The challenge for the drivers of businesses is to find life balance, not just on a personal level but for the business as well.
Some key questions are:
1. How can we set and prioritise our activities if the business objectives are in conflict or opposite to those of our family and other personal needs?
2. What is more important our business or our family/our health?
3. Why are we in business and who and how are we supposed to benefit from it?
4. What are the consequences if don’t address these issues at a personal level?
All too often we get caught up in repetitive activities or patterns in our lives that just seem to occupy most of the time in our lives. As a result, we forget about the really important elements. By simply giving these personal elements higher priorities and ensuring that we take the time 'to stop and smell the roses', it is amazing just how much we can re-adjust the balance in our lives. But it does require a conscious effort.
There are many ideas on how to assess and enhance life balance. Often it is talked about as a time-based allocation of your priorities, but this only deals with the quantity not the quality of time given or needed.
One of the tools that can assist us with the quality of our life balance is to undertake a review. There is no definitive answer as to what constitutes success and each person needs to define the key elements for themselves, however the model that we use contains 6 key areas:
- Family - Money
- Health - Mental
- Social Life - Personal Philosophy
Success in each of these areas is important, however it is more important that success be balanced between all areas. If these are considered to be segments of a wheel, that wheel won’t be able to turn unless that balance exists. Work isn't included as one of the elements but is considered to be the road that the wheel travels along, and can provide many of the Life Balance elements. Example:
Subjectively score each segment on a scale of 0 to 10, where 5 is average and 10 is perfect. Then develop strategies to lift your score in the poorest segment to bring the wheel into balance. Be sure to score yourself based on the quality of each area, not the time involved.
Have a go:
Select something that you are comfortable with and set yourself specific and measurable targets. Involving a friend or family member gives a wonderful support mechanism, and you can work on two Life Balance areas at once. You could chart your progress or keep a journal.
Review your progress regularly (monthly would be good), and undertake another review of your life balance wheel, ensuring that you focus on the quality of your time, and on what you want to achieve. In this way you are acknowledging the changes you have made and seeing the effects that they have had on your enjoyment of life.
There was a frog that decided to jump off the log, but he didn’t get wet because he didn’t take action.
This is a powerful tool but, like all tools, the momentum is in what you do with it!