A Healthy Balance Sheet For Life

We all strive for a healthy balance sheet when it comes to our business, but do we pay as much attention to the state of the non-financial assests in our lives? Items which feature on this account include our health and relationships, as well as the quality and amount of time we are able to spend enjoying leisure activities. Whilst the old saying “all work and no play” may seem rather hackneyed, it undoubtedly applies to many business owners, perhaps you amongst them?

Based on my own considerable experience, business owners tend to be passionate and committed, and are often to be found working around the clock. Although a hardworking and dedicated attitude is essential to business success, and not in itself unhealthy, a life of work without play is likely to be very damaging. Indeed, if left unchecked the addiction to work, can, and often does, lead to a whole host of problems; including burnout, stress and fatigue, not to mention other potential mental and physical health problems.

Of course, as with any addiction, the “work drug” damages others as well. Relationships with partners, children and friends all suffer as a consequence of the work junky’s habit. If the warning signs are ignored then sooner or later their partner, body, doctor, or all three, will tell them to quit.

So if you, or those close to you, recognise any of the symptoms of work addiction in yourself, then don’t ignore them! Instead, follow my 4-step rehab programme and develop a healthy balance sheet for life!

1) Plan Weekly Fun Time

Recognise that effective time management is just as important outside of your working life as it is inside of it. Just as you plan your schedule of regular business meetings and tasks on at least a weekly basis, make sure you do the same when it comes to planning your leisure time and activities. Top of your agenda should be to do something you enjoy with the people you love at least once a week. After all, you’re an entrepreneur, and with your imagination and all of those innovative skills at your disposal, finding regular free-time and ways to enjoy it should come quite naturally!

2) Live In the Moment

The focused and content person does not look back, nor look ahead, but lives in the present. This makes achieving the right balance between work and play so much easier. So when you’re working, simply focus on work! Be there in the moment, without thinking about what you could or should be doing. After all, you’re doing it, and need only pay attention to that. Likewise, when it’s time to play, then play. Don’t think about work or what you could or should be doing. When you are playing, recognize that you are playing.

Simple advice then, but perhaps I hear the cynic say, not as easy to achieve as it sounds? If that’s how it seems to you, then just remember, that just like changing any habit or learning any new skill, living in the moment is something that takes practice. However, once mastered the results are well worth it and your time will become much more rewarding, productive and enjoyable whether you’re working or playing.

3) Reward Yourself When You Deserve It

Give yourself more than just a pat on the back for a job well done. Reward yourself! Do the things you enjoy doing. If you love dancing, go dancing. If you love hiking in the woods, go hiking in the woods. Make a list of the things you like or want to do and commit to doing them in a set timeframe. Just like you’d make a task list and check things off as you accomplish them for your business, do the same with your “fun things to do” schedule.

4) Get Help With Your Business

Nobody expects you to know everything you need to know to run a modern day business, how could you? Today, every business looking to move forward and develop itself should employ professional advice to help steer the business owner into making the right strategic and tactical decisions.

As someone who has worked with many businesses from small/medium enterprises to large corporations here in the UK, has served on a number of business boards and “been at the sharp end” as a business owner myself, I can readily identify with the daily challenges of running a successful business. On the flip side, I can also testify to the pressures these demands place on your “other life” if you don’t find the time to escape and enjoy yourself.

Experts from around the world and the most successful people you’ve ever met do take time to have fun. You’re a business owner and that gives you the freedom to take vacations when you want to, to take a day off when you want to, and to have a little bit of fun right smack dab in the middle of the day without risking your job or angering your boss.

As business people we all like to see a good return on our investments, but sometimes we fail to see that this can be measured in more than just monetary terms alone. So invest time in doing the things you like to do and enjoy the returns. Not only will you have more focus and energy to devote to your business, you’ll be keeping the special people in your life happy too!

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