Creating balance between business and home life is becoming something that people too often forget.
We see an ever increasing work life among Americans these days, as a country we are trying to work longer and harder in order to get ahead. This is no doubt important and often necessary to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves. However, I submit that in most cases the person who focuses solely on work and business issues will burn out and eventually not be as successful as he or she thought this type of effort would make them. How can we prevent this?
Involving your loved ones
First off, if you have a family or a loved, you must involve them in your life in a bigger way. This may be as simple as making time once a week to visit a close friend or family member. It may mean taking your wife or husband on a date and getting a sitter once a month. However you can manage this you need to make time to develop relationships. I will spare you the studies that are out in many publications and allow you to look up the findings but in a nutshell relationships are the foundation of happiness. My children are mine and I find every free second I have to spend watching and helping them develop and grow.
Using your mind
Another important thing is to actively engage yourself in learning something new all the time. This will allow you to forget about the tasks at hand in you work and provide you with something else to focus on if even from a brief moment. This helps in your professional life in two ways; first of all it gives you a fresh set of eyes to look at your given task with after you begin again. Second, you can use this part of your balance to learn about something that will help your career. Take online management courses or visit a seminar and teach yourself how to do something. Another thing you can do is learn a new hobby. Teach yourself how to fly fish, or play tennis etc.
This is important as well, if you do not have time to learn a new hobby then make time to participate in one you already love. If you love sailing you may not be able to do this often because it is time consuming and expensive. So read about new sailing practices, visit forums and discuss your hobbies with likeminded people. This is a simple way to have an outlet, a release to forget about the problems and stresses and focus on what makes you happy for a short time.
I have seen many relationships with families and friends strained or even destroyed because a person feels that they need to overwork themselves in order to keep up with the Joneses or provide things for their families. This is important and sometimes 60-80 hour workweeks become necessary, but make it temporary. These same families often see the bread winner worn out and tired and those left at home feel neglected and distant. This gap only worsens until it's too late and communication is gone. When this happens it is hard to recover and you business or performance at work will suffer or cause you to fail.
All things in moderation is my goal, and balance is the key to success.