Category Archives: personal coaching

Nursing Times review of Big When Little When

Here is a recent review of Big When When Little When by Sasha Wallace from
3 June, 2015

Title: Big When, Little When. The guide to restoring work/life balance for health and front-line care professionals

Author: Sasha Wallace

Publisher: Sasha Wallace Horizons

Reviewer: Rebecca Myatt, nurse case manager, thoracic surgery

What was it like?

The author of this short book is a life coach with extensive experience with NHS and other frontline workers. Her aim is to empower care professionals, police officers, nurses and aid workers to design a better quality of life, manage stress effectively, work more efficiently and ultimately pass on the benefits of this knowledge to the public, patients and staff they support.

It is a concise read, divided into small chapters each of which discusses a topic such as understanding stress and avoiding overwhelm. There are then small exercises to focus the reader on where they are currently, where they wish to be and how to achieve that goal.

It is extremely accessible to all individuals who may be questioning their current work/life balance and wondering how to adapt or improve the situation

What were the highlights? 

The highlights are the exercises designed to make you consider important features of your current situation and move these forward. These take the form of lists, reflection, mind mapping and setting time specific goals. They are straightforward, quick to complete and enable the reader to focus on where they are now and where they would ultimately like to be.

Strengths & weaknesses:

This is a short introduction to the process of life coaching. It touches on many important concepts regarding motivation and achieving goals. It is not a substitute for a face-to-face coaching experience but there are contact details for the author at the end of the book if more help is required. There is also the opportunity for a free, 60 minute, telephone consultation to discuss your goals and support your success.

Who should read it?

This could be read by anyone who is looking for insight their current work/life situation and hoping to redress the balance or for those seeking an introduction to life coaching.

Big When Little When - Front Cover
Big When Little When – A Guide to Restoring Work/Life Balance to Health and Front-line Professionals

Stress and your career in the NHS and how MBTI can help.

20121118-010634.jpgIn this week’s blog, we meet Sasha Wallace, founder of The Quality of Life Coaching Practice, who brings a holistic approach to her coaching method; helping clients to recognise and prioritise their mental and physical health, demonstrating how this plays to their professional strengths, and ensuring that a client has moved past a stressful state to where coaching can be most effective. Achieving work/life balance is the message at the core of Sasha’s coaching practice, and results in enabling clients to have the best of both worlds, not just walking a fine line between the two.

What would you do with a few more hours in your day?

Far too frequently we are seduced, or coerced, into spending more time, energy and focus on our work and our careers than on our home lives, our personal interests, or our health and well-being. It follows then that finding the resources within to breathe life into our dreams, goals and aspirations can often become an after-thought, or a never-event. This imbalance is incredibly damaging to our mind-body-spirit patterns, with harmful effects on our relationships, our professional capacity and our sense of self. By uniting these essential aspects we learn the secret to success: That greatness is built on harmony and balance in our life, our communication, and our work.

This is the founding belief that led Sasha Wallace to build The Quality of Life Coaching Practice, and was the central theme of her first book, Big When Little When – The Guide to Restoring Work/Life Balance for Health and Front-line Care Professionals – a short and effective introduction to personal coaching tucked into a handy work-book, with readers reaping the benefits from all of this and more:

Be organised, prepared, informed and in control
Boost your confidence and motivation
Have peace of mind that your own needs are met
Guard against tasks piling up and zapping your energy
Pay due care and attention to your health and well-being
Improve the communication you have with yourself and others
Discover increased self-awareness and personal strength
Enjoy more Quality time!
Sasha’s explains that it was her personal experience of working in challenging corporate environments, unhappy teams, and a stressful redundancy process in the NHS that led her to take a new path into performance and executive coaching in 2011, to understand what gets in the way of people achieving their best; in business, and with each other, and why stress has become such a prolific word in our vocabulary. Sasha was inspired to write the book through working with the amazing teams who support patients and the public in their work, in the belief that by offering a grCertified Logo Final_webeater quality of life for those in healthcare, trauma, and front-line care roles, they will be less stressed, more positive, and able to achieve higher performance, with these benefits being naturally passed on to their colleagues and patients.

While coaching NHS staff around their careers, Sasha hears time and time again the mantra, “I don’t like my job” and “I’m unhappy at work” with the client making the assumption that it must be time to move on….on to the next job, or to start in a new industry entirely, but sometime the issue isn’t the job they are doing but dissatisfaction with the environment they are working in that matters. Through helping her clients explore the environmental factors of their work, Sasha has identified several key issues that come into play such as stress, conflict, time-management, and clarity over responsibilities, and shares some suggestions to work through these here:

Issue 1) Stress

Stress can be the result of many factors and is often blamed on increasing workload and organisational pressure, but we can all help to alleviate the tension immediately by ensuring that a few simple things are in place, and to combat stress before it takes hold.

Are you taking a proper lunch break at work, eating a healthy meal and spending time away from your desk?

Are you getting enough sleep at night and taking regular exercise?

Are you leaving your workplace on time and doing things you enjoy with your spare time?

Take a minute to consider these questions carefully. Starting with your own health and wellbeing puts your needs back at the top of the agenda. Getting these things right will almost certainly give you back the breathing space and the energy you need to tackle whatever the working day throws at you.

Issue 2) Unclear work objectives. Often employees are overwhelmed by their responsibilities or they spend too much time working on the wrong things because they aren’t clear on their role.

Suggestion: Ask your manager for a meeting to go through your job description and get some clarity on the priorities they expect you to fulfil, and agree some clear objectives for what you need to achieve in the year ahead. This will allow you to focus more clearly on the tasks you need to do, and feel more confident about saying ‘No’ to unexpected and last-minute requests.

Issue 3) Time management

The issue of time management is one that affects us all, the emails that never stop, and the meetings that never end, and we often feel we need to work longer hours just to fit it all in. This is an illusion. There are some very simple strategies we can use to manage our time more effectively.

Suggestion: Consider emails for instance. If you are plagued by endless emails and an over-flowing inbox it can be hard to tear yourself away or ever feel like you are making a dent. Try applying the method of the 4 D’s to your emails. Delete, Deal, Defer, Delegate. Firstly, set aside 15 minutes to go through your inbox each morning with only these 4 D’s in mind.

DELETE all spam, junk, promotional material and unsolicited mail.

DEAL with any email that you can reasonably respond to in one to three sentences, and that will take you less than a minute to send.

DEFER any email that requires a response longer than three sentences, or you need to think carefully about, and mark these for attention later.

DELEGATE as many emails that you can, where information or input from others is required, and nurture the skills of your team by asking for their help and entrusting important tasks to them.

Finally set some time aside later in the day, e.g. 60-90 minutes, when you can calmly respond to any emails you have marked in the ‘Defer’ list.

Issue 4) Conflict

Experiencing conflict with team members and managers can be a tough existence and can make even a dream job feel like a nightmare. It can be as simple as the odd disagreement with a co-worker, and can be as complicated and upsetting as bullying.

Suggestion: Don’t despair. Don’t feel like you must leave your job or walk away because there is conflict at work. You have as much right to be there as anyone else and walking away could have a major impact on your self-esteem further down the road. We cannot change how other people behave, we can only change ourselves, so take a moment to consider…

Is there is a different way to respond to the other person’s behaviour?

Are you able to see the situation from the other person’s point of view?

What are your mutual objectives and can finding some common ground help to ease communication?

If you feel the situation is beyond these suggestions or you feel you may be being bullied, then talk to someone, be it your manager, or a colleague, or your HR advisor and allow them to support you. Bullying thrives on silence and control and the only way to tackle bullying is to bring it out into the open.


Once you have examined all the factors of your work environment and still feel there is dissatisfaction then it may be that you’re in the wrong job for you, or working towards something that is not bringing out the best in you, and then the way is clear to explore a new direction and possibly an exciting new career.

Using the world leading psychometric assessment, the ‘Myers-Briggs Type Indicator’ (MBTI) tool, Sasha helps clients to uncover all the aspects and factors that are at play in their current situation and supports them towards greater clarity of where they want to be. Understanding workplace preferences, managing stress, reducing conflict, searching for suitable careers and improving team effectiveness are just a few of the many MBTI type-related applications that can be explored. Sasha’s clients gain a deep understanding of their psychological type and behavioural preferences, and learn to apply this information to work in their favour, helping them to re-pave their career or business pathway towards success.

With offices in London, England, and on the Red Sea in Egypt, Sasha Wallace operates a roving coaching practice, connecting with clients through the web, Skype and telephone. Face to face sessions are held in London, in the esteemed Members’ Lounge of The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank, enjoying panoramic views of the River Thames and the Houses of Parliament.

To find out more about career coaching, life coaching and MBTI coaching, please contact

Work/Life Balance

The astronomical clockWORK/LIFE BALANCE: a statement that we hear so often but what does it really mean? What does it mean to you? Work/life balance is really about TIME and how we choose to parcel it up, or engage with it.

Have you stopped to consider how many phrases humans use to refer to TIME, and just how many carry a negative connotation?

  • Time flies
  • I never seem to find the time
  • Time is running out
  • Time is against me
  • Time is slipping through my fingers
  • There is just never enough time
  • Time is money
  • Time is not on my side

The main problem we are trying to combat with Work/Life Balance is that of being overwhelmed. Getting into a state of ‘overwhelm’, often a stressful state, happens when we can’t manage all the things we feel we ‘should’ be doing.  First of all, we need to analyse the ‘shoulds’ – who says we ‘should’ be focused on this thing or that thing…..often these beliefs are drilled into us as children – by our parents, our teachers, society, and the media. But as we get older, and become adults who can think and decide for ourselves, how many ‘shoulds’ and ‘must dos’ are we carrying around with us like a heavy weight upon our shoulders?

Beliefs such as ‘I should do well’ and ‘I should be successful’ can be positive when they drive us to excel, but if these beliefs stem from our childhood, or translate internally to ‘I must gain approval from others, or else I won’t be good enough’, then these beliefs can be toxic, and worse still can be never-ending, as we search for success on someone else’s terms.

Defining what ‘success’ means to you personally is the key here. Success carries many forms and can even be different things to one person at different times in their life. Having success or being successful can be thought of in terms of money, volume of business, absence of stress, state of physical health, abstinence from alcohol or fatty foods, happiness with a partner, recognition in your trade or skill, relationships with family members, and so on. The values I attach to being successful are likely to be different to those that you hold dear. So this is a personal exploration. Think about these questions.

  •          “Who am I in the most fulfilling life of my dreams?”
  •          “Where do I want to be in 1 year, and 10 years’ time?”
  •          “What do I think about last thing at night?”
  •          “How do I feel when I wake up in the morning?”
  •          “When am I being successful, and is this enough for me?”

The main problem my clients tell me about is that they never ask themselves these questions! They don’t take time for themselves, but instead are focused on meeting the needs of their boss, their kids, their parents and friends, perpetually ticking off the ‘things I MUST do today’ list. They don’t stop to wonder if this is their choice, or their joy, they just carry on, plugging away, and then they find themselves in a state of stress, or fatigue, or ill health.

The solution, as I see it, is simple. You must start putting your own needs first. Only when you are looking after yourself can you really be of any use to other people. Please note: This is not an act of selfishness. This is a conscious and smart choice to take a step back, take a breath and reflect on what is important for you. A rare, but golden opportunity to restore some balance within. Here are some simple ways this can be achieved. You may come up with some of your own as you read these.

1) Set aside a fixed amount of time (e.g. 20 minutes) to read emails and then stop (maybe flagging some of them for action later) – but don’t check them all day long (a bad habit I used to have!)

2) Learn to say the word ‘NO’ when asked to take on extra responsibilities, at work and at home; you don’t need to justify why, just quietly say, “I’m sorry but I don’t have the time right now”.

3) If you find Number 2 really hard, start by saying “Can I just think about that and let you know in 5 minutes/1 hour / when I’m in front of my diary. Take the time to consider if you can manage it. If you can, what other tasks in YOUR schedule can you dispense with, so that you can help them with theirs. And if you can’t then, try Number 2.

4) Spend one night a week doing what you want to do – go to a gig, or out for dinner with a friend, get carried away with a good book, have a relaxing bath with music and candles, or put your feet up in front of the TV with a glass of wine; don’t check your emails, let all calls go to voicemail and only ring back if it’s an emergency

5) Whether you work or not, don’t plan all your free time, to be somewhere, doing something, or with someone. This can be more difficult if you have children, but certainly, leave a bit of unplanned space in your diary, one night a week (see number 4) or one weekend a month, just so that you have some breathing space.

6) Look after your health – True balance in life and work is only achievable if you are getting regular exercise, eating well, and sleeping well. You do not have to embark on a hard regime of heavy exercise and dieting, but small changes in your routine can work wonders for your overall health and energy levels – start swimming once a week, drink 2 more glasses of water per day than you do now, go to sleep one hour earlier, avoid carbohydrates after 6pm, walk up the stairs at work instead of taking the lift.

10) Set exciting goals for yourself – ones that have nothing to do with work to ensure that you are satisfying your personal needs and desires. Set goals that challenge you mentally and physically and relate to you as an individual, not in your role as mum, or colleague, or boss. It might be planning a walking tour in the Cotswolds, training for a marathon, attending an evening class, or making your own clothes.

Once you start to take some time for yourself, you may just find the time to stop and consider those WHO, WHERE, WHAT, HOW, WHEN questions again, and then actually do something about them!

We embark on this very exciting world of goal setting in my book, BIG WHEN LITTLE WHEN. You can buy the paperback for £5.99 + p & p, or even download the E-Book for FREE.

Please visit the website to get your copy:


The Well Formed Outcome

Throughout my training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) I found one
technique in particular to hold a certain power over me, to shine a search light on the dark recesses of my sub-conscious, and bring shocking clarity to my essential driving force, and then push me to reach new horizons. Now that I’m a NLP Practitioner myself, I really enjoy introducing this exercise to my clients. From the outside it just looks like 14 questions, but they are structured in a very specific way, and can produce incredible results, especially where behavioural change is required, or sufficient motivation is needed to achieve a desired goal.

I would like to share it here so that you may feel it’s power for yourself. Even if NLP is new to you, you will find this an effective and interesting tool to generate the motivation to achieve that big goal, or change that unwanted behaviour. 

Continue reading The Well Formed Outcome

It’s Easy to Reach Your Goals (If You Know How)

Big When E-Zine LogoJanuary is behind us and 2013 is officially in full swing. Have you stuck to your resolutions?

We all set goals at the start of the new year; mostly to improve our health, our job prospects, our relationships, and our lifestyle. In fact a massive 70% of us set resolutions in January, but only a mere 20% of us are still going strong at the start of February.  Do you know why this number is so low?

The reason is most people don’t have a game plan to achieve them; yes they really do want to reach their goals, but that just isn’t enough.

Continue reading It’s Easy to Reach Your Goals (If You Know How)

Read the latest industry review of Big When, Little When

Big When Little When - Front Cover
Big When Little When – A Guide to Restoring Work/Life Balance to Health and Front-line Professionals

My book, and the catalyst for this blog, Big When Little When, has just received this review from a surgeon I worked with when I was coordinating training courses on Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) at The Royal College Of Surgeons of England. I am truly delighted to see my work having such an impact on the very audience it was written for.

“A brilliant book!! Taking control of your life by understanding your priorities, setting meaningful goals & sticking with them is a challenging process. Fortunately with “Big When, Little When”, Sasha takes our hand and with her relaxed, yet confident & enthusiastic style, guides us through each step. Thought provoking, real life questions combined with encouraging reassurance. I would encourage anyone who is looking to improve the overall balance in their life to read this book and put it into action.”

Peter Campbell
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, York

12 Questions You Should Ask When Choosing a Coach


Here is an insider peek at my Insider Report

12 Questions You Should Ask When Choosing a Coach.

It is absolutely imperative that you find a coach that feels right for you, and is well suited to your needs. Don’t enter into this lightly!

Here are the first 3 questions…….

1. What qualifications and experience does this coach have?

Investing in a coach is an important decision, in fact it’s a life-changing decision, so you want to ensure that you are selecting someone who has invested in their own development as a coach. Since coaching is still an un-regulated industry anyone can call themselves a coach, so it is wise to be cautious and finding someone who has a recognised qualification and some practical experience is the best place to start. Any reliable and professional coach should be happy to show you their qualifications if you wish to see them.

Continue reading 12 Questions You Should Ask When Choosing a Coach

Foundations: Part 2 of 3 – Mind…..the mental foundation

It can be tiring finding enough brain food to stimulate and satisfy my ever-growing mental appetite but it’s a commitment I adore and cherish and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I couldn’t be content watching mind-numbing TV every night; sometimes a relaxing night in is called for but that’s just to vary my routine (and I do devour about 5-10 movies per week so that nourishes my imagination no end).

Because I operate on a very high energy frequency I need to monitor my work/life balance levels (and it is precisely this careful control of my own behaviour and schedule that makes me an expert work/life balance coach.) In the next part of this blog series I’ll tell you how I compliment all of this activity with the spiritual and emotional foundations of relaxation and rest.

In the last two weeks I have engaged in all of these activities, many of them taking place every day. (And I manage these items around a 9-5 job, a private coaching practice, and my volunteer coaching activities)

Continue reading Foundations: Part 2 of 3 – Mind…..the mental foundation

Review of ‘Big When Little When’ from across the Pond!

Big When Little When - Front Cover
The recently published Big When Little When – A Guide to Restoring Work/Life Balance to Health and Front-line Professionals

This review came courtesy of BETHANY MICHAELS – Associate Publisher & Chief Copy Editor at Cat Fence-In Books

“You can achieve whatever it is that puts a smile on your face.” Author Sasha Wallace begins her short book with an inviting idea, engaging my mind right away. And her promise to deliver simple and effective content to help gain clarity over prioritizing and organizing, not only met, but exceeded my expectations in this book. She approaches goals using a “big when/little when” mentality, which she easily describes and presents to the reader. This engaging book really helped me gain clarity in my personal life goals. The tools illustrated in this easy to follow read have truly helped propel me to new heights, learn how to manage stress better, and understand myself more fully. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in growing, learning and investing more time into yourself.”