I’ve just watched a video in Stanford’s E-Corner where Carol Bartz of Autodesk talks about balancing life and career.
Carol’s advice? Don’t expect short-term balance. She reminds us busy women that there is always see-sawing, that perfect balance is not sustainable in the short term.
“Just catch it before it falls to the floor“ she advises. If you’re conscious that you’ve ignored one aspect — your mother, your flowers, whatever, “just go do some of it.” If you’ve neglected your professional literature, sit in a room with the door closed for a half hour and read.
In the long-term, balance is important. Carol urges us to aim for a healthy mix between work and life over the longer run. This clearly requires setting priorities and regular planning: Sundays with the kids and no email. Tuesday afternoons for followup calls to propects. Improve order processing by January 1st.
Listen to Carol Bartz’ entire 43 minute interview, or see short videoclips of its segments, organized by topic, such as Managing a Balanced Life. In the Stanford E-corner, you’ll find more video and audio interviews with many big names, like Carly Fiorina, formerly of HP, and Marissa Meyer of Google. Men too, of course.
What do you think about short- and long-term balance? Share with me in a post, please.
I’d like you to get a roll of that brown wrapping paper and starting at one end of your largest room roll it totally across the floor. One end is your birth and one end is your death. Since we know your age at birth, that is a good place to start. With a marker pen start at the beginning of your life and move across the paper noting all the significant events in your life. Do them all – the good and bad Odds are very strong that the good will outweigh the bad. and the kind people you remember will outnumber the cruel.
When you come to your life where you are at now you will probably be about 1/3 across the paper – if more, just add paper and double back. Now think ahead. What will happen next year, 5 years from now, 10 years from now? In reality you are writing your life’s time line or script. Take your time as this is pretty important stuff. Maybe the line can’t all be done in one day. No problem, as you have the whole roll of paper ahead of you.
Visualize your dreams, but put them into a reality paper time line. You will be surprised how easy it comes to you and how life will unfold as you project. The new year is a good time to do this project and should replace the resolutions that get broken. I like this idea better as I probably will never lose those 7 pounds I resolve to lose each year anyway. What do you have to gain in your future. If you live to be 100 (which is not out of the question if you are faithful about taking your vitamins) how will you spend the time? Let me know what you think of the system and if this works for you. Make yourself a very happy 2009!