Something has to give
In today’s competitive business world, it seems that so many leaders are burning their candles at both ends for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the company/department is taking more and more on, or the team is unable to work together, or there is something at home to be avoided. Whatever the reason, the workaholic style can only be sustained for a while and then something has to give. What will that be? Health? Family? Business Crises? Striving for a Work/Life Balance can save the day – even when we know that a perfect balance is never possible.
Life Balance Defined
Collins Concise Dictionary defines balance (as it pertains to life) as equilibrium of the body, emotional stability, harmony in the parts of the whole. Sally McGhee (Take Back Your Life!) defines balance as a “consistent focus or influence that creates a sense of well-being”.
How does one create that sense of well being?
Through some exploration of the parts and roles in ones’ life. Here is a Life Balance Wheel to help you focus your thinking. Look at each part and give yourself a score (10 being high and 0 low) and color in the wheel. Is it symmetrical or asymmetrical?
Are you “playing only one or two notes, when you could be performing a symphony”? (The Game – Win Your Life in 90 Days by Sarano Kelly) .
Techniques for Winning Your Life/Work Balance Challenge
- Look at your many roles (parent, spouse, sibling, adviser, co-worker, manager, coach, leader, deacon, board chair, etc.) and articulate what is important to you.
- Look at your evenings and weekends – Are Saturdays and Sundays “catch up” or “stay afloat days”? (Huang & Lynch) Remember that you can perform at higher levels when you rested and recharged. Visit mountains, oceans, deserts and/or forests; they rejuvenate us (The Great Crossover, Dan Sullivan) Consider Sullivan’s Entrepreneurial Time System:
- 1/3 Free Days – days that are totally free of all activities related to business, their purpose is to rejuvenation
- 1/3 Focus Days – Days scheduled exclusively for the purpose of creating financial results and opportunity
- 1/3 Buffer Days – In-between days that allow us to do all the things that set up rejuvenating Free Days and productive Focus Days
- Look at ways to create moderation in each of your Life/Work parts.
- Look for ways to reduce stress – Pay close attention to nutrition, exercise, meditation and sleep.
Coaching Questions to Stimulate Reflection About Your Life & Work
- What parts of your work/life need attention?
- What supports, time and/or resources will help to bring things into harmony?
- What do you need to learn/unlearn?
- What new knowledge do you need?
- What new technical skills do you need to acquire?
- What values do you need to invest in?
- What are your best learning environments?
- Who are your best teachers, mentors or coaches?