Have you ever heard that “there is no such thing as work-life balance for success?” Since young, we are indoctrinated that working harder is the only way. We believe that if we just try a little more, that we can achieve our goals. The ‘Fly Story’ by Price Pritchett teaches us otherwise. It tells of the life and death struggle of a fly attempting to escape through a window. No matter how hard it tried, it never managed to break through the glass to freedom. Had the fly changed its strategy, it just might have discovered the open door just metres away. This lesson applies directly to your sales. Increasing work hours is the short-sighted approach to boosting results. Work-life balance may just be the open door to increasing your sales.
Work-Life Balance Leads to Happiness, Which Leads to Success
Many of us believe that once we are successful, we will be happy. Social scientists have found that rather than happiness following success, success is born from happiness1. It turns out that people who are intimately connected to family and friends enjoy greater success than those who subordinate their relationships.
Think now about your own work-life balance. When do you produce your best sales results? An honest look within would show that working long hours and being away from loved ones prevent peak performance. Make a point to spend your discretionary time to be fully present with family and friends. Watching TV may be entertaining, but in excess can lead to lower life satisfaction2.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Being unable to achieve sales results within normal work hours can be a sign of inefficiency. Keep a journal of your time over two weeks in 15 minute intervals. Observe how much is spent on unimportant activities. Take note of admin vs. sales activities. The very act of keeping a time journal will keep you accountable to how you’re spending your work day. Finishing work on time will permit you more time with loved ones, moving you closer to a better work-life balance and better on-the-job performance.
Emotional Intelligence Leads to Success
Sales can be emotionally taxing. Every day we put our pride on the line by risking rejection and failure. Effective sales consultants need to be emotionally intelligent4 to be successful. This means being acutely aware of our emotional state, and choosing our behaviours rather than being reactive. When you are feeling down, acknowledge it and find support from friends and family. Work-life balance here means spending more time with positive people who will lift you up emotionally.
Spend more time with family and friends, and less at work. This will lead to more happiness and emotional stability. In turn, these will result in better performance at work. You will achieve greater work-life balance, and a happier, more effective you!
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1 The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor, 2010
2 Does watching TV make us happy?; Frey et al.; Journal of Economic Psychology, Volume 28, Issue 3, June 2007, Pages 283–313
3 The Four Hour Work Week; Tim Ferris 2007
4 Emotional Intelligence; Daniel Goleman 1995
What we get wrong about work-life balance, Caitlin Fitzsimmons 2017