Many years ago, a great friend and mentor of mine said,” It is important to have a good balance in your life and however many segments there are, they should be pretty equal”. Now I am sure we all strive for this, but so many of us are so imbalanced and this causes issues in the other segments.  

When we are born all of our time is ours, and as we get older, our parents tend to fill these segments for us, with sports or other social activities, education, family time, spiritual time and so one. Once we start work, this is where I think the imbalance really starts to happen. We may have a pushy boss who expects more and more from us and although we signed a contract to work 40 hours a week, in so many cases we are expected to work more or if we run our own business we think if we work more we will have more. I never looked at my 38 years of running businesses like that. I always strived to keep balance in my life. I rarely worked more than 50 hours a week, very rarely worked weekends, and made sure I took holidays regularly to spend quality time with my wife and daughters. I know so many business owners though who think its ok to work 70 or 80 hours a week – or more – and seem proud to announce that fact. Why? If you have to work too many hours, I would suggest you need to look at your business model and how you can reduce the number of personal hours you are investing in your business – and working long hours also affects time spent with your family and friends

During the last 12 months from the end of March 2020, everyone has had the opportunity to re-evaluate their lives and look at how they are spending their time. Some have made some life changing decisions, some will just go back to the way things were before, and some have slipped backwards. I am constantly saying to those small business owners I network with to ask for help if they are struggling. The help and support in the small business community is better than I have ever seen it – certainly in the networking world. I am proud to be part of it.

I get disturbed when I read reports that say that some people are working longer hours during the lockdown periods than they were before. In my mind, they should be working less hours. If they are disciplined they have less distractions than they would have had in the office. We also need to be spending more time in the light blue section of the wheel – Mental and Education. We need to look after ourselves, make sure we keep mentally and physically fit. If we can, we need to take time away from our computers every day. We need to exercise. We also need to spend time on personal development. This would be the education part for me. Learn how to be better people, learn how to relate to more people, learn how to run businesses better, learn how to be a better parent and so on. 

It is time for us all to make sure we truly have a balanced life, and that we are enriched in every area of our lives. Take time to stop and look at nature, take time to help other people, take time – quality time – to be with our families. When we leave this world, no one remembers the car we drove or the house we lived in. We will be remembered for how many lives we touched on the journey of life.

This article was first published on LinkedIn by Richard Knight on 15/03/2020