Quit. I did.
That’s the answer if you want to be an Olympic athlete. Seth Godin, in his little book “The Dip” talks about strategic quitting. I expect many athletes at the Bejing Olympics quit a lot of other activities to ensure they were performing at their best for the main events.
Focused Effort – Short Term
What are the little things that need your attention every day, no matter what? Just like an athlete who puts in countless hours perfecting a twist in a dive, or a form adjustment in running, the little things make the big things better. How do you view feeding the dog, buying groceries, mowing the lawn, painting the fence, watering the flowers? Are these “have to” or “get to” activities? In the short term, these lead to your long term goals of work/life balance.
Any of these little activities getting in the way of your long term goals? Quit them. Don’t like cleaning your house? Have someone else do it. You may have to sacrifice elsewhere in your budget, but that’s the point – choices. Each of these short term, focused efforts will hone you for your long term goal.
Work/life Balance – Long Term
Do all of your short term activities give you the direction and energy you need to keep true to your long term goals? Every time you take on another project, at home or at work, check it against your goal of work/life balance.
The choices aren’t easy. Quitting is harder than it sounds. Ask any Olympic athlete if quitting was worth it. Every one will say ‘yes’.
Quit something today and find yourself closer to “medaling” in work/life balance!