03 Jan Having a balanced lifestyle in small business
As we embark on a fresh year I thought I’d share my strategy for having a balanced lifestyle in small business. As small business owners we can easily get caught up in the many facets of running our businesses and leave little time for the other important areas of our lives. Such as relationships, hobbies and fun. The pandemic reinforced for me the need to have balance and direction in all areas of my life and reassess what’s important. And then to be flexible with those plans!
What is a balanced lifestyle?
A balanced lifestyle is living in a way that gives time to the different aspects of our life in the right amount and proportion.
Using the ‘wheel of life’ for a balanced lifestyle in small business
I came across the ‘wheel of life’ concept many years ago in a professional learning day on time management. Imagining the session would focus on efficiency and productivity, I was pleasantly surprised when it covered planning and making time for activities in each area of your life to be happy and successful. That without goals and actions there can be imbalance and stagnation.
In the example pictured above there are eight segments, and the kinds of things included in each area are listed below. You can Google ‘wheel of life’ for more examples.
- Career: work hours, direction, purpose and meaning, performance
- Money: budgeting, saving, income, investment
- Health and wellbeing: eating habits, nutrition, fitness, sleep, relaxation, emotional health, self care
- Family and friends: relationships, time, quality, support, community, parenting
- Romance: partner, intimacy, sex, communication
- Personal growth: education, reading, learning, awareness, spirituality, connection
- Fun and recreation: hobbies, passions, laughter, leisure, travel
- Physical environment: home, location, appearance, transport, sustainability
Now at the start of each year I go through the wheel of life activity (outlined below) so I have focus and am mindful of what I want to achieve.
Creating your own wheel of life
To create a wheel of life for yourself you firstly need to determine the categories for your wheel. You can use the ones above, or re-label, add, remove or split them to suit your needs.
Once you have your categories sorted you need to contemplate each area and set goals for each category. For example, under fun and recreation one of your goals might be to have a two-week family holiday in 2022.
To take action on your goals you need to plan tasks each month towards achieving them. Using the previous example, you may set a task for February to determine the two-week period for your holiday and make leave arrangements. In March look at holiday destination options. In May book your flights and accommodation, and so forth.
It is worth noting that we all tend to have areas we are better at focusing on. For example, we may be great at making time to see family and friends, but less good at focusing on our finances. So it’s important to give extra attention to these weaker areas.
Balance and direction for our businesses
Direction, planning and action isn’t only important for each area of our life. It is also important for each area of our business.
That’s something we aim to do in Beyond Business Groups. Firstly by actually making time to work on our businesses. And then through the modules which provide direction and a structured way to review our businesses and undertake planning in all the different areas – customers, branding, marketing, finances, systems and processes, and more.
Planning tasks as we work through each module ensures the topics are manageable rather than overwhelming. You build an ongoing action plan you continually re-prioritise, and each year you build on it. By giving our businesses regular attention, and putting time into working on each aspect, they will be more successful.
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