HOW CAN YOUR FAMILY BOOST YOUR WELLNESS AT WORK?

I know what you’re thinking: how can my family possibly boost my wellness at work? They don’t work with me; they don’t know the first thing about my job, how can they help me be more productive, enthusiastic, engaging and energetic at work? The truth is, they can. When you are successful with your family first, their support, love and energy help you become a happier person and this becomes reflected in the work you do. In the 70s and 80s business people like you and I could neglect our family and still succeed at work. It came at a price, but we could do it. However, in the 21st Century, the new entrepreneurs are actually more successful with their family first and ironically these same people outperform everyone else in their work life.

Give Family Your Time

Here are 4 tips I would like to share with you when it comes to family:

1. NEVER PUT WORK AHEAD OF YOUR FAMILY – especially your children. This reminds me of a friend of mine who confided in me because he was very upset that his daughter was moving out of home. He told me that she’s going to university and she’s moving into a flat with some friends and she’s really excited about it. And I said, you should be very happy for her; it’s an exciting time in her life, think back when you were starting uni? He said, yeh, I know Sam, but when she loaded up the suitcase in the back of her car, I just felt that she wasn’t just excited about going to her new apartment, she was more thrilled to be leaving our soul-less home. My friend was heartbroken because he had no bond with her to keep her coming back because she had no connection with him. Her permanent impression of him was the father who never arrived home in time to read her a story, or tuck her into bed. Or was too busy to go bike riding with her. He is a very successful person with lots of money in the bank. But let me tell you, he would give it back just to have that connection with his daughter. And you can’t buy that.

Which leads me to the next tip:

2. GIVE FAMILY YOUR TIME – not just your money. Going shopping or watching TV does not count as quality time. Talking and really listening is how you develop a bond. If you have kids, have one-on-one time with each child. Spending one-on-one time with each of your kids lets them know you value them as a person and builds a bond. So if my friend was doing that over the years, do you think his daughter wouldn’t come back and visit him?

I spend Saturday afternoons with my daughter: it’s Daddy-Daughter time. Do you think that when she’s older she’s not going to remember, Saturday afternoon: Daddy-Daughter time? It’s wired in her: I need to see my father.

One very simple thing you can do to really connect with your family is:

3. TURN OFF THE TV. One thing we do in our family is instead of turning on the TV on a Sunday night and instead of watching a movie, we take turns to stand up in front of each other, in the lounge room and talk about something that happened to us in the week or something we are excited about that’s coming up. It’s a chance for each of our kids to stand up, boost their confidence and engage.

4. TURN YOUR PHONE OFF WHEN YOU GET HOME.

A lot of people in sales fall into this trap. They feel that they have to be on call 24 hours. They don’t want to miss a call. But customers do not expect that. They expect to deal with someone real.

A sincere voice mail fixes that! Something along the lines of:

“You’ve called, Sam Makhoul. If my phone is off, it means I am spending time with my family or serving another customer. But rest assured when I do get your message I will call you back and give you my upmost attention.”

I guarantee that the person will leave a message because they will see ‘Hey, this person is real and he cares for his family. I respect that.’

Is Speed Killing Your Life and Business? Part 3

Speed Affects Your Family – Especially Your Children

Our fast pace at work affects our home life because you cannot just flick a switch and slow down when you get home. Your brain is still in fast-mode. Consequently you deal with your family in the same hurried fashion, which for those of you with children has disastrous consequences because children crave attention and connection. And it is difficult to ‘connect’ with your children if your mind is in fast-thinking mode. How many of you with children truly connect with them when you get home? Do you make long eye contact? Do you take them for a long slow walk to the local park? Do you read them a bed-time story that lasts at least 20 minutes? If you do then you are in a small minority. If you don’t then you are robbing yourself and your children of real happiness. Most fast-paced executives fall into the category of patting their kids on the head when they get home and then trying to distract them with TV or video games. We must remind ourselves that our kids will never be two years of age again or eight years, or 12 years or whatever age your kids are. Slow time with them is crucial. And the earlier there age the greater their need for your time. More than ever, and contrary to popular belief, children need quantity as well as quality time.

Speed Kills Enjoyment for Life

Is it About Switching Off?

Most fast-moving executives fall into the trap of solving the work-speed problem by trying to learn to ‘switch off’ and slow down when they get home. But it never happens. Never happens! It is virtually impossible to flick an internal switch and slow down when your brain has been on high-speed for eight to twelve hours. Some may be able to switch off work-related thinking but rarely have I met anyone that can actually slow down. It is very difficult for the brain to make that adjustment. It is like driving on a long highway doing 120 km/hour for eight hours and then reaching an exit where you have to slow down to 50km/hour. It feels excruciatingly frustrating. You feel the powerful urge to speed up again. Most of us have experienced this phenomenon and paid the price for it with a speeding ticket. Similarly we pay a high price in our personal life when we don’t slow down at home. A walk in the park after work helps. As does yoga or meditation. A fast and heavy gym workout is usually our choice of exercise but many practitioners are starting to realize that the principle of ‘no pain no gain’ actually does more harm than good. (There is a Slow Exercise movement also gaining popularity, which you can read about in Honore’s book). In any event all these activities take more of your time, in an age where we are so very time poor. To achieve work/life balance most people also take up hobbies and try to squeeze them into a schedule that is already bursting at the seams. Consequently they find themselves even more hurried. So they drive faster, walk faster, eat faster and talk faster. They squeeze every waking minute with something to do. We have all been brain-washed to think, “don’t just sit there do something”. When in fact the opposite is true: “Don’t just do something, sit there”. It is in those moments of silence, that creativity sparks in our mind and we gain our perspective.

So what is the answer to our ‘speed’ problem? The answer is clearly not in slowing down when you get home, but rather in working slower throughout the day. This may be a progression up and down in speed but generally slower. It is about easing into the day and easing out of the day.  In returning to our car-on-a-highway analogy it is like starting the day at 60km/hour, accelerating to 80km/h then after lunch progressively shifting down to 70, then 60 then walking out of the office nice and relaxed at 50km/hour. So there is no adjustment needed for when you get home. You then only have to work on switching off. (An effective method for doing just that is to brain dump everything in a journal – See Chapter 12 of my book).

Tomorrow I will give you practical strategies on how to work slower throughout the day without compromising  your work performance.