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.
Hi, this is great advice. I used to work a ridiculous amount of hours and barely seemed to have any free time at all.
Then, one day I just stopped and asked myself whether I’d have been happy with the way I’d spent my time over the past few months – if I knew I was going to die tomorrow.
Of course the answer was no and I realised I needed to make some changes.
Interesting post. I tend to see too many people being totally absorbed by work and experiencing very little of “life” these days. Not that work is a bad thing, I love what I do. However, it’s never a bad thing to keep it all in perspective either.
“All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy. . .”
Astrologically speaking, (oh no, I’m going to get blasted for using “voodoo” here, go easy on me please 🙂 but Pluto, the planet of transformation, is wrapping up another 12 year cycle. He’s now moving from a spirited and carefree (careless) fire sign position into a more grounded earth sign placement.
What does that have to do with this?
Just means that I can agree with this post in that 2008 is the beginning of a new transformational cycle for all of us. One where we put the lessons (and mistakes) of the past 12 years into action over the next 12 years through the “grounded” placement.
Make a plan, stick to it – and align your career goals with your family life and personal passions. The heavens are lending a helping hand. It just may be that 2008 can be the beginning of setting a new lifestyle path to lead. Good luck to all!
I find myself seeking more me time in 2008. I will try to focus on taking at least an hour or 2 a day for only myself. No phone, no work, no internet. Maybe a walk with the dog, a bubble bath, some light reading….
Some interesting points Michelle. I’m not big into astrology but maybe we’ll see that there is something to it this year!
Our meeting place for entrepreneurs and business minded individuals, Blue Chip Café & Business Centers, has generous opening hours (at least according to the general low service level in Sweden). During the weekdays we are open from 7 AM in the morning until 9 PM in the evening. Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM – 6 PM. We are three people active in the company. One person has a full-time job and could only come in the evening now and then and at the board meetings on Sundays. The second person has an engagement in another startup company and “commute” back and forth. I have had plenty of 10+ hours work days at the office and at the café, but I have spend time on some other things too. I wrote down my resolutions on my personal blog on December 27, 2007.
I really found this post interesting and true to most people’s everyday living. Who doesn’t want more time for themselves and the ability to pursue their personal goals and dreams?
I was reading through http://www.JamesBrausch.com and in some of his posts, he goes over a lot of where the problems lie. People are too afraid to stray from what they are used to doing or what they think they should be doing. Anyway, the blog offers a lot of great advice, tips and tools.
Hopefully 2008 will be a better year all around for everyone!
To emulate Tim Ferriss — author of the best-seller “The Four-Hour Work Week” — into structuring my business so that I have the freedom to spend time with my family, travel, have fun, etc.
Another great resource for this that I’ve found is the “Freedom Business System” by James Brausch.
Both of these gentlemen actually live what they preach… traveling the world, while working 4 hours per week (or less).
Great post, to get us thinking about what really matters most. Thanks!
Thanks for the info, I’ll keep checking back for more news soon, bookmarked your site!
Judie Ann Bongawan
This blog offers a lot of great tips and advice to people who seem to have a problem with balancing their “life” from their “work”. For me, it is important to align our career goals with our personal goals, and manage our time very well.