By DSOA Studio Growth Coach, Jane Grech.
REMINDER: You are more than your work…
Dance studio owners, like many entrepreneurs live, eat and breathe their work. The work you do is a calling, it lights you up, you feel energised and excited when you are in flow. You work from a place of deep passion. A lack of motivation is very rare. While mostly this is great, of course there’s a downside as well. This purpose can be all consuming, and can very quickly and silently swallow you whole, spitting out the remains of what used to be a ‘balanced person’.
When you give too much energy and too much time only to your work you run the risk of defining yourself as what you do, instead of who you are. Your work becomes your identity, you begin to lose your true self and forget that your life is actually bigger than your work.
The Wheel of Life
The Wheel of Life, so neatly divided into 8, can be a great visual reminder that you are so much more than your work. Generally speaking categories include areas such as Career, Finance, Personal Growth, Health, Family, Relationships, Social Life and Attitude, however you could replace other categories of higher value to you in in their place such as Spirituality, Legacy or Continuous Learning, just to name a few.
To be honest, very few people can boast an evenly balanced spread, where all areas are receiving the right amount of time and energy all the time. For entrepreneurs, your wheel can be more skewed than others, and if left to remain this way over long periods of time, is one factor to feeling overwhelmed and unbalanced.
Now, you’ve probably heard that the term ‘work life balance’ is a bit ‘year 2000’s’ . That’s mostly thanks to the complexity of technology filtering into ‘after hours’ time and now it’s all supposedly just work and life. Yet, when you look at the Wheel of Life, you can see that if you are weighting your work and business too heavily that an imbalance can indeed occur. Reflecting, and then addressing the different areas of life can be helpful in creating a healthier holistic approach: an approach where you can say who you are instead of what you do.
If you’ve taken stock of the eight areas of your life, and found some areas lacking, it’s not ideal to attempt to ‘fix’ them all, all at the same time.
Life is messy and complicated, and that’s what makes it interesting. There are no neat lines dividing our time. There are wavy lines, lines that merge and ebb and flow. Just when you think you have it all sorted out, you might lose an employee at work and your workload doubles overnight, your son might fall unwell and you lose precious time while taking him to the doctor, or you come home from a holiday to find a pipe has burst and your bedroom has flooded. [All true stories!] Just to add to the complexity, for some reason these things do seem to all happen at the same time. Those plans you made back when the year was fresh and demands were less feel like nothing more than a pipe dream now.
If you aim for 100% in all 8 areas of our life, you will be sure to fail. So, then what?
Pick three a day.
So, today you might be able to:
- Get up early and go for a walk to attend to the needs of your body and soul [Health]
- Attend back to back meetings where you are fully focused on the work in front of you [Career]
- Have family dinner together where you have nutritious food and good conversation [Family]
Tomorrow, you pick a further three, some areas may repeat, or not. That’s life at work!
Monthly Check In’s
A healthy ritual to adopt is checking your ‘life pulse’ at the end of each month. Look at the 8 main areas of your life and score them out of 10, taking time to reflect as to whether you have made any improvements or faced setbacks in these areas. What you focus on expands, and this simple ten minute mindfulness practice can hone your intentions, reminding you to reset from auto pilot [work, work, eat, work] and giving time and energy to the people and others areas that help make you, you.
Awareness is obviously step one. If you’re feeling overwhelm or an imbalance, or losing yourself more and more in your work, taking the time to complete some honest reflection is the turn key to change. But knowing is not enough. Doing is power. If you want to really open the door you must continuously look at your gaps and courageously, consciously and strategically design the life you want to live.
Jane Grech is the author of Dance Studio Success as well as the owner of the Jane Grech Dance Centre in Adelaide. She is also a loving wife, mother of 3 gorgeous children and our DSOA resident expert when it comes to studio culture and leadership.
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