What you can do to find better work/life balance

Recently, I’ve seen posts on social media where a nurse recorded the most common regrets of the dying. Inevitably at the top of everyone’s list was, “I wish I had spent more time with my family and worked less.”

Personally, I have had a very tough time really grasping the concept of balance as I juggle this burning desire to create one of the most successful restaurant groups in the country while finding ample time for my family and myself.

As a married man and father of three young children, I will tell you that I don’t have a simple answer to balancing your personal and business life and I’m certainly not going to give you some genius antidote or insight on the right way to find balance.

But I will share my personal struggle and perhaps my journey will shed some light on trying to find balance in your own life.

A few years ago, my personal life was in turmoil as I tried to balance my marriage, time for my kids and open my first restaurant in Los Angeles (Plan Check Kitchen + Bar).

In fact, this perfect storm of events caused extreme amounts of anxiety. I completely lost my appetite, losing 13 pounds, and at best, I was only getting three or four hours of sleep a night. To top it off, my wife’s career was on fire, demanding she be out of the country for weeks at a time.

For the first time in my life, I really struggled with time management.

Find great people
I had to learn to let go on some level and find great people to whom I could delegate.

This was extremely hard for me, but I made peace with it. My next realization was I had to somehow blend family time with work time.

For example, if I have a new location I need to scout, I include my family and make a little adventure out of it. Lastly, my biggest commodity is time, and I’ve learned how to maximize my productivity.

One way is cutting to the quick with people on phone calls and email. I do find myself apologizing at times to people for coming off as abrupt or brusque. I’m hopeful, however, that people understand that I’m busy and time is scarce. I’m happy to say that these tips have helped me find some balance.

Unfortunately, unlike the computer I’m writing this column on, life does not have an operating manual and for me to tell you how to balance your personal and professional life is very difficult.

I think we have to be realistic knowing none of us will live the “perfect” life with no “regrets.” At the end of the day, if you look into the mirror and ask yourself, “Did I do my best?” and in your heart you know the answer is “Yes,” what more can you ask for? Good luck. ●