Working to Live, or Living to Work?

Published on December 21st, 2015

ALISTAIR MURRAYAlistair Murray, CEO of leading sailboat hardware manufacturer Ronstan, shares some holiday advice from the head office in Melbourne, Australia…

As we hit the holiday season, this seems like the perfect time to talk about work/life balance. In our lives we all know people across the whole spectrum, from hedonistic, lazy bums through to totally obsessive workaholics. Neither extreme is good!

Even at Ronstan there is quite a range, with some people struggling to let go, enjoy life and take their holidays. Personally, it worries me when I see workaholic tendencies, of which I have exhibited the odd one from time to time myself, but on balance I clearly work to live, enjoying life outside work to the maximum.

So, a few tips from me on work/life balance:
1. Plan: Decide what is important to you and write it down. Always write a “to do list” at the end of the day for what you are doing tomorrow, but have a longer term plan too. Work/life balance is about flexibility, but to have flexibility you need structure.
2. Time Management: We all waste time, but try to do the right thing in the right way and at the right time. My favourite tip as a manager is to ask somebody when they can start something, as opposed to when they can finish it.
3. Unplug: It seems that all we see these days is people staring at little screens. Turn them off when we are with people…. don’t send work emails when you are hanging out with friends and family. Be there! Tell friends and family to switch phones off at the table!
4. Smarter, not Harder. Let Go of Perfection: Your best is usually good enough, so stop stressing about everything having to be perfect.
5. Learn to Say No: If you want to say yes, fine, but if deep down you want to say no, say no and keep saying it. You can’t do everything.
6. Take Holidays: Everyone needs a break, and you’ll work more effectively on your return.
7. Stay Fit and Healthy: Eat well, sleep well and exercise. Make exercise part of your daily routine. And don’t forget to have those regular medical check ups.
8. Love your Job: Enjoy the tasks, the people, the environment and the opportunities. Enjoy what you do, or change what you do!

In conclusion, how good am I at all this stuff? See point 4. Nobody is perfect!

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