I love to question sacred cows. These are statements that “everyone” knows is true. One of those sacred cows is that you should manage your work/life balance….and if you don’t, then you just don’t care about your family.
Work/life balance is really hard with an always on business environment.
Between email, texting, cell phones there has become a culture where we’re expected to be always on and answer questions from customers on an immediate basis. You can be sure that you have plenty of clients who are not going to be happy if you tell them that every Tuesday and Thursday as well as weekends you’re not available.
If that’s what you think is important then, you’re going to have to be clear with your customers and other business contacts about how you treat email and other business interrupters in your life. You also might find that some of your clients don’t think that’s appropriate.
There is nothing wrong with either choice. You just have to be aware your clients are going to have opinions about choices you make as to your availability.
What if you think work is about the most fun thing you could do?
This often is a mystery to people who don’t own their own business. I had a father in law who was mystified as to why I would take my laptop out and do some work when I visited them. He was a state employee and his work was shut off the minute he left the office.
You might be feeling guilty that you love your work. If that describes you, stop. It’s OK to love your work. It’s even OK to be engrossed and spend lots of time on it. Just be aware that others around you might have different expectations. It’s those expectations you’re going to need to handle if you want to be totally consumed by your work and still have relationships that aren’t work related.
You need to think about what makes your life better.
I want you to stop reading this post and take out a piece of paper. I want you to spend the next fifteen minutes writing down all of the things you love to do.
Next, I want you to rank all of these things. Your final step is to write down how much time you spend on each of the things you love. This will help you figure out if you’re spending enough time doing the things you cherish. If not, you might have to re-order your priorities.
If all of the things on your life revolve around your business, that’s fine. After all, it’s your list.
I love work and I love what I get to do every day.
Right now I’m sitting on a plane going to a meeting. I love doing these things. I love writing blog posts, making videos and doing podcasts. These are all work related activities. And some of them I do after “regular work hours.”
I love and am honored to work with some of the greatest people in the world. To earn their trust and patronage I think being available is important. This isn’t something I resent; it’s time I truly value. What about you, do you love what you do?
Besides work activities I also love to take bike rides, ski, listen to music, read, spend time with my wife, visit my children and just sit on my porch and admire the beautiful place I live. These are all things that I need to integrate in what I do not treat them as separate activities.
Maybe we should think about work/life integration instead.
Here’s something I want you to consider. I want you to think about integrating your work and your personal life. If you’re like most people who love what they do, you’re not going to want to think about balance, you’re going to want to integrate the important things in your life.
Here’s the key takeaway….you get to choose. You get to decide what’s important in your life. Just spend some time figuring this out; you’ll be glad you did.Hey, if you have any comments or thoughts on this topic why don’t you click here and drop me an email. I promise I’ll read it and respond.