Time for Enjoying
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
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.
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
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
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