You may have witnessed this or you may recognize this in yourself.
You started a business and managed to keep it balanced.
Although you worked a bit longer at the beginning, you were still
able to stop work and focus on your relationship, yourself or your
family. After-all, dinner was at 6pm and you looked forward to
snuggling in front of the television with your partner to old episodes
of LOST. But somewhere along the line, as you got busier, and the
daily business task requirements seemed more urgent, family and friends
saw less of you. Dinner conversation became more business centered
or distracted. After dinner you were right back at the computer
working hard to complete more tasks.
One day, after months have flown by you realize that you have become a
work-a-holic. And you justify it by saying that family will
understand because you are bringing home the bacon (or tofu burgers).
Work is essential for living and helps define our identity.
Recently, in a discussion with a colleague, we explored the life
centered approach to success and the task centered approach. When
we are obsessive about filling our waking hours with tasks and
compulsive about our pursuit of financial wealth, it is easy to fool ourselves
into believing that if I could just do more work, or get more done in a
day I will be closer to success. We can focus so much on the daily
list of tasks that we neglect to stop, step back for fresh perspective
and spend time with family and friends. We forget the importance of balance.
The pursuit for success and recognition can affect some people like
gambling, hoping that just put in a little more time and you may hit the
Here are my personal suggestions that are guides and not rigid rules.
Understand that things always come up and growing a business is
- Set and review your task list the evening before.
- Wake one hour earlier than normal and use that time to have breakfast with your partner or family and do some light exercise
- Stop doing non-productive things during the productive hours of the
day between 9-5. Yes, that means no unnecessary Facebook and
definitely no Candy Crush.
- Recognize unproductive behavior and stop it. I have a
productivity reset that I implement when I become aware that I am
slowing down during productive hours.
- Stop working one hour before dinner and be part of the dinner
making. This prepares your appetite and body for best digestion. (http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/digestion/6-tips-to-improve-your-digestion)
- Take time for yourself and family
There are many stories about entrepreneurs that set out to provide a
better life for themselves and their family only to loose their families
through separation or divorce because poor communication and a shift in
priorities from life centered to task centered. Think of all the
ways you can add better balance to they way you approach success.