MANAGEMENT: Building a better balance of work and “life”

Work Life BalanceTired of being tired? If the pace of your daily life has you feeling exhausted a lot of the time, you’re not alone. One survey asked Americans what they would do if they had one more hour in the day. About 60 percent gave a 1-word answer: sleep.

Small business owners are especially prone to devoting so much time and energy to their business that other important things get pushed aside. Here are some tips to help rebalance your life and build a reserve of energy and time for other things.

  • Just say, “No.” Business consultant Lanny Goodman of Management Technologies, Inc., of Albuquerque, New Mex., said many business owners need to learn how to say no to non-essential tasks that someone else should be handling.
  • Just say, “Oh.” “Just say, ‘Oh,’ to those people who need to complain about someone, to judge and criticize,” recommends Stephen Smith, a former minister, who now works as a personal coach. “Just say, ‘Oh,’ and then move right on. Your time is too valuable to be wasted listening to people complain and criticize other people – or for you to engage in that yourself. Don’t let your time be siphoned off by that because there is nothing good that will come of it. It’s a time-waster.”
  • Exercise your options. “I know I’m not telling anyone something they haven’t heard a thousand times, but it really is valuable to get some sort of regular exercise,” Smith said. “You really will find you end up with more energy. Find a form of exercise that you enjoy and do that.”
  • Save some money. Smith said he is amazed at how many outwardly-successful people have accumulated little or no savings. “I believe that money doesn’t buy happiness but it sure makes me feel better knowing I have a reserve,” Smith said.
  • Do an activity assessment. Goodman said one old time-management trick that really is effective is to spend a week or more listing everything you do during the day. You’ll probably find that much of your workload is driven by your expectation that you ought to be working hard, rather than by any real logic. Go through your list and ask of each item, “Is this the best use of my time, creativity, talent, knowledge and experience?” If the answer is no, look for another way to handle the task.
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