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Four Steps To A Work/Life Balance Without Sacrificing Success.

By Lisa Woods (1010 words)
Posted in Professional Development on May 14, 2012

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We all hear about the need to create a good work/life balance, but what does that really mean if you want to be successful?  Can you achieve top dog status without compromising your personal life in the process?  Can you enjoy a fulfilling personal life without losing your competitive edge?


Sometimes we are forced to reduce our personal time due to mandatory job travel and work hours, but take a look at the time you choose to spend working instead of living because you think it is necessary to be one step ahead of others.  Do you constantly check your email, travel for face time when a conference call would work just as well, or choose to work late while your family is off doing other things?


I am not here to judge or say you shouldn’t work hard to get ahead…trust me, I have been there.  But I challenge you to question if you are working on the right things to be the best you can be at work and in your personal life. When you strive to achieve both, you will drive yourself down a path of professional development that otherwise may not have been considered; acquiring new skills, and achieving new results that strike that balance without compromising professional success.


Professional Success is not defined by the amount of time you put into it, it is defined by the results your efforts generate.  So focus on results..and judge your success on the ability to achieve those results in the shortest amount of time.  Conversely, Personal Success IS defined by the amount of time you put into it.  The more time you spend with your family and friends, the better your relationships will be. You Can Work Smarter, Live Better and be More Successful in everything you do.


Here are three essential steps for striking that successful balance:


Step One: Define where you want to take your career and the results required to get there.

Keep it as simple or as complex as you want, but focus on results, and then drill those results down into actions.  What weekly and monthly goals must be achieved to reach your success targets?  What do you expect from those around you?  What metrics do you need to monitor those specific results?


Step Two: Define the relationships you would like to have with your family and friends and the amount of time required to develop them. 

Establish targets for each individual and group in your personal life.  You may find there are some that you choose not to include.


Step Three: Put a Professional Development plan in place to help you work faster.

Do you know how to manage people effectively so you are not covering the slack?  Are your communication skills strong enough to get others moving for you?  Are you a good negotiator?  Can you facilitate work groups, drive project timelines, and adjust actions to financial results?  Can you quickly build reports that are useful, or create presentations that evoke others to take action? Bottom line…are you efficient at what you are doing or do you spend too much time on things that you don’t do very well.  All of these abilities can be improved to help you move faster and achieve your goals.  What kind of training do you need to achieve more, faster?


Step Four: Use this exercise as a litmus test for future decision-making.

There are always interruptions and new things added everyday to our to-do lists.  If you have your professional and personal success results in mind, you can ask yourself, will this new interruption help me achieve both?  If the additional workload is not mandatory and does not fit into your results plan, learn to say no.  You are achieving your results, so why waste your time on things that are not necessary?


So get out there and implement your professional development plan: read, take seminars or set time aside to learn from others.  As you learn to be better and faster in your weak areas, you can work smarter and free up time for living.  Yes, I am adding more to your work plate.  Look, if you want to strike a balance without compromising success, it will take time.  It is not something that happens over night, but it you plan for it, and work toward it, you can achieve it.


I hope you are able to test out these concepts and share your results with us.  Others can benefit from your ideas and experiences.    Good luck!




Written by Lisa WoodsPresident ManagingAmericans.com

Lisa is a successful entrepreneur, world-class marketing strategist, and dynamic business leader with more than 20 years experience leading, managing and driving growth. Throughout her career, Lisa has been influential in integration techniques, organizational and cultural overhauls, financial turnarounds and developing employees into exceptional leaders, results driven managers and passionate team contributors.


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Comments (2)

Mark Swanson posted on: May 15, 2012

I tried this and now I have no friends.

Chris Curry posted on: July 20, 2012

As a successful CEO once told me, "There is no work / life balance, only work / life choices."

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