I’ve had a few comments after my blog asking whether a career-hungry executive is able to juggle work, life and family so that there is some semblance of balance in your life.
The answers I’ve received basically are twofold: determination and compromise.
Naturally everyone points out that a good work-life balance makes you more efficient but when there aren’t enough hours in the day something has to give, surely. There are ways …
A COO I met last week has altered her life by drastically changing her work pattern. She told me:
“My company like most others don’t care about me, all that concerns them is what I can do for them.”
So she now works a day or two at home each week. Her company were most resistant but she asked them to let her prove that her productivity would increase since she would be using time usually spent on commuting. Her maxim (and mine) is: don’t ask, don’t get.
You CAN make time for other things than your job. Let me tell you the true story of a former Cabinet Minister, Peter Walker MP. As soon as he was in post he informed his officials that during week days he was never available between 6 and 7 pm. That was the time he would speed home to bath and tell bedtime stories to his young children. I don’t have to tell you that his work load was horrendous. And he probably worked on his papers later that night – but he had made a decision that his children would see him regularly proving however demanding your career, it is still possible to schedule the time you need and make up work afterwards or the next day.
Other ideas I’ve gleaned include
- deciding how much time you will spend working, including commuting time and allocating a definite off-work time. And sticking to it (see above!)
- If you work extra late, don’t be shy in taking time off in lieu as most companies don’t give overtime. If you are worried the boss will look askance, remember it would be good for your career to keep awake during working hours!
- In these days of redundancies, companies don’t usually offload people who perform well. With proper time management that won’t be you. So lose the fear because the stress of working long hours must decrease productivity. Work fewer but higher-quality hours.
- And it may be worth having a talk to your boss to point these facts out.
- More people are working from home (see above) thus cutting out commuting time. Flexible time is also becoming more usual. Remember ‘don’t ask, don’t get’.
The consensus seems to be: work less and do more. In other words, work smarter. I hope this is helpful.
A TOP TIP I HAVE FOUND
If you are attracted to Groupon offers – as I am – be aware that some of their prices are NOT the cheapest. I was about to order a set of three Jamie Oliver knives for £31 when I looked up these exact ones on Amazon and found they were half the price! Same with an iphone battery charger. So before ordering, check that price.