Posts Tagged ‘priorities’

Work-life, a balance?

May 2nd, 2017
How can I maintain a healthy work-life balance? How do I fit family in when I run a business?

Are you working from home a lot?

Do Two things

Maybe it’s not all about balance, but more about priorities.   The famous happiness study says we need to do two things: manage stress and have good relationships.


What are your values?

Therefore, when we look at the work-life balance question, it is important for us to remember that first contemplating our personal and professional values can help us by setting us up for success. This first step will help us to decide on what is important, and then it will help us to set reachable goals on how to spend our time. This reflection process will make it easier to set and keep time boundaries in our ministry. First let’s look at our values.


Some questions

Here are some questions to consider. Where’s your passion? What’s most important for you and what’s second most important? Then, what are your personal and professional development priorities? Finally, how are all these priorities shown in how you spend your daily time, your weekly time, and your monthly time? Before you can really answer these questions, though, your values need to be clearly defined.
Family as a help and not a problem

I personally believe that prioritizing your family and home life is vital for your personal well-being. Your family members, at least the ones you live with, are the people you are hopefully the most genuine with, so they see your human cracks and faults, and yet they still love and support you and your work. Also, if you put family and home-life first, your family members will sense this and they will support you even more. And, you will become a strong working unit, a tool for reaching all your goals. Your family then can aid your work rather than being seen as energy taking and taking time away from it. Also, this putting your primary relationships first is one of the “happiness study rules”.   Just saying.


Talk about it

Say what you want and need. Also, when we are thinking about our work and life priorities you should speak out your expectations and welcome talks about expectations from family members and working colleagues. When it comes to juggling values and goals, real life is not that easy. There are many expectations that need to be brought out into the open and to be discussed in a healthy manner. It is often where hidden expectations are found that stress and relationships, both personal and professional, abound.


Some more questions

What are your expectations regarding your work and your family? What are your work’s expectations? What are your spouse’s and your children’s expectations? All of these, spoken and unspoken expectations, need to be addressed. You need to sit down with all of your people and take time to explore their and your expectations. It is often true that we don’t even know our expectations until they are fully explored. This could take some time to get through and will more likely have to be repeated on a regular basis, say at least two or three times a year, and then of course before any major changes.



Set your boundaries. Then let me ask you, where are your work and home boundaries? Do you work from home, either full-time, or, like many entrepreneurs I know, part of the time? Then, you will need to set some boundaries for yourself and for your family if you are to succeed. These boundaries would at least include the working rules, the space, the hours, and the exceptions.



·       Here are some ideas: use your agenda (calendar). That means first you have to schedule unscheduled time. You need to have space in your agenda for blocks of time with God and for reflective space.

Set boundaries when you need to that fit all parties involved

·       Second, you need to schedule time with your family and most important relationships, of course. You need to take your agenda and schedule real time with your family, preferably daily, but at least weekly, and a few longer blocks monthly. You also need to know when important things are happening with your family and schedule to be there. For example, an important doctor’s appointment, a concert or recital, a ceremony, a visitor’s day at school. The list goes on and on.


I, for example, took the three-day weekend off, as yesterday was Labor Day (in Switzerland). But what about the unexpected? We need to expect and even prepare for interruptions. We need to be able to say no and yes at the right times by keeping in mind our priorities. When we expect and prepare for interruptions in our schedule, we can act accordingly. It will help us to act and not react because we have already thought of the possibility of being interrupted. This preparation will also keep us calmer and more in control of our daily schedule.


I hope this blog has helped you to consider the why your family in whatever form it takes needs to be a priority, and then find some solutions as to how to make time for them. Don’t give up. Keep trying new solutions and you will find what works best for you and your family with your work’s situation.


Have a great week!

Patricia Jehle



Manifesta 11 What People do for Money

July 23rd, 2016

What people do for Money: a visit to the Manifesta 11 in Zürich


What do you do for money?

This is a very provocative question, when considered from different angles. First is the question of occupation, but then there follows all sorts of value-oriented issues.

A fellow art lover and I took the opportunity to visit the exhibition recently. We spent a good part of a day going from site to another, and I think we both felt that, at the end of our day, we should have tried to see more. But my human body was done, the brain, back and feet cried, “Enough!” Two days would have been better, I think. But I will go back and visit some of the ventures and perhaps go to an open air film, or two. Below is some quick info from the M11 website:


“Manifesta was conceived in the early 1990s as a nomadic, European biennial of contemporary art, responding to the new social, cultural and political reality that emerged in the aftermath of the Cold War. Following a desire to explore the psychological and geographical territory of Europe and to provide a dynamic platform for cultural exchange throughout the region, it takes place every two years in a different European city. Along with the Venice Biennale and documenta in Kassel, Manifesta is one of the foremost art events in Europe

Manifesta 11, with its theme What People Do for Money: Some Joint Ventures, focuses attention on the relation between artistic work and labour. In our post-industrial age, it is a concept that resonates acutely with life not only in Zurich but in the rest of the world.”

A building on the Water

My friend and I began the exhibit with the floating building called the Pavillion of Reflections on Lake Zürich. I do recommend this, as you can see films of the different pieces of art and the conception and making of them. Unfortunately the films in total last for something like seven hours, so we were only able to see two. But we were very lucky, in that the film on the butterfly in the Wasserkirche was one of the two films we were able to watch. I have to admit that this was my favorite one, perhaps because of the film, and perhaps because of the beauty of the butterfly and the meaning of the whole exhibit in the church.


A whole day of sights and sounds… and smells… 

We also visited the Helmhaus, the Dada museum (Zunfthaus Voltaire), and the Löwenbräukunsthaus and I found several of those exhibits particularly moving, not always positively, but definitely thought-provoking. One that was moving in many ways was the room full of waste, human waste. An artist had taken a day’s worth of human waste from the city water-treatment plant. 400,000+ people’s waste, dried and put in hay-bail sized cakes. The enormity of this makes me think about what it would look like for a week, a month… We humans do affect our environment in so many ways and this one was made very visible.

The sights, sounds, and smells accomplished what was meant to be: I was moved, in thought and emotion. So many more artists and takes on the question of what one does for money and with money can be discussed and written about. But not here, and not now. Go and experience it for yourself, instead.

Do visit!

So, what are your values, especially towards money? Are you willing to consider other people’s view points and experiences? The Manifesta will challenge you, and leaving one’s comfort zone is almost always a good thing.


Happy visiting,

Patricia Jehle


April 22nd, 2016

Celebrating ENOUGH


The Healthy Enough

Ten years ago I was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. It was a rough time, but I am fine, so far. For that I thank God.


Four years ago I had a motorcycle accident in Thailand and then was dealing with frozen shoulder and a bone that wouldn’t mend in my upper left arm for about 18 months. It sounds rather out-of-character for me to have been on a motorcycle in Thailand, but that is how one travels there. And until that moment, it had been pretty fun. I have even gotten back on a motorcycle since then- again in N. Thailand, seated behind a trusted friend.


Every year my allergy season/cold season seems to drag on from January to June. This year I even had pneumonia for the first time in my life. My friend Jim tells me that having pneumonia is what it feels like to have COPD. Well, I am thankful that I don’t have that!


Yet, I am functional enough. Aside from being pretty much written off from work during the chemo and being off work right after my motorcycle accident, I have been working even in the midst of being not so well. I have been well enough. Despite the multitude of doctor visits, which still continue to this day, I am able to participate and enjoy my daily life, most of the time.


My neighbor says that health is the most important thing, but I would disagree. It is great thing, but good enough health allows me to be a part of my family, social environs, and work just fine. I have a few friends who are quite a bit more (seriously) ill than I at the moment and they know what is most important: family, friends, and being grateful in the moment for the moment.


The wealthy Enough

I have a financial planner friend who always counsels people not to spend money on things they can’t afford to impress people they don’t like. How much stuff is enough? Do I really need that 8th pair of work trousers? What about that shirt in blue? I have three other blue shirts. I remember being told in college that one is rich when one can decide on which clothes to wear that day. I don’t know about you, but I am exceedingly rich by that definition, maybe not by “society’s” definition. But I certainly have way enough.


The well done enough

Every week I look at my long to do list and prioritize, depending on due dates, on energy levels, and on what I would prefer to do. Every week that to do list gets partially done, but not fully. When is it good enough? When do I have to stop and literally, or figuratively, smell those roses? Most of us, especially those of us who are self-starters, have an incredibly high standard set for ourselves. We need to know when it is good enough, when we can stop and celebrate the things we have done.


I live in a culture that idolizes perfectionism. Perhaps you do, too. Yesterday I had to wait at the doctor’s office for about ten minutes. Not so long. But she excused herself at the end of the visit. I said that it was no problem and she responded, “after all we are all only human”. That is more than good enough! Let us celebrate our humanity this weekend by giving ourselves a break! Have a wonderful time being human!


Take good care of yourselves, enjoy the weather (at least in Switzerland, I will say, while it lasts), and be grateful for all those good enough things- that are really good, and enough!


Patricia Jehle



Happy New Year! What’s new?

January 5th, 2016

Happy 2016! My wish for you is that you have MORE of what really counts in this coming year!


I am really excited about what is happening and what I will be involved in in the upcoming months. What’s on your plate? Here is what’s on mine:


A look at my first semester of 2016, through June, and what I am looking forward to:


New Alpha Groups starting in Zürich and Baden/Brugg: To say that I am thrilled about the new groups and their businesses is a real understatement. I am so pleased to help their companies grow in a REAL and effective way. January 14th is the BIG day for the Zürich group!


New Clients

I have always tried to “graduate” clients- it is the idea when one coaches for solutions: the clients should come and go- so at this moment, some are going, and some are coming. Each person is such a pleasure to coach and to see the change in their lives.


ETAS Conference: I still love teaching (see below) and that means I keep up with my (local) professional group.


New semester of teaching Business Communication: This semester it is teaching introduction to business communication and teaching negotiation, four classes, in all.


A wedding: There could be more than one coming up, but one is confirmed. I love weddings, the fun, the potential for life, and the joy. I can hardly wait!


A leadership conference and a writers’ conference in one weekend: never say I lead a dull life! I still enjoy writing- A LOT!


Teaching a Coaching (for coaches to coach expat start-ups) Workshop: This short course is for potential coaches and those coaches who are looking into either expat start-up coaching or start-up coaching, in general. This course dovetails nicely with The Alpha Groups.


Coaching Meets Research Conference: I went two years ago and went away challenged and energized, so I expect no less from this year.


So, my life has a bit more in it this year. What more would you like to do? Sometime in July I will turn down the burner for a few weeks and think a lot, and all the previous work will balance the time of reflection and rest.Unknown

The weather outside may be frightful, but I am doing well

December 6th, 2015

The Advent Season (and the month of December) is well into swing and though the weather outside may be frightful, my home and mood have been quite delightful. Here are some reasons why:


I am downsizing my expectations


Good enough is really good enough for me this December. I don’t know about you, but I often have too high of expectations- on my self, on others and on what this season should/could/would bring.


My expectations have had to re-adjust over the years as job, family situation, and physical abilities have changed. When our babies were little I arose very early and wrote Christmas cards and used their nap times for baking cookies. As my working hours increased, I was less able to bake and the focus became more the children’s school programs (and there were lots of those shows, markets, and concerts) Now I notice that I have less available energy at this time of year and I must be careful with what I promise to myself and others.


I am focusing on the positive, despite the negatives


I am working on my hope level this season, lighting that first advent candle of hope most days, and now the second candle of peace has been lit, too. I hope for many things this season: peace on Earth is still the number one, but there are many more personal hopes, too: for loved ones to enjoy the season, though someone else is now “missing” in their lives, for my kids to do well on semester exams that are soon starting, for safe travels for all I know this coming holiday season.


Also, I choose to see the positive in all people this Advent and Christmas season. There may be shootings and terrorist attacks, but this month, I will think of everyone as a “potential friend” and not as an enemy, despite their seeming differences of philosophy, politics, race, creed, etc. I choose to see every person as a fellow human with the potential to change and grow and succeed positively for the good of all.


I am also choosing positive things to do that I enjoy and feel good about.


Today in Switzerland is St. Nicholas Day. I really like this day for a couple of reasons: it keeps Christmas focused on the real Gift of the holiday and it keeps Christmas less commercial. But even more t hat, December 6th is a day for all of us in Switzerland to eat bread people (Griitibänz), drink hot chocolate, eat mandarins and enjoy one another’s company. So, to celebrate, I’ve made a couple of kilos of bread-people dough and baked some people, but also rolls to give out at a couple of Advent events our family is involved in this weekend. I didn’t have to do this; nobody expects it and so I get to do it for fun.


I also volunteered this past Thursday at the annual senior dinner in town. Not only do I get to serve my delightful neighbors a great meal, but I get to chat with some of them and enjoy the program prepared for them. This event has become a highlight of my December activities since moving into the Swiss countryside. I don’t ever have to do it, but I choose to do it and enjoy every minute of the service.


Finally, I am making my list and getting it done


Making sure that enough is my goal, my list is much shorter and I am getting it done. This, in turn, makes me feel like I can accomplish everything and I don’t lie under a heavy “to do before Dec. 24 list”. I feel freer and happier because of it, which leads to thankfulness and so I am thankful for all the days I have to do the things I want and choose to do.


What about you? Are you shortening and accomplishing your lists, focusing on the positives, doing things that make you happy and being grateful for each day? I hope so!


For more about me, you can visit: www.jehle-coacing.comIMG_1332


October 13th, 2015

Truth Believe Act Feel

I wish those four words turned into an acronym, but alas, no.

However, even without an acronym, they are a wise way of processing thoughts and actions. When I take a truth, such as you are a unique human being of worth, and then decide to believe and act on that truth, my feelings of self-worth should increase. That is a good process.

This process of checking our thoughts and feelings according to what is true may keep us from inaccurate thoughts and poor choices.

One Truth: We Can Change

One of the truths about us humans besides our innate worth is our ability to change and learn. Thus I can say that I am able to change my habits and learn new healthier ones. This is a truth that I can believe about myself and about the person facing me.   What a liberating though, and it is completely true!

Believe it!

When I believe that change is part of our human abilities, all sorts of possibilities open up for me, for you, for the person in front of me. Wow, what would you like to change? I don’t mean physical appearance and other superficial things. I mean, would you like to be more organized? You can be! Would you like to be a “go-getter”? Well then, you can be! Would you like to… the possibilities are great. But you must take that truth, I can change, to heart and really believe it.

Act on it!

Then, take that belief and put it to the test. Act like it is true. You have to start moving, trying and trying again. There is work in change. It’s not just a mindset, but a way of living. Thus, to become organized, you have to start organizing and setting up some systems of organization. It’s not “magic”, it’s thinking and acting in new ways. It’s learning and changing. It’s a process. And you must start somewhere and then move to change.

The feelings will follow.

When I start working on the change I want, the probability of a failure must be accepted. We all fail and then what happens after the failure is key. We must look at that failure, and not punish ourselves, but really look at it, reflect on it, learn from it, and take it into consideration for “the next time”. When we feel that it is okay to make mistakes, to fall down and get back into the “ring of life”, we are going to make the change we want. We who learn from our mistakes are the ones who succeed in the end.

I have to admit that it is easy to write this blog where I am today- somewhere on a Canary Island, off the coast of Africa. The sun is warm, the surf is loud, and the tourist season hasn’t really started, at least not here, yet. I will be back to the whole Truth Believe Act Feel process in just a few days, but for today, I am only in reflection mode. A break is always good for reflection.

So, what are you believing about yourself  and your work today?

Patricia at

the way to do it:  decide on the truth, believe it, act on it, and let feelings follow

the way to do it: decide on the truth, believe it, act on it, and let feelings follow

My new ad-VENTURE with The Alpha Group International

September 15th, 2015

Last week my eyes were opened to a world of new opportunity, for me, for my clients, for many others. In Bucharest I was trained to be a Regional Director of The Alpha Group (TAG, not the Alpha Course out of Holy Trinity Brompton). So here is an imaginary conversation about TAG, perhaps with you.

TAG logo 3

What is TAG?

According to the founder based in, it is the most effective method of business growth available for SMEs globally. It is, “Peer-to-peer mastermind advisory boards targeted at business owners and managers helping them continue to thrive and to make it to the “next level” wherever that may be for them.“


So who is it for?

SME owners or leaders, one per industry per board, simple as that. If you own or run a hotel, you are the only one allowed on your board so you don’t have to worry about competition. The board members commit themselves to helping the businesses of all board members grow and thus it is a real synergetic concept. Of course one must be open honest and keep all issues in “the board room”.


But I am not an SME owner.

Your clients may be SMEs and would benefit from such an advisory board. Thus, you could gain business value by referring your clients to TAG. Also, you may be interested in becoming a Regional Director (RD) yourself. I am currently recruiting RDs.


Why are you so excited about TAG?

SMEs are the backbone of an economy. In this way I am helping my local businesses, and therefore the local economy, succeed. This makes me very happy, indeed. Also, I am recruiting RDs who can do the same thing in their cities and regions, thus I am helping the general economy. The economy needs every little bit of help it can get, as we all know.


So, I am interested in more information. What is my next step?

Any way you call it, you need to contact me, either at or


Join The Alpha Group, double your business value in three years by motivating and inspiring you in exclusive board meetings; that’s the deal!

Back to work: Too much to do?

August 18th, 2015
The Eisenhower Matrix

The Eisenhower Matrix

I resurfaced last week and found a long list of to dos waiting for me. I used the POSEC and Eisenhower models to help me. Being the practical person that I am, I have kept the “first things first” attitude and worked on the Eisenhower Principal this week. The idea comes from a quote by former US president Eisenhower: “I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.”


This little tool helps me clarify my priorities and delegate the non-essentials. Here’s how it goes:




You have four variables for each task on your to do list: important or not, and urgent (time-wise) or not. That leaves you with the most important jobs that are important and urgent to do first. In the grid, these activities are in red.



Then you have the activities which you put into your agenda and keep. These are the important activities that are not urgent. In the grid you find them in green. I would add all the activities that keep you a healthy and happy person here, as well as the job to-dos.



Since I own my business consultancy and have nobody to delegate to, the orange box means I have to “outsource”. At the moment, this is only the cleaner, my husband or children. But if you are working in a team, have an apprentice, or an employee, the urgent but not important activities are to be delegated.



Finally there are the things from your list that are just “fluff”. Get rid of those things as they are neither urgent nor important and they waste your time.


Once you have your list of to-dos in order of priority, you go on with the POSEC Model


Done, using the Eisenhower matrix J



Decide what are one-time, yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily activities and by importance and urgency, organize your day, week, etc.



The activities hat must be done that you dislike. And, after the DO list do these

to “get them over with”, as they can drain you of energy, if left undone for too long. Here the proverbial “Just do it!” comes in to play.



Do not spend too much time on the fun things so you have no time left over for the DO list Be careful not to waste your time and make sure you are using your best energy time on the your important things and lowest energy time on the less important (but urgent) things.


Contribute to society by doing one or two things that you are passionate about that are for the “greater good”. This, in turn will keep you energized about life and work.


Finally, remember, after your DO list, to do the “worst things” to get them done and not weighing on you, stay positive and take frequent (but short) breaks to keep your mind fresh and focused, and enjoy the summer weather out there!


Got time for holidays?

July 13th, 2015


Skipping the summer vacation?


Although our family is taking less vacation than our normal 3-4 week time away from home in July and August, we will still have some holidays together. How about you?


The temptation is to keep on working


Many of us are tempted to skip summer holidays, or, at least check out work emails daily while at the beach or in the hotel. After all, nobody wants 1,000 emails to go back to work to. But psychologist have found it vital for our health and well-being if we can completely shut down for a while, even if it’s a 48-hour break from emails, and a change of pace and scenery. August is coming up and then September. Have you planned your vacation? Taken it already? Decided to skip it this summer? A quote below shows the importance, or lack thereof, of vacations in different countries:


“The online travel agency Expedia conducted a survey about vacation time in 2010, and according to their data the average American earned 18 vacation days—but only used 14 of them. Every European country included in the survey reported both more vacation days earned and used. France topped the list, with the average worker earning 37 vacation days and using all but two of them. And according to Expedia’s data, only 38 percent of Americans said they used all of their vacation time, compared to 63 percent of French respondents.”


Your physical and mental health depend on R&R


Studies have shown that we need to take time away from the daily schedule of work for our health, whatever that place activity and might be. It is the “other” that causes restoration and growth. For example, new places make new mental neuron synapses grow and rest the overused “pathways” of much used tracks of thinking in our brains.


Not only that, but stress levels are reduced and therefore, productivity increases with a break in work. Employers should be sending their team members away more often just for better productivity—and for better creativity. The employees return to work relaxed and healthier, ready for more challenges to be overcome.


Your need to relax or you might find it difficult to do so later on


It has been shown that, depending on your actual stress level at any point in time, it will take more or less time to unwind and really relax. If you go for too long, it becomes increasingly difficult to wind down. Eventually, you will be unable to “remember how to relax”, and may be in danger of burnout. Therefore, even long weekends with no emails are recommended to keep you “in practice”.



Your family matters, and spending time with family builds the relationship


Finally, it is important to remember that the reason you are working is less important than your relationship with your loved ones. Take the time off to build your relationships with them, doing things you all feel are enjoyable and relaxing. For my family the place and activity is probably going to be rock hunting in the Ticino; for another family or couple it would be another place and pastime. But it is the time spent together in the end that matters, because those are our key relationships.


Just do it.


So, take that time off; limit the amount of time on work-related activities such as emails; do things with those people you love; and mostly, have fun this summer! There is only one Summer of 2015, after all. Enjoy!


Note: I am taking a few weeks off my blog, as most people are on holiday and I will be, too. See you in August! You can still reach me via email at , but I will only be checking my mail 2-3 times per week. Enjoy your summer!


A little Theory to Go with the “Problem”

July 7th, 2015



Last week I argued that we are all a part of the problem, even though we probably don’t want to be. Now I want to look at the “why” question.


Why? Systems, we are part of “the system”!


As a coach, I had to learn a lot about systems theory in my training. This is why I can say I believe that we are all part of the problem. We are part of the problem because we are all part of the systems we are in, big and small. This membership is one of the factors that makes change very difficult and it makes it nearly impossible to have a balanced view of a situation you are in.


Why so? Systems Theory says this:

Ackoff’s definition of a system is a set of two or more elements in relationship one to another that satisfies the following conditions:

The behavior of the elements and their effect on the whole are interdependent. As a simple example, you belong to the marketing department. Anything you do (or don’t do) in this department affects the whole department, but your department is part of the whole company and what your department does affects the company as a whole.

Some basic principles of systems theory are: everything is connected to everything else; you cannot eliminate the observer, even if you want to; most truths are relative (from inside the system); and finally, most views are complementary.

As an example, let’s take the same marketing department. Let’s say that Joe is sick for a month with a ruptured appendix. He then can’t make his sales goals for the quarter, affecting the whole department’s sales goals, which then affects the company’s turnover (everything is connected).

So, what is the principle of complementarity?  Often, raw observation is too detailed and we systematically ignore many details, and also, all our descriptions are partial, filtered by: our perceptual limitations and our personal values and experience, which are biased. In the case of Joe being ill, the exact reason why he did not reach his sales goals may not be known to the upper management, nor may they even care. They just know that the department is behind in sales targets and that this is a problem for the company as a whole. However, Joe’s line manager knows and hopefully cares.*

This is why independent coaches are so important because they are outside of the system and can be less biased, and can see the situations more clearly.


Where does that leave us? So what?


Thus, before you think you are “right”, assume you can’t (or at least totally) be correct. The example with Joe is that the Director of Marketing may or may not know what has happened in the department and may make false assumptions about Joe (Joe is lazy). It is always best to assume that you are biased, but also know that the others are biased, too.


Therefore, rule one for me is: Take yourself and the situation as gracefully and “lightly” as possible. Why?


Because of rule two: Relationships are the value and worth in a system.


Relationships Matter!


The system is made up of the relationships and the quality of the relationships shows the health of the system. The relationships may change in strength, but the relationships are actually the constant of the system, not the situation. The situations change. Therefore, we need to value those relationships over our perceptions of the situation at the moment because even though the situation will change, the elements (read: people) remain.   It’s people that count. It’s the relationships that matter, in the end.


So, even though I really don’t like the children’s song, “Let it go”, we should pay attention to the people, as they “last” and are “real”. The situation will come, and eventually go, so let it.


* summarized and taken from:

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