We only have one life – Stephen Fear on work-life balance
Why is a work-life balance so important?
We only have one life so spending the time allotted to us wisely is essential. Working all the time isn’t healthy, nor is playing all the time either though, so it is vital to get the two into balance.
Should you try to leave work in the office? How do you draw that line with mobile technology drawing you back at all hours?
This is a difficult question to answer because we all work in different ways. Personally I work remotely from the office most of the time and use mobile technology to make sure I manage my business affairs and my private life effectively. It is essential to create an anchor to your working week. For me this is 8am on a Monday morning until 8pm on the following Thursday. 12 hour days are enough!
How do you switch off at night? Is it even possible?
Switching off is critical to lasting success in my opinion, so I avoid using my iPad after 9pm in the evening and never read on it in bed at night. I read a traditional book instead, which allows my brain to switch off and in turn that delivers me a good night’s sleep, without which it would not be possible to maintain the pace I live at.
When you have set up a business, how do you take the first step in trusting someone else to run it for you?
Another difficult question for which there is no easy answer! Personally I prefer to focus on attitude rather than aptitude. A person with the right attitude can often acquire the right skills to be effective but a person with great natural ability but a bad attitude will struggle to carry the team with him or her! Look for a good attitude and then hope they have the right aptitude is my advice.
Live to work, or work to live?
Both! For me working is something I love to do which is just as well as we often have as many as 60 or 70 projects on at any given time! I love looking at new opportunities and prefer to leave others to run what has been created.
Having said that, it is essential to have other interests. I watch both live rugby and football when I can and enjoy time with my family too. I read a lot which I find relaxing. A friend of mine, who is a professor, said recently that I’m the only person he knows who has read more books than him and most other academics! I’m not sure that’s true but I have read a lot.
Work is important but it isn’t the only thing. If you have a passion for your work as I do it isn’t always easy dividing your time that’s for sure!