Guest Blog from Julian Childs, Career Coach & Business Advisor at Regent’s University London.
Ever thought about all the time you’ll spend at work during your career? Let’s assume 50 hours per week including your commute (most senior executives and entrepreneurs do much more), for 46 weeks a year… That’s 2,300 hours a year and, if you work for 40 years from, say, age 25 to 65, that makes 92,000 hours working! Dividing by 24 hours in a day we get 3,833 full days – and allowing that 1/3 of that time will be spent in bed, in fact not far short of 16 years of your life are likely to be spent in harness! By all means check my math but, believe me, this will be a much more enjoyable and successful ‘life sentence’ if you can do work that is fun and worthwhile and that leaves a decent legacy.
Of course outside of work, there’s a whole host of other factors that ‘balance’ your life: everything you take for granted until it fails or is absent… I’m talking here about your health, general wellbeing, personal development, security, self-esteem, recreation, home, family, friendships, social life, special relationship, career progression, achievements, reputation, income, wealth, assets… I’m sure you can add to this list and I’d be very interested to know what you consider to be the most important.
Draw a circle on a piece of paper and transect it with a number of lines through the middle to split the circle into, say, eight or twelve equal segments divided effectively by a number of spokes – rather like a bicycle wheel. Next, label each of the spokes with the name of one of your important criteria then, interpreting the centre of the wheel as “0” and where a spoke hits circumference as “10”, mark a cross on each spoke to indicate how satisfactory you feel your life is currently in this area. Then join up all of the crosses to create a ‘picture’ of the balance of your life at this moment in time.
The idea is that a balanced life is a perfect circle – and if it’s the same size as the wheel that you’ve drawn, then you must be scoring yourself 10 out of 10 for every aspect – and so, it follows, living and enjoying your life to the full!
But if, as usually happens, there are some areas of life that are letting you down, these will show up as low scores and clearly indicate where your tyre is ‘punctured’. It follows, therefore, that these are the areas where you need to concentrate your effort in order to have a more enjoyable, fulfilling and balanced life – and some may be incompatible!