Your manual for work-life balance

“I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.” – Zig Ziglar

It is not just that harmony benefits your life – lack of harmony hurts it, in real tangible ways.

The World Health Organization estimates that stress costs American businesses $300 billion a year. The 2012 Workplace Survey released by the American Psychological Association suggests that many Americans report chronic work-related stress. Around 41 percent said they “feel tense or stressed out during the workday,” an uptick from the previous year’s 36 percent. In its annual wellness report, Employee Assistance Program provider ComPsych found that 38 percent of employees can’t stop thinking about problems like emotional, health, financial and job concerns.

Work-life balance not only results in happiness and personal success, it can even lead to business innovation. Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Airlines, has noted that some of his best ideas come when he engages his children in conversations about his work.

Melinda Gates sums it up well: “The only thing I care about on the day I die is that people think I was a great mom, family member, and friend.”

A fulfilled life is a life well lived, by offering your totality to each moment, irrespective of the role you are playing that moment.

Challenge yourself with the following “How to” exercises to

1)    MAKE balance a personal priority and be clear what balance means to you.
Do what Dr. Stephen Covey would call ‘first things first’: making sure that business, balance and beyond all play their parts.

2)    SPEND time with loved ones; and also set aside time to improve your health and do things that matter to you, like pursuing a hobby. If you don’t spend quality time with your loved ones or do things that are important in your life, someone or something less important will take up your time.

3)    PREPARE a ‘not to do’ list, not a ‘to do’ list. This will remove non-essentials from your life. How do you make a ‘not to do’ list? List everything that must be done in your life; delegate as much as you can; next, eliminate what is not necessary, then prioritize and execute what is left.

For more tips on creating an optimum work-life balance, read our forthcoming book, ‘What You Seek is Seeking You’, co-authored by Azim Jamal & Brian Tracy.

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