Life Balance

Basic Business Cents

We are accustomed to taking inventory of our stock at work and looking at our bank balance, but do we an audit of our life, as we should? We tend to get stuck in routines and focus on the urgent activities at the moment and not what is important long term. An audit of the balance in our lives can be divided into three categories-satisfaction, provisioning, and growth.

Do we have pride in both what we are doing in our work life as well as our home life? Do we achieve a sense of accomplishment in both? Are we achieving recognition for our accomplishments for our selves and our family members? Are we happy and finding enjoyment? Your life should be so exciting that you cannot wait to get to work in the morning and cannot wait to get home in the evening.

Do we experience fear or anxiety at work or at home? Dr. W. Edwards Deming used to differentiate between fear and anxiety; he said fear is caused by external factors for which we have no control, like war, weather phenomena, and fire. He said people cause anxiety; and we may be able to do something about that.

Most of us need to work to provide income for living needs and for our retirement; but there are other elements of provisioning. We need to provide love and respect for our family members, co-workers, neighbors, and fellow citizens. We need to contribute to our community and to various organizations of which we belong. A good idea is to identify long-term goals for our life. The average life expectancy in the United States today is about 79 years, which gives us about 50 years to achieve what we desire to become at the peak of our work life and personal achievement. We need to ask ourselves in this assessment if we are on the road to our ultimate aim, and if not, get back on the right track to make it happen in the needed timeframe.

The third category of life balance is growth. Are we learning at the rate needed to reach our aim in life, both formal and informal? Are we getting the needed experience? Are there other parts of our aim to consider like spiritual growth, personal development, family achievements, and a list of sights and experiences to consider?

When interviewing job applicants, it is a good idea to ask them what their long-term goal is in life. If the current position does not help them get to their goal, don’t hire them. They will only end up being unhappy and less than desired employees. Plus, you will have done them a service to think about what they really want in their next position.

It is necessary to discuss your aim with your spouse or significant other to ensure that you have the same goal. You may find that by this discussion that you have to rethink your aim to make sure that you really do have balance between your career and family. Changes may be required in your aim, or in your action. The real value in the assessment of your work and family lives is the thought process of determining what you really want and need, and then getting on the path to achieve it.