Happy Friday, everybody. It’s #FAQFriday live from the shores of Windermere, and yes, it is January. Yes, I’m in my swimming costume. Because yes, I’m going in the lake because I’m on a challenge, which is 31 days of January, going in the lake for Crisis UK, which is to eradicate to help to eradicate homelessness in the UK. And my challenge is the #IcebreakerChallenge by going cold water immersion every day.
At the moment, the temperatures are about 5.5/5.6 degrees in Windermere. I’ve had a few ice baths along the way. But I’m doing it to help and support and eradicate homelessness in the UK because that’s so so needed.
But we are here because it’s #FAQFriday, and that stands for our frequently asked questions on a Friday. And what is it this week? Well, I thought it was only fitting after speaking to lots of business owners who’ve been absolutely crazy busy over the Christmas and New Year period and then back into it again to talk about work/life balance. And what does that mean? And why is it so important?
And did you know, statistically now, since the pandemic, work/life balance is becoming more important than pay? Yes, more important than pay! Even in the current financial crisis, as inflation’s increasing prices and costs are increasing, work/life balance has become more and more important.
So, I thought it would be great, in my costume, to actually… Ready to go in the lake in cold temperatures, to actually highlight some work/life balance tips for better business for a better culture. And for better work/life integration within your business within your organisation.
So, I mentioned culture, and that is a must. Culture is a must in all organisations, in all businesses. You have to know what you want throughout the whole lifeblood of the team, the organisation. And your culture must run through all the veins of the organisation, your teams. And it must provide work/life balance and flexibility to help and support you, your team and everybody in your organisation, and really focus on your core values. Identify your core values and focus on them, the ethics and values of the whole organisation, and make sure that everybody within the organisation is aligned with them.
And spend time as a team to know what’s important to each and every one of you in life because it does stem from the top, but it also stems from every person within the organisation. And if you’ve got… As many business owners are, they become operators rather than business owners who really work hard, you know, doing crazy hours and not actually having anything else in their lives, or if they do, it’s hit or miss, you know. And that gives the wrong message to the whole organisation of what’s okay and what’s not.
So, be really, really focused on that. Be clear on your boundaries and set them for everybody within the organisation; what boundaries are and what is okay, and what’s not, okay, and everybody abides by it, make it really, really clear.
Practice time management. I know in the industry, when I was a General Manager in hotels for thirty years, I thought I was practising time management, but when you were doing ninety hours a week, that’s not practising time management. That’s actually just surviving.
And I realise that now, and it’s really important that you understand that because time in the business is not as effective as quality time. So really focus on what that equates to, and actually write down all the tasks that you do in that timeframe. Is it something that somebody else can pick up? Or do you have to do everything?
If you have to do everything, you are an operator in the business; you’re not behaving like an owner. So really look at who’s got the strengths and weaknesses in your organisation. Anybody with your weaknesses? Anybody who’s got the strengths to your weaknesses? Actually hire them and ask them to help and support you, whether it’s freelance or whether it’s employing people. So really focus on that, and what does that equate to? And what does that mean?
So, practice time management and focus on what your smarter goals and objectives are for everyone in the organisation, including yourself. And that is about the full wheel of life. I have this in my journal; we go through this in the ‘Smashing your Goals Workshop’, having a very clear understanding of where you are right now with the wheel of life and where you want to be, ultimately. Then AJ Lakes helps and supports you to get there, which is vital.
And then we also make sure that you have a very compelling future. Your mission and vision has to be really clear throughout your organisation, and you must have that compelling future, the reason why you’re doing what you’re doing, and what difference you’re actually making.
And then managing yourself, including things like exercise, nutrition, sleep, time for your own body and mind, what your needs are, what your personal needs are within your own body and your mind. And do that with all your team as well.
Managing yourself is important because if you’re working crazy hours, and you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re not getting the right nutrition and fluid, enough water, and you’re not getting the right exercise. You’re not going to be there long term; I can guarantee that.
And that’s not what why you started the business, you started the business for a completely different reason. You didn’t start it to work every hour God sends and never see anybody or never enjoy your life.
So, really think about that, and what it looks like. What does it feel like? And, if you want, let me help you get there. Because that’s what I’m passionate about doing, and that’s what I’m here to do, to help and support you.
And then, communication is key, managing other people’s expectations. If people are expecting you to be there 24/7, manage that and say, “I’m here because I’m going to do this”.
And these are the goals and objectives that I’m making sure that I can clarify. So what’s going on there? And then learn to say “No”. Don’t take all of your actions as gospel that you’ve got to complete them, especially if they are not smart, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound (SMART); then they shouldn’t be on your to-do list.
So, focus on what you are aiming for, what your needs are, and then be creative. Plan your timeout with your teams in your organisation, and work out what motivates every single one of you. What motivates you? What demotivates you? Whatever you do, do not do stuff that demotivates you, or it won’t work. But what motivates you, and what can you do if you’re working in an industry like hospitality 24/7?
It’s really difficult to take time out as a full team. But look at ways to be creative. Look at ways in which you can do that, and see how you can produce that. So introducing work/life integration, that is key.
And if you want any more help and support on that… Because I’m obviously getting a little bit chilly now, and I’m going to go in this amazing, serene, beautiful lake.
Look at that is incredible!
Because I’ve got to do it now, do my challenge for Crisis UK, swimming every single day throughout the whole of January to raise money for Crisis UK.
So I hope that’s helped.
As always, Alison at AJ lakes.com. We’re here to help and support you. So, please get in touch and email us or contact us as soon as you can, and we’ll help and support you in your work/life balance integration. Let’s see how that goes.
Take care. Have a great Friday. Happy Friday and happy weekend.
All the best and wish me luck in 5.5 degrees of lake water.