There can be a lot of dissatisfaction, anxiety, unhappiness and exhaustion in the every day life of small business owners. In this quick tips episode, Mari-Liis Vaher gives some valuable tips on ways to work on personal growth and professional development to maintain balance in your life.
We see a lot of dissatisfaction around us, especially in business owners for whom their work is their life and vice versa. But living like a hamster in a wheel is not sustainable and sooner or later, it will lead to bigger problems either with your health or your relationships.
So, when it comes to planning your work days, one principle that can help you maintain balance is the 8-8-8 rule which means that in your 24 hours, set aside 8 hours for sleep, 8 hours for work and 8 hours for yourself, your family, your hobbies and everything else worthwhile in your life.
So, let’s take a closer look at each of these categories:
- 8h for your work or obligations - this is totally normal and acceptable. It is also okay if it sometimes takes longer, as long as you get all the more rest later on, and that you don’t burn yourself out by working excessive hours. If you’re working excessive hours, it has to be something you’re only doing temporarily, and not your normal work week.
- 8h for resting and sleeping - by far most people need somewhere between 7-9 hours of sleep. But people are different, so somebody might be able to get on with 6 hours, and others might need more than 9 hours. However, if you sleep less than 6 hours on a regular basis, meaning 2 weeks or longer, your energy will begin to drain. Less than 6 hours or more than 10 hours are both harmful and you need to think about the effect it has on your physiology and your life. You will get tired faster and you’ll become much more sensitive to everything around you. I am sure you’ve heard it before, but a steady, healthy sleep pattern IS truly crucial!
- 8h for recreation allows you to feel good and make sense of life. It’s anything that you like to do, and want to do, such as hobbies, family, going to the theater, watching tv, hanging out with friends, etc..
When the 8-8-8 principle is in place, there is already a balance in your life that provides excellent support for your physical and mental presence and health.
However, to maintain that balance and to work towards your goals and to find satisfaction from achieving your goals, we highly recommend you to create personal KPI-s or Key Performance Indicators. This means having measurable goals in various areas of your life and then keeping track of your habits.
For most people, their personal goals can fit into the following 10 categories:
- Physical Health: Your physical well-being, including feeling and being healthy, maintaining good nutrition, having lots of energy, getting plenty of sleep and rest, and staying physically active. Some activities you could do for your physical health are regular exercise, cooking nutritious and healthy meals, taking up a hobby that pushes you to move your body and so on.
- Mental Health Your emotional well-being, including feeling happy and calm, relatively free of anxiety and stress, maintaining a positive attitude towards life and its challenges. For that, there are many possibilities, for example: journaling, meditation, practicing gratitude, affirmations, regular MIP time - or quality time with the most important person which is YOU.
- Personal Relationships: This includes your relationships with your significant other, your family, and close friends. You need to feel that you have a good and strong support network, and you are happy and grateful that you have these people around you. To support this, you may plan regular 1-on-1 time or “date nights”, practice active listening, and give little gestures of appreciation.
- The next one is Professional Relationships: This includes your colleagues, employees, business partners, etc. To nurture these relationships, you may consider attending regular networking events, giving referrals and also giving honest feedback and guidance when possible.
- Category number 5 is Personal & Spiritual Growth: This involves your self-awareness and the desire to fulfill your purpose. Some activities that boost this are listening to podcasts, reading books, creating vision boards, practicing being in the present.
- Next up is Giving Back & Service To Others: This includes selfless actions that you do to better society, the environment, the world, and the people around you. This may be about devoting your time, money and other resources to causes that are important to you without expecting anything in return; you do it simply because you believe in the cause. Some examples here are volunteering, setting up regular donations, offering your service for free for those in need and so on.
- Moving on, we have Work & Career: This includes your knowledge, skills and experience - all of which are necessary for delivering peak performance in your work. You need to believe in the work that you do; and feel that you are on the right path to achieving your career goals. This may mean asking to learn from your colleagues or people who have already achieved what you want, or attending seminars or Masterminds or investing in coaching.
- Number 8 is Finances: This includes your savings, investments, passive income, budgeting and expense management. You need to feel financially responsible and secure, to know that you have enough to withstand unexpected circumstances. Activities you may consider here are tracking your expenses, learning how to invest, setting up a savings account and so on.
- Next up, we have Time Management: You need to have a strong understanding of where you should put your focus to achieve what it is that you want to achieve. For that you may opt for keeping track of your time, using scheduling and planning, learning how to automate tasks that steal your time.
- Last, but not least, we have Learning New Skills: We are never too old to learn something new. Annalyze in which areas you need to acquire new knowledge or learn new skills to improve yourself. This may include learning a new language or taking a course that helps you in any of the aforementioned topics.
We know it can sound a lot, but the key thing to remember is that you don’t have to focus on all the 10 aspects at once. Master 1-2 new habits before you incorporate something new. If you take on too much, then you end up not doing any of them. So, brainstorm your goals in all of the categories that Mari-Liis mentioned and prioritize what to start with.
We hope this episode inspired you and gave you some ideas. Thank you so much for tuning in and we wish you all the best on your growth journey!