I run three fast growing organisations, with in total 12 employees. None of them have been around for longer than three years, and all of them are growing double- or triple digits. As you can imagine, life doesn’t stand still.
I work part time. Why? Because I firmly believe we all need balance.
My partner has a high profile job, and we have two lovely children, eight and two years old. I also spend time in Sweden to see my father as much as possible, and to help with his care (he is a prostate cancer fighter).
How? Simple. One simple but crucial rule… and the lists of things I do, and things I’ve decided to stop doing. But first:
The Rule: No guilt. Ever. I am where I have chosen to be, and guilt has no place.
List of things I do:
- Drop off and pick up at school most days
- Uninterrupted playtime with kids between 17-19
- Share 50/50 with the kids’ father (it is 2016. Par for the course. Come on.)
- Mow the lawn every Sunday.
- Hire people who are brilliant and let them do their jobs
- Maintain responsibility for hiring, new product development, finance and strategy.
- Start every day by thinking “What is the thing I can do to make the businesses more successful today?”. And then I ACT on it. Relentlessly. Every. Single. Day. I don’t have time to fiddle around.
Things I don’t do:
- Work in the evenings or on weekends
- Micromanage my staff
- Have a gym membership (I sneak in exercise with the kids. I do awesome cartwheels by now)
- Watch TV (apart from BGT!)
I am the first to admit that despite my fairly straight forward plans, it is far from perfect. I get distracted and enthusiastic (a couple of weeks ago I spent over 10 HOURS on making an App. Completely stupid. Not ever a GOOD app….!) and sometimes I read emails during my sacred Kid-Time, and almost always at bedtime. But I have to be proud when I look at the overall picture, because I can see it works. I spend quality time with my kids every day, and I get more done during my limited office hours than most other people I speak to.
Someone told me I was really lucky. I both agree and disagree. I didn’t get here by chance, and it took a while, so luck had very little to do with it. That being said though: I tremendously appreciate what I have.
If you work long hours, perhaps I can inspire you to get a better balance by prioritising harder too? Or if you have something that works better, please add your advice to the comments? Thanks, and thank you for reading.