Tips On Achieving A Work-Life Balance
In my conversations with entrepreneurs for this column, one thing that many of them seem to grapple with is something we all probably do to some degree: achieving a balanced life.
I think a lot of people tend to have a one-track mind in this way. But, according to master certified life coach Jeff Bow, that mentality can actually be counterproductive if it means you neglect other aspects of your life.
“We have all different areas of our life. In order to be the best that we can be, we need to have a balanced life,” explains Bow, who runs Jeff Bow Executive Coaching.
A balanced life, he says, can help people think more clearly and creatively while being less stressed.
“In order to be the best that you can be in your profession, or as a significant other or as a parent, we have to look at our life in whole and make sure that … we are not focusing on just one area of our life.”
That is why Bow has designed what he calls the Brilliance Through Balance technique, which he feels can help people not only achieve their goals faster, but do it while enjoying life more.
Bow worked as a marketing manager and corporate executive before becoming a life coach and speaker. Today, he works with clients to help them optimize business goals with a holistic approach. He also has written a book, Stop Thinking, Start Believing: How to Break Through Fear and Ignite Your Brilliance.
Here, Bow shares some advice on maintaining a balanced life.
1) Make an assessment.
Bow’s “Brilliance Through Balance” workbook has people take a look at different areas of their lives — career, self-development, physical well-bring and spirituality — and rate how they are doing in each. This process is designed to allow people to evaluate where they need improvement.
“There is no right or wrong. It’s just an assessment of where you are today in this moment. It gives you the ability to take a snapshot in time of who you are,” Bow says.
2) Make it a priority.
When entrepreneurs are first launching a business, it may be all-consuming. And for good reason — they often have to be CEO, financial adviser and janitor all in one. But, Bow says, scheduling time for non-work-related activities is key.
In order to make those types of activities a priority — and to increase your chances of actually following through — pencil it in just like you would any work event. Whether it’s a jog after work or having dinner with a friend, put that on your schedule in addition to your barrage of meetings and conference calls.
“Just like you schedule a meeting, write in time for yourself,” he urges.
He adds that this also should include blocking off certain times for each activity.
“Spending more time than what you plan on should be the exception rather than the rule,” he says.
3) Gauge the amount of fun you’re having.
This one might sound strange, but it’s something that Bow constantly is telling his clients they need to do.
“Fun and happiness are good indicators of whether or not you are having a balanced life,” he explains.
Many of Bow’s clients are doctors, dentists and others in the health care field. He often sees that a lot of his clients are constantly giving, giving, giving. But, he says, receiving is important, too, when it comes to self-care.
Not only is it for yourself, but it’s also for the good of your business.
“When you are not happy with certain aspects of your life,” Bow says, “that transfers to how you interact with your customers.”
In his own experience, he has found that the happier the employees, the more productive they tend to be.
For more information, visit jeffbowcoaching.com.