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June 03, 2007

"Tip of the Week" - Work & Life Balance Questions? Have Some Pie.

Elizabeth Inskip-Paulk (Yin and Yang) has been writing and working in the field of stress management and other health-related fields for more than seven years.  She suggests, in order to take an accounting of your work/life balance, you create a life pie chart.  Cut your life into eight slices of pie.  Label each slice as follows:

  1. Job or business
  2. Family: Do you spend enough time with them for there to be few feelings of guilt or deprivation for most of the people involved?
  3. Friends: Do you have any who are not involved with your business?
  4. Leisure: Do you take time to do your hobbies and things that are personally fun for you? (And no, work doesn't count!)
  5. Health (physical): Do you exercise regularly? Eat healthy meals?
  6. Personal growth: When was the last time you really learned a new skill that wasn't linked with your business?
  7. Education: Are you reading industry magazines? Have you joined a local association for networking? Do you go out to lunch with fellow entrepreneurs to learn from one another?
  8. Spirituality: Do you take time to connect to your Higher Power (however you define that)? It may mean organized worship or a stroll around a local park, but take the time to connect.

If you feel your life is lopsided, out of whack, one 'slice' is super-sized and another a 'dieter's sliver', chances are your life is unbalanced. 

It is very easy for a solo who has to wear multiple hats and who believes they are only as good as their next big retainer check to get nervous and anxious and neglect their health, hobbies, and spirituality and be ladened down with a backpack filled to overflowing with guilt about a myriad of family matters. 

No one said the balancing act was easy.  But the alternative is downright unhealthy. It is necessary, in order to have any type of longevity in your career and to not perpetuate that horrible statistic of being in the most unhappy and depressed profession, to figure our your life pie chart.

I know when my life is out of whack...when my 3 1/2 year old son walks into my office, throws up his hands and says, "Mommy, you're on the computer, again?"


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