“You will never feel truly satisfied by work until you are satisfied by life.”
—Heather Schuck
In many ways, it’s important to conceptualize your business and personal lives as separate spheres. Maintaining strict time boundaries between work and personal time, for example, dedicating part of your day to completing work tasks and the other part to self-care, family, and friends. Balance is imperative. As the opening quotation implies, the key to a satisfying work life is a thriving personal one. Now, that being said, there are ways in which your business and personal lives aren’t separate aspects of your day, but rather interconnected pieces of a whole that is your life. The symbiotic nature of your business and personal lives should not go unnoticed. There is a corollary structure between the two areas: they infuse each other with potential, purpose, and drive.
If you get the feeling that your work performance has been suffering, or that there’s some untapped potential that you’re not accessing, consider turning to your personal life to help you optimize your business life. I know; it seems a bit counter-intuitive to examine your personal life when you want to improve your business performance, but the two areas, as I mentioned above, are more related than you may think.
It’s easy to think of your personal life as intervals of “free time.” And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s good to have space in your life that’s not completely scheduled, but too much free time can be detrimental. At this point, I think it’s important to say a few things about structure. Now, it’s easy enough for us to structure our workdays: after all, we’ve got meetings, deadlines, phone calls to make, and e-mails to send. But when it comes to organizing the free time in our personal lives, there’s not as much pressure or incentive to create structure. I would argue that a structured personal life is vital for optimizing your business performance. A structured personal life can energize and sustain your business practices, and perhaps help you regain focus and revitalize your business goals.
“What does a structured personal life look like exactly?” you might ask. Well, it’s going to look different for everyone! There’s no one-size-fits-all model for how to structure your free time. But, I will say that structures are intentional. One builds structure; it doesn’t just happen. One way to build some structure into your personal life is to set up weekly goals for yourself, things you’d like to accomplish during your free time. This may be a new meal you want to cook, or going to the gym or a standing tennis date. You might also pick up a hobby, take a class, or join a book club. These are all ways you can build structure into your personal life. As you bring stability and consistency to your personal life, you might be surprised how it resonates for your business performance. Rather than conceptualizing your time as a binary “work” and “personal,” consider how the goals in both of these areas can help sharpen, motivate, and structure the other.

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