A nationwide survey sheds some light as to what people think will help them achieve their business goals in 2008. What made the top of the list? Achieving a work-life balance!
This should come to no surprise to many of you reading this. It seems we are all working longer hours and spending more time trying to keep up with technology rather than using it to help us achieve productivity gains. We’ve become victims of our own success; often times forgetting about those people we share a house with — our family.
Many of us spend too much time with our noses to the grindstone and not enough time pursuing our passions in life. For some of us, its lack of organization that seems to hold us down. We end up spending a majority of our time trying to track down information or sort through the massive inflow of information that comes across our desk each day. For others it may be that we believe we have to have our finger on every pulse our business generates — we are afraid of letting go, thinking that nobody could possibly do it better than we can so we better keep on top of it.
Ask yourself these questions:
- “Have I missed family obligations regularly during the past year?” There are many of us who simply don’t know what a work-life balance is. We think that working 60+ hour weeks is normal and that missing our son’s or daughter’s school play is just “the way the world works today”. Yet, if that were true, then how come so many other parents always seem to be there when you aren’t? Are you going to wake up one morning and realize that your children are grown and that the family that you worked on starting went on with life without you?
- “Am I satisfied with the way my life is right now?” If you can say yes, even though you are working those 60+ hour weeks, then your life is balanced the way you see fit. If on the other hand, you answer no then there are ways to make your life, and your job, more enjoyable and productive so that you achieve your life goals and make your career more rewarding and productive.
- “Am I doing what I love?” When we look for this work-life balance, sometimes the journey isn’t about finding out what works for us — but rather it is finding out what doesn’t work. What do you want out of life? When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up? Even if you are 50, what do you want to do in your life and your career? The answers may lead you to discover that for whatever reason you strayed from the original path that you wanted to lead your life.
There are plenty of people who get up every morning and head out to jobs that they dread. These may be people working at a factory, or even a CEO of a major corporation. They are doing what they think they have to do. Often they got to where they are at just by “following along” and doing what they thought came next. Instead of letting their goals and dreams of life lead them, they let the corporate ladder be their road to what to do next. These are the people who don’t smile when they talk about work (at least occasionally) or those who toss and turn all night long because they know another day is going to bring more of the same — more of what they dread.
Make 2008 the year to take stock of your life goals. If you feel you’ve gotten off track, then make changes.
Here’s how to get started:
(1) Write a list of what you want to do to spend more time with your family and then pursue ways to make it happen.
(2) Next, take a few steps to find ways to do things at your business or job more productive – like taking steps to get rid of the information overload, or prioritizing projects or clients. Sometimes in order to grow your business, and yourself, you have to know when to say no to a client or project. Saying no is not always a bad thing.
The New Year brings us a lot of opportunities to help us get our lives back on track. It can be the year that we set out on the journey to achieve all the things we enjoy and our passionate about. It can be the year we get to know, all over again, our family and spouses. It can be the year we grow our business or advance in our career by not working harder, but rather working smarter. It can even be the year we discover a new career.
What will 2008 help you do? More importantly, what will you do in 2008 to achieve a work-life balance that advances your life for the better?
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About the Author: Husband, Father, Friend, Lifestyle Coach, Author, Educator, and Entrepreneur, David B. Bohl is the creator of Slow Down FAST. For more info go to Slow Down Fast and visit his blog at Slow Down Fast blog.