When I used to hear the statement "Work-Fun-Life-Balance" I would immediately conceptualize this picture of a person who has it all together. They would dress in neutral colors with a Zen-like appearance and everything about their life would be so simple, neat and organized. They had all the answers. Then I realized, there is absolutely no one that I know that has this aura about themselves. “Work-Fun-Life-Balance” can be perceived differently by each person and can therefore be approached differently too.
Though I do have challenges at times with prioritizing certain tasks, I do not have any trouble with prioritizing golf and running. I make it a priority to spend time on the things that I like and need to do. My job and career have become the transporter to my destination…which is my ‘me time’! I work hard so that I can have fun and relax later. My objective in life is to do what I need to do, so that I can do what I want to do. I believe having a balanced life requires you to identify the things that we WANT and NEED. Take the following examples:
- I want to be a great Leader, therefore I Need to read, identify my strengths and weaknesses and continue to gain knowledge and put that knowledge to use with my staff, as well as being present and offering valuable feedback in Leadership Team Meetings.
- I WANT to play good golf and score in the low 80's or lower, therefore I will Need to practice at the range, take lessons, invest in a good set of clubs, accessories and golf gear.
- I want to be a great Husband and Father, therefore I will need to be attentive to my family and spend quality time with my wife and kids.
- I WANT to finish the New York Marathon in less than 5 1/2 hours, therefore I will NEED to train, eat properly, make the majority of scheduled practice runs, get enough sleep, and recover well.
Keep in mind, there are weekly tasks that we need to complete that we do not like, but we have to do those tasks in order to fulfill the WANTS we desire. I do not like participating in runs over 6 miles, but I know I have to get those in for practice in order to achieve that time in a Marathon. I do not like reading boring books on theories or concepts, but I know they have information in them that can be vital to my development and growth. Therefore, I try to make the acts I need to do more pleasurable for me. For example, I might go out on the balcony and smoke a cigar with a cocktail while I read or listen to the book. I try whatever will help me to look forward to doing the necessary tasks of life.
In terms of the tasks that I WANT to do, I love practicing and playing golf. I find it so relaxing hitting balls on the range at night, so I make this a major priority because I know I will not be happy doing anything else unless I get my golf time in. It is imperative. My wife and I also enjoy doing Thursday night wings and beer for our date-night, along with Saturday night dinners, movies, parties with friends, etc. We make sure that we have time to discuss the kids, finances and other family items. Every now and then she also will come out to the range and hit balls with me in addition to participating in weekend runs with my running group!
Personally, I feel that having a “Work-Fun-Life-Balanced” life simply comes down to identifying the WANTS in your personal and professional life, and applying the time it takes to do the things you NEED to do. If there are tasks you do not like doing, you will have to create an environment that would make that task fun and relaxing. Why not get the most out of life? You are only blessed with one.