Coach for Success

Time for Enjoying Life

Last month’s article about holidays prompted some good feedback. So to build on this topic of work/life balance, I would like to focus attention on the 52 weeks in each year, not just the 1 to 5 weeks’ holiday we may or may not enjoy.

Surveys regularly report on the somewhat depressing lot of UK owner/managers. Two recent examples I’ve seen – one from BDO Stoy Hayward showing the average owner/manager of small/medium firms works 54 hours per week and 3/4 of respondents said their firm had taken over their lives. Bank of Scotland reported that 60% of owner/managers put their business needs before their family, 1/3 admitting this happened very often.

Many of us may work late into the night or over weekends and there is nothing wrong in this per se, but do we do it out of choice or out of perceived necessity? Some will comment that they are early birds and others that they work best late at night. Others will say the only time they can get any useful work done is when no-one else is in the office.

Whatever your “preferred” hours, are they sustainable and what do you really want? Do you have plans for the weekend, but when they come around no energy/time for them? Or worse still no energy to plan for an enjoyable weekend? Do you let friends and family down by not being able to keep to your promises? What are you missing out on?

The vast majority of successful businesses have a strategy and goals. If you want your personal life also to be successful and rewarding, you need a strategy and goals for that too.

Some thoughts:-

Decide that your life and family are more important than the business. It is always possible to earn back lost money, but it’s impossible to earn back lost time.

Design, with your family or coach, the life you want. What do you want to do, where do you want to go and how often? How much more time do you want for your hobbies? How much more time would you like to spend with your partner, children or grandchildren?

Rid yourself of guilty thoughts that force you to work the longest hours, or concerns about what your employees might say if you ease off a little. You’ve already earned your spurs.

Decide not to work say after 6pm , except in exceptional circumstances. If this seems too difficult, commit to doing this two days a week at first. Commit to having a lunch break, a minimum of 15 minutes, but better still relax for longer – read a novel, get some fresh air or do some exercise.

We tend to believe a happy employee is a good worker – both more creative and productive. The same is true for bosses.

What’s your strategy for work, rest and play?

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