By Erica Wolfe-Murray
I work with a wide variety of business owners, both men and women, of different ages and at differing phases in their life.
Some have young children at home, others are carers, some are single, others are in relationships. When we start exploring what they are looking to do with their lives and how their business relates to this, many of them stress they want an improved work/life balance.
This makes me raise my eyebrow.
At what point did work stop being part of life? When did they start competing? Was I looking the other way?
Surely, we all want our work to contribute to well-lived life, just as we want our home, family, friends and social interests to do so too? They are not divisible but should be allowed to enrich each other.
Many people, sadly, imagine this work/life balance as resembling the opposing ends of a seesaw. When one end gets heavier, there is less to contribute to the other end, with time and energy being the limiting factors. As each end goes up and down in turn, we feel pulled in the opposing directions.
I help companies take a different view. Imagine work and home as a circle, a continuum if you like. The working hours feeding into the home/family hours, feeding into the working hours and onwards in perpetual motion.
By letting home and work ‘bleed’ into each other, allowing them to feed each other, a more positive relationship grows between them. Take your children to work odd days. Talk to them about ideas using their bright minds to give you added insights. If you are out with your partner and see something that sparks a work thought, have a chat about it. And do the same for them. The allows the colourful threads from all parts of your world to weave a richer tapestry. With your whole life feeling more fulfilled in the process.
Just as you will benefit, so too will your business, your home life, your relationships. It takes the one of the core battles out of your life. Despite it sounding counter-intuitive, it works.
So during National Work/Life Balance Week, remember the continuum that is your world, help your working life to enrich your home life, which in turn will feed your world of work.
Erica’s new book ‘Simple Tips, Smart Ideas : Build a Bigger, Better Business’ is full of her usual easy-to-use advice, lots of case studies, quick tips, diagrams and innovative ways to think about growing your business and developing greater commercial resilience. Its 288 full colour pages will help you transform your business. With only 5* reviews, it is available from Amazon, all good booksellers and from her website www.ericawolfemurray.co.uk.
About the author
Erica Wolfe-Murray is the UK’s leading business expert and the founder of Lola-Media.co.uk.
Her new book ‘Simple Tips Smart Ideas‘ is out now.