By Andy Bailey
It’s that time of year again. The leaves are falling, the days are getting shorter, and my daughters have headed back to school. Summer vacations are over, and if I’ve done it right, I’m looking back at time well spent.
For my family, summer has always been an opportunity to slow down and hit “reset.” And personally, it’s been a time for me to reflect on my own work-life balance.
Like most professionals, I’m extremely busy. I fly at least 100 times a year for trainings and speaking engagements around the country. Balancing work and family is a constant challenge. And as the years have gone by (and the miles have added up), I’ve realized that it’s not just achieving balance in my work and home life that’s the goal – I want to be purposeful in each.
If you stop and look at your life – personally and professionally – ask yourself: Am I meaningfully pouring into both sides, or am I just going through the motions and accomplishing nothing?
Maybe it’s time to recalibrate the scale.
Every year I schedule father-daughter trips with each of my two daughters, so I can give undivided attention to family. We give each trip a theme, just for fun – often inspired by something they’re studying in school. I take separate trips with each of my daughters and the trips lasts about three to four days each. We even bring journals on our getaways to capture our thoughts and experiences along the way.
We’ve been taking these annual trips for ten years, and my hope is that we won’t ever stop. These adventures allow us to reconnect, refocus, and move forward with more intention.
Would it be easy to let a year go by without setting aside this time? Sure it would. All of us are busy. But, we wouldn’t dream of it. The time I get to spend with my daughters is too important.
I’ve even instituted programs at my office to help my whole team hit reset. Every two weeks, each member of the team meets one-on-one with their adviser to chat through highs and lows (personal and professional), as well as how the company can help them achieve their goals. They discuss ways they can improve and identify specific tasks to complete in the following two weeks, in order to reach those goals.
Now, you might say, “we’ve already got too many meetings,” or “we don’t have that kind of time.” There are a million excuses not to take a moment to check in with each other. Well, now’s the moment to stop making excuses. The time you get to spend with your team members is too important.
One bi-weekly pow-wow helps you share victories, address challenges and build trust. And, it allows you to create a consistent, safe space where your team members can truly be heard.
Bottom line: It’s about being purposeful – at work and at home. I know it can be a tough ask, and, at times it can feel impossible. But, trust me – your success and, more importantly, your fulfillment in both areas depends on it.
Andy Bailey is lead entrepreneur coach with business coaching firm Petra Coach and has served as the entrepreneur organization’s global membership director. Visit his blog at www.petracoach.com for more business and leadership insight.