Time free from workplace obligations seems to become ever more difficult to keep. According to a recent study, 70% of workers struggle with finding a work-life system that works for them.
This means more than 2/3 of your staff are not proactive, distracted, and operating below their potential.
For many in the workforce, achieving any type of work-life balance can seem like a myth, especially when technology has made us accessible around the clock and work has become boundariless.
Despite the demanding realities our information industry forces upon us, there are those that have managed to carve out satisfying and meaningful lives outside of their work.
Too often people believe that to achieve success, one needs to give up their personal life. (This is not true!)
They do not believe that work-life balance is possible in a meaningful way, but it is!
There is no better way to demonstrate this than to hear it directly from some of the most successful people in the world.
Here are some of the tools they practice: 7 Habits Of People Who Have Achieved Work-Life Balance.
7 Habits Of Successful People Who Have Achieved Work-Life Balance
#1. THEY LIVE LIFE BY DESIGN NOT DEFAULT
Most people treat “life” as something that just happens. They’re victims, who react to life and let outside circumstances decide their fate, their agenda. They live by Default.
On the other hand, there are those, no none achievers. They walk into any situation and grab it by the horns. They determine the outcome of their day, their week. These people create the life they want to live and don’t accept anything less. They live by Design.
Instead of just letting life happen to you, make some choices to achieve work-life balance. Think about what you want from life and how you want to invest your time?
#2. THEY DON’T FOLLOW UNPRODUCTIVE CYCLES
Work-life balance going off the rails in your life is usually a result of allowing old and unproductive cycles to continue to control you.
Let old habits and old ways of thinking slide, or you will!
Endeavour to be intentional and uncompromising concerning this.
Winners who stay on top of the surf are good at staying on track by making conscious decisions to continually talk to the important people (mentors, spiritual leaders) in their lives about what is working or not, and make decisions to change direction if needed.
As they say, “when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount” – get a new horse, and a new whip!
Life is progressive. Situations change. If you don’t realise this, you’ll end up in a place you don’t want to be.
#3. THEY INVEST TIME FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS AND IMPORTANT INTERESTS
People who have managed to carve out a work-life balance, that works for them don’t just wait to see what time is left over after work.
Make it a point to plan and book “time off,” to spend outside of work and vigorously guard this time.
Emergencies are unavoidable.
Unfavourable situations don’t need permission to show up in our lives, from work to other matters; learn to resist any intrusion of this time strongly.
It’s been statistically proven, one of the greatest regrets upon dying is the deep regret that:
“I wish I spent more time with the people I love.”
It’s easy to let that time slip away, but once it’s gone you can never get it back.
Besides, as Steve Blank author of the Startup Owners Manual stated it, “When you’re gone, would you rather have your gravestone say:
‘He never missed a meeting? or one that said, He was a great father.’”
I’m so grateful that I’ve learnt to protect this time, regardless!
#4. THEY HAVE DETERMINED THEIR SUCCESS SILHOUETTE
People who manage work-life balance have developed a strong sense of who they are, their values and what is important to them.
If your desire for success is greater than your desire to be principled, you will compromise on the essentials of true success.
Having a success silhouette for everything you do helps you determine what success means to you.
Listen to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on this point:
“Reconsider your definitions. We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to mankind.”
Wow! That’s food for thought….?
#5. THEY DETECT AND DUMP DISTRACTIONS FAST
People who maintain balance are able to turn off their electronic devices to enjoy uninterrupted, quality time doing things they value and enjoy.
They realise that multitasking is a myth and focusing on the task at hand is the key to “living in the moment.”
They learn to “compartmentalise” their time.
Don’t confuse having a career with having a life or a family life. If you are a spiritual person like me, invite God into every department of your life.
Learn to be present in each moment, experience and savour life.
Consider the power of meditation (see my article: 7 Sacred Minutes with God), listen to more music (I love classical), do physical activity (I could improve a whole lot on this one) or some other interest that allows you to get away from the pressures of everyday life – to relax, rejuvenate and regenerate your spirit, soul and body.
Remember, “balance is not better time management, but better boundary management.”
#6. THEY ARE PASSIONATELY GOAL DRIVEN
Many people go through life and get caught up in situations and circumstances that end up controlling them.
Generally, 80% of all of the activity that you are involved in right now is taking you nowhere.
Discern what is the 20 % of things that matter and move towards your dream and give yourself wholeheartedly to it.
Balance can only be achieved when plans are defined around time frames and a passionate determination to make some sacrifices to get what you want in the end. For example, many entrepreneurs typically plan to spend a substantial amount of time in the early part of their businesses.
Those that achieve balance down the road see this as a sacrifice that will allow them to spend extra time and energy in other areas they are passionate about once the business is established.
The greater the sacrifice the greater the glory of leisure!
#7. THEY SURROUND THEMSELVES WITH THE WISE AND CARING
People who have achieved good balance have surrounded themselves with other people who are wiser them they are (either through books or friendships.) As the ancient proverbs say, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”
Gravitate towards wise people and move away from the unwise. How can you tell the wise apart from the foolish?
The answer is very simple actually,
The wise, have a consistent track record or a history of making wise decisions which are evident in their lives.
Don’t be fooled with titles, positions or money. Find a strategic life and business mentor and also built a strong support network, (family, friends, church family) they can depend upon to help them get through difficult times.
The most important person in my life next to my Maker is my wife. Listen to this piece of wisdom from, Sheryl Sandberg, (COO of Facebook),
“The most important career decision you’ll make is who your life partner is.”
I love this!
And finally, as you endeavour to find work-life balance, learn to become more generous with your life, time, talent and money, wisely. Extend yourselves to help out others, serve your community and Church.
Have a variety of interests, don’t just live for yourself or your family. Always be open to new learning and possibilities. I love this statement from Zuckerberg,
“I spend most of my time thinking about how to connect the world and serve our community better, but a lot of that time isn’t in our office or meeting with people or doing what you’d call real work. I take a lot of time just to read and think about things by myself.” ―Mark Zuckerberg
So there you have it, the 7 Habits of Successful People.
Experience life to the fullest. Don’t just exist, live!