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How To: Balance Your Work And Personal Life

how_to_balance_tightrope

Where Do You Draw the Line Between Business & Pleasure?

There’s a fine line between working too hard and hardly working, but balancing your work and personal life is in your control. In the end its up to you to decide what you really want and then determine the best plan for making it happen.

Inc.com’s Steve Tobak shares five ingredients for achieving the ultimate balance:

1. There is an optimum balance.

Here’s the theory: If you work too hard and completely miss out on life, you’ll be miserable. If you have too much fun and don’t make enough money, the result’s the same. Those are the extremes. Somewhere in between is an optimum point where you work hard enough, make enough money, and still have fun.

That optimum point is different for everyone–but it does exist.

2. It’s all about your goals…

If your goals are to have a fulfilling career and a rich family life, you should be able to pull it off. Really. That’s what I call a reasonable balance. If, on the other hand, you really want to make it big out there, you’ll probably have to sacrifice on the personal side to achieve that.

Look at it this way: Life is all about tradeoffs.

3. …and how hard you’re willing to work to achieve them.

Some people want to have it all. If your goals are that aggressive, then you’ll probably have to work long and hard and be disciplined about it to achieve them. This is the aspect of work-life balance where people generally fall down. Like it or not, goals don’t mean a thing if you aren’t willing and able to deliver the goods.

4. It helps a lot if you love your work.

Ever hear of working dogs? They’re breeds that are all about the work. Boxers, shepherds, rottweilers, and collies are generally at their best when they’re working.

5. You don’t have to be on 24×7.

But that, in my opinion, is more about giving in to instant gratification, the need for attention, and the addictive qualities of our communication overloaded culture than it is about having to be on 24×7.