Tina Wells has been an entrepreneur since she was 16. At this young age, she launched a market research company that would go on to serve a list of high-profile clientele that included Apple, Dell, P&G and the Oprah Winfrey Network. Growing her seven-figure business, Wells found herself working non-stop, neglecting to make ample time for rest. She began to experience symptoms of burnout as her work-life balance began to suffer.

“I was experiencing so much anxiety, panic, hair loss, stomach pains—you name it,” says Wells. “It was clear something was going on, and I really needed to pause and get it sorted out.”

The businesswoman found herself in a place where she dreaded the work she once found so much enjoyment in. She soon made the tough decision to shut down her company. However, this decision ended up being what she considers the best thing to ever happen to her. 

During the process of confronting her own burnout, she developed a framework for finding work-life harmony. She dubbed it the Elevation Approach and wrote a book about it by the same name. Wells considers a healthy work-life balance something everyone needs in their life. 

“Work-life harmony allows us to achieve our goals while making sure we’re well enough to enjoy them,” she explains. “What’s the point of getting what we want if we’re too tired, irritated, and anxious to enjoy it?”

Signs your work-life balance is off can manifest in numerous ways. From fatigue and sleep issues, to anger or irritability. According to Mayo Clinic, one might also experience a lack of motivation or feel mentally exhausted or empty. 

In addition to what you are feeling and what your body is telling you, you may also begin to see physical signs, like a cluttered kitchen or too many emails in your inbox. 

“It could even be something as simple as not getting to your favorite movement class or missing a catch-up with a friend. I like to describe work-life harmony as preparing your favorite meal. You know what ingredients work and how to mix it up. You also know when you add an ingredient that’s totally wrong and throws everything off," says Wells. "Work-life harmony works the same way. It requires you to ask yourself questions and be totally honest about what you want in your life.”

The Elevation Approach
Tina Wells
Available March 21, 2023.

Price: $24

Shop at Amazon

There are a variety of reasons people end up overworking themselves. Many aspects of our society promote a lifestyle completely void of a healthy work-life balance. This toxic way of living is promoted in popular culture and much of the content we consume. However, Wells believes it is gradually changing for the better.

In her book, The Elevation Approach (available March 21, 2023), Wells shares her four-phase technique designed to help you meet your goals without sacrificing joy for productivity and progress. Within this plan, she provides 12 principles of instant elevation–quick fixes that can help you achieve the work-life harmony you’re working towards. Here are five of Wells’ top tips to help you get started now.

Declutter your space

Numerous scientific studies have shown that living or working in a cluttered environment has a negative effect on one’s mental and physical health. However, Wells points out that this doesn’t only apply to physical spaces.

“We keep tons of digital clutter too! The quicker you can literally make space, the faster you’ll get to the harmony you’re looking for and experience it more frequently.”

Know your numbers

Numbers matter. And Wells stresses the importance of knowing yours and holding yourself accountable to the numbers that matter most to you, as the key to maintaining harmony is accountability.

"While this can relate to finances, it’s not always about money," Wells shares. "For me, it’s important to know how much sleep I’ve had, how much time I’m dedicating each month to hobbies, and how often I’m checking in with friends and family."

Create rituals

“Rituals are anything from preparing your favorite beverage in the morning to a monthly supper club with friends. It’s the things you do that make you feel most like yourself. You need to know what they are and do them as often as you can,” says Wells.

Create a practice of spiritual engagement

“Connecting to something bigger than you is so important,” Wells shares with EBONY. “It expands your view of what’s possible in your life, opening you up to those beautiful, magical moments that make up our lives.”

Let go of what no longer serves you

Make it a practice to free yourself from anything that is no longer serving you.

“This is a constant of life. Seasons change and so do you. What works for you in one season may not work in the next,” says Wells.