One of the questions frequently asked of senior executives is around the concept of work/life balance.
How do you manage your time with a crazy busy work schedule and family commitments?
"The challenge of work-life balance is without question one of the most significant struggles faced by modern man."
I have always responded to these questions with the response that I focus on "life balance", not work/life balance.
I view my job as an important part of my life and the intersection between work and home life is quite blurred.
Many of my friends are people I met through work.
I met my wife through work.
When I am out socializing it is often with work people, or people in business.
When I am out networking it is often with friends and future friends.
So what is work and what is not?
"I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can't truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles."
We started Eagle in 1996 when my kids were still quite young, 7 yrs. old and 12 yrs. old, so there were many important events in their lives that I did not want to miss.
I coached both in soccer for many years, attended almost all teacher interviews, attended almost every sports event and practice that they participated in and still managed to build a company with offices across the country.
One of the tips I would give people is to be disciplined in using their calendar ... and to have just one calendar that shows everything going on in their lives, whether it is related to business or home life.
I cannot get my head around people that don't use their calendar; it is such an essential tool if you want to have any hope of managing a busy life.
I use my work calendar and make personal appointments private so they are not viewable to the whole world.
I can block off regular events, I can look at my calendar any time because it syncs to my phone, I can move appointments to accommodate other priorities ... whether those priorities are personal or work related.
A second tip is to have a way of prioritizing events.
I am lucky as a business owner that I can plan internal business activities such that there are reduced conflicts with personal activities, but that only works to some degree.
The trick then comes in deciding what are the highest priority activities.
If I place a very high priority on being at my kid's events then it makes decisions easier.
It takes an even HIGHER priority item to make me miss an event, and that then becomes rare.
"I've learned that you can't have everything and do everything at the same time."
There are no magic answers, and there will always be tough decisions to make ... but if you have all the facts at your fingertips and are able to assign the right level of priority then you can hit a good life balance!
Besides with a little creativity you might decide it is always possible to have a business meeting with a colleague at a kid's soccer game!