansFamily activitiesIndividualactivities8
  9. 9. Toolbox [Continued]• My “brain dump” notepad• Lisa: Vacuum around the house• Plan dinner with friends Saturday• Morten: take Lisa to doctors’ appointmenton Tuesday• Book Pension for Bella w42 (during holiday)• …• Consciousness• Mindfulness9
  10. 10. Wrapping upSelf-insightI choose me!10
  11. 11. Where to learn more• Wheel of Life:http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_93.htm• Disney model:http://www.squidoo.com/waltdisneymodel• Burn-out selftest:http://www.mindtools.com/stress/Brn/BurnoutSelfTest.htm11
  12. 12. Questions or comments?12
  13. 13. Contact information13Mette Tøndermet@testhuset.dkhttp://dk.linkedin.com/in/mettetoender