Monday, February 21, 2011

Management Stories # 21 - Achieving Work Life Balance

For most of the current day Managers, Work is Life, and Life is just the Balance time available off work. This is reflected as "Work, Life Balance" and is certainly not what is meant by "Work-Life Balance".

Let us run through the popular methodology of Stephen Covey's Big Rocks which is used by many Management consultants as part of their training on Work-Life Balance.

Imagine a bucket. Put three or four big rocks in.

“Is the bucket full? ” asks the trainer.

“No” you reply.

“Of course not” says the trainer and put some smaller rocks in it to fill in the gaps.

“Full now?”.

“No”. The trainer puts in some sand, then some water. It’s full.

So, what’s the learning here?

It’s to do with the order.

What would happen if you’d reversed the order?

Put the water in first, then the sand, then the small rocks. There would be no room for the big rocks. These big rocks are the important things in your life.

You need to schedule them first, not try to squeeze them in after arranging the water (writing pointless reports), sand (unnecessary travel) or small rocks (staff meetings where no-one listens and everyone looks at the clock or to their own mobiles for sms / mails).

What are the big rocks in your life?

For many, it is things like family, time to watch the children grow up, time to write that novel, time for themselves, time to make a difference.

You decide. You identify 3 or 4 things you believe are important. The 3 or 4 things that will make a difference when you leave the world and move on - you will and must be remembered for whatever you have done for those 3 or 4 things.

Hope this piece of narrative is useful for many in understanding and achieving work-life balance.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fantastic - dont know how I missed this one.