Management Monday: Work-Life balance

Every hour of every day, we’re all making choices. From which shoes to wear in the morning to which car to buy, these decisions come in all shapes and sizes – yet we don’t always realise we’re making them.worklife_300

One of the biggest choices we make – and one that many of us don’t realise we’ve made – is about our work-life balance. As business owners and managers, it can be very easy to feel that we have no control over our lives, because the practice demands so much of our attention. There is also a certain pressure when we reach the higher levels of any business: as the boss, shouldn’t we be spending all hours at work?

Well no, actually. This is a choice we make, albeit unconsciously. We can allow ourselves to be dragged into working six or seven days a week, 12 or 15 hours a day – or we can not. We can retain that sense of perspective, and the knowledge that we are not just our job: our job is just one aspect of our life.

When we become so absorbed in our work that it becomes the most important thing we do, we risk not only our personal lives but also our professional lives. It’s obvious that families and friends can be neglected by people who focus too heavily on their businesses, but what about people working with us?

Someone who is always pushing for more sales, always looking at the bottom line and constantly asking for more isn’t going to be much fun to work for. They will not bring out the best in their staff – and consequently, the business will not perform as well as it might. It seems odd, but too much focus can be detrimental to a practice – as well as to physical and mental health, emotional wellbeing and home life.

Think of it this way: when you look back on your life in 30, 40 or 50 years’ time, what will you be proud of? What might you regret? Make the choice now to strike the right balance in your life.

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