1. Accept accountability & responsibility
There is a direct correlation between the feeling of being happy and of being in control. Your work-life balance as a practice owner is of your own making; it is a direct reflection of the choices you have made. Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic fix, it is down to you to accept responsibility and take the necessary steps to move forward.
2. Living your life by design
Map out clearly what you want and commit it to paper. Consider very carefully the following:
• Your sense of purpose/job/role satisfaction
• Your family and other key relationships
• Your health
• Your income and net worth
• Your life goals
Accept that creating a great life requires compromises. Time Vs. money has been a conundrum for time immemorial. Moving forward, plan to invest in your relationship and your home life as much as you do your career.
Don’t fall into the traditional ‘pot of gold at the end of the rainbow’ delayed gratification life plan myth. The journey needs to be as enjoyable as the destination. Continuously reviewing your performance is important – it shows what tasks you succeeded in achieving and what the next steps should be.
3. A little investment goes a long way
Achieving a successful work-life balance takes sustained discipline and improving this balance often involves making short-term sacrifices.
For example, the initial process of delegation is significantly harder than just doing the job yourself.
Yet the outcome and net benefit can be truly transformational. Find and invest five extra hours to systemise and delegate a function that normally takes two hours of your time each week, and in the course of the next year, you have gained more than 100 hours.
You are in control and are shaping the business, not the other way round – that is a subtle but significant difference.
4. Time is a currency, learn to value it and spend it wisely
Think about the highest value use of your time? Use your time efficiently by building systems and improve your business. Understand the value of the chair time in your practice. Having too much to do can result in poor performance. The solution is to do less and do it better. Focus on the highest value or most important areas and delegate the lower-value areas. Both inside and outside of work, compartmentalise your time and focus 100% on the thing you are doing. Be disciplined and book in quality time with children and partner and be conscious to try to remove the distraction of smartphones and laptops. If you do need to bring work home, work in one room in the house. Get it done and then close the door on it.
5. Seek to control what you can, not what you can’t
There are inevitable ups and downs as your journey unfolds: you cannot control every throw of the dice. Priorities will change with your “age and stage.” A typical adult suffers some form of major challenge in their life an average of once every quarter. As a business owner, you have a wealth of people who depend on you and who you depend on, so the number of challenges you face is higher than normal;
It is important to accept there are some things that you cannot control. Focus your energy on the aspects of your life that you can influence and try not to worry about those you cannot.
6. Look after yourself
It is no good prioritising your business goals to the detriment of your body and wellbeing. Your mental diet is as equally important as your physical one in this regard. Make sure you are selective with what you dwell on and surround yourself with positive people.
Success and drive are infectious you will spur each other on to greater things.
7. Create a new routine – work at it until it forms a habit
It is easy enough to get fired up and excited about the prospect of improving your life but the hard part is sticking with it. Old patterns die hard and new ones are tricky to form. Read your list of goals and key immediate tasks every morning to keep you on track. Keep a copy on you or on your phone and read it again at lunchtime and again towards the end of the day. Continuously reviewing your performance is important – it shows what tasks you succeeded in achieving and what the next steps should be.