Dynamic Business Logo
Home Button
Bookmark Button

When DSB was looking for the right person to speak to about maintaining work-life balance, we needed to look no further than Clare Loewenthal, publisher of DSB for the last 12 years. As a business owner herself, she knows all the right and wrong way to keep the balance between work and home life.

Active ImageI’m the wrong person to be talking about work-life balance; I have never been good at moderation. DSB has been a huge part of my life for 12 years and my staff would tell you I am a complete workaholic.

Certainly when I started the magazine, it was essential to work long hours and make personal sacrifices. Over the years the financial pressure on the business lessened and the quality of my life improved.

But in April this year, as DSB changed from bi-monthly to monthly, it has meant I am again putting in long hours and dealing with a good degree of uncertainty.

So looking at how to achieve the illusive balance is a very timely exercise for me. I am forced to look into why achieving a balanced life is so important, what are the practical tips on how to improve the quality of your life, and what has worked for me

The Big Picture

It’s ironic that we go into a small business because it can be more flexible and give us more control over our life. As business owners, we know most often the opposite is true. We work hard to earn money to improve our lifestyle but often don’t stop to enjoy the pleasure that money can bring. But this isn’t just so for the businessowner, it also applies to the workforce.

Work life balance means different things to different people. So the first step is to define what it means to you. Audit your life:

• work

• family

• health

• friends

• education

• hobbies

As you work through the list, ask yourself what is it within each part of your life that makes you happy. The trick then is to organise your life in such a way that you get more of the things that bring you pleasure.

A company called Managing Work/Life Balance International has just released The 2005 Way Ahead Report that looks at workplace initiatives that improve the quality of life for employees.

The survey found that best practice companies reported increased productivity, less staff turnover, less absenteeism and improved customer service, so as business owners we should be looking at these issues.

What has worked for me:

• setting realistic goals and timeframes

• learning to say no

• finding outside reality checks

• recognising physical signs of stress

• delegating in both my personal and professional life

• scheduling in timeout (holidays)

Because of the different definitions we have, we need to develop a personal action plan, where you commit to achieving balance in the same way as you would a business goal. This may mean an investment in learning new skills, such as time management, or finding a coach. Identify your needs (this requires some self awareness to understand what really brings you joy and makes you feel alive). Prioritise items into must dos, should dos, could dos and nice to dos. Eliminate energy drains commitments and obligations that drain you and are unrealistic. Understand stress, it can’t be avoided but it must be managed. And finally, find your personal stress releases: publishing is a deadline driven business and I have become something of an adrenaline junkie!

What do you think?

    Be the first to comment

Add a new comment

Guest Author

Guest Author

Dynamic Business has a range of highly skilled and expert guest contributors, from a wide range of businesses and industries.

View all posts