As a number of management consultants may feel, I also think that I don’t have enough hours in the day to manage both my personal (and social) and work life. Work life balance, or work life quality as its increasingly referred to now, is hard to achieve but not impossible. My work place has started placing a strong emphasis on this measure of a consultant’s life – which has been gratefully welcomed.
However, I have grown up in an environment where I always found myself working extremely hard (sometimes more than 15 hours a day) and somehow this started to feel ‘normal’ to me. Thankfully, the various career progressions I’ve had over the last few years mean that I don’t have to put in as much time now, but I still find myself starting at 6am and not knowing what time I’ll actually finish.
As a result, I have found it hard to accomplish what I want to on a personal side. This mainly refers to keeping fit and healthy. My health has taken a serious beating over the last few years – I used to pride myself with not getting sick at all vs. catching cold or something else every now and then in my current shape. My body needs a bit of TLC but I struggle to find time for it (or try hard to make time).
I’ve been reading a number of interesting articles on time management and personal blogs of successful leaders and executives who make it a habit to look after themselves. Even in my office, I see a number of my colleagues running / cycling to work or taking the time in the afternoon to do so – which has given me some inspiration. Increasingly also there is a greater amount of quality content out there which talks about making the most of the short amount of time available to you to get yourself in shape and become active.
My conundrum still is making time for ‘myself’ and ensuring that I have a longer and healthier career. I think I have to cull the myth that the only way to be successful is working 15-16 hours a day – there are a number of successful people who manage time much more efficiently. I have to take some learnings. Management consultants also need to consult themselves on sustainability and growth – of their own lives.