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The Value of a True Work-Life Balance

By Michael Zipursky
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Many of us fall into this trap at some point during our professional lives. The pile of “things to do” grows and grows until it feels like it’s going to hit the roof and topple all over us.

Whether you’re a business consultant or business owner finding that right work-life balance is critical.

We all feel the same
I know, you need to get just a bit more done. Put in a few more hours so you can make those extra sales. The problem is that you can always do more. It’s a never ending cycle unless you bring an end to it.

I’m not suggesting that you work less than anyone else around you. On the contrary, I often work 12 hour days and sometimes longer. But let me give you an example of how to balance your work life.

The owner of a successful company, a client of mine, has an ingenious way of balancing his business with having a good time. He takes off 1 week every month. That’s 12 weeks of holiday each and every year.

How can he do this and still remain so successful? The two actually go together. You see, when you take time off it allows your mind to truly rest. When it rests not only can you better reflect and gain insight into your life and business, you’ll also become hungrier to get things done when you go back to work.

This really does work
I know it sounds challenging, but have you ever noticed how when you go on holiday, if you’ve taken a week or more off, how you feel deep down inside ready to get back to being productive and making money? Maybe you’ve also noticed that when you’re in the shower or washroom you think of things that you need to do, or a new idea for your business. Why does this happen? Your mind needs to rest in order to be at its most productive state.

There’s no magic solution here that works for everyone. You can start by completely shutting down on Saturday or Sunday if you aren’t already. Then take both days off, no emails, no internet, just get out enjoy life with the family or friends. You can also focus and work hard from 8-5 and then after that shut everything down for the evening.

Getting more done in less time
The best way to make this all happen is to have a daily plan of priority items you need to take care of. Focus on those, don’t spend time ‘reading’ on the internet, chatting with coworkers, or going for too many coffee breaks. There are too many ways to get distracted these days … that’s why I can often accomplish in 1 day what might take someone else a whole week. It’s the power of preparation and focus.

Listen, life’s too short. It’s not all about work so make sure you’re taking time to enjoy some of it too.

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