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The Christchurch Quake and work - life balance

by Chris Sutton | September 6, 2010

It’s an odd fact that it frequently takes a major disaster, or a personal tragedy, to force us to reflect on how we live our lives and in particular about how we balance the competing demands of our work and home lives. I was reminded of that fact on the weekend when the earthquake hit my old hometown Christchurch.

I left Christchurch nearly 40 years ago but childhood and teenage memories remain strong, especially when I saw photos of the damage done to the street where we lived, and the unfolding events certainly gave rise to many thoughts on where our life priorities lie. Now I’m not going to spout forth any pop psychology clichés, and certainly won’t presume to offer advice on how to manage the balance between work and home, although if you are interested there are many well written books and online articles that provide a good guide.

But one thing I can say with certainty is that as the years have gone by, I’ve gotten much better at regularly reflecting on where my priorities lie. That’s obviously helped by being passionate about the business as well as so many aspects of my home life. But too often I see business owners who are consumed by their business and who ignore the other needs in their lives.

I remember a comment at a management seminar I attended in my 20’s that has stuck with me ever since. The speaker said about priorities; “choose the ones that will make a difference, because if you don’t they’ll all be irrelevant.” I’d add to that comment the fact that you need to review and reflect on your priorities on a constant basis, business needs and relationships change constantly and what’s important today may not be in a week, or a month or a year.

So if the Christchurch quake has given rise to some personal reflection about how you manage the pressures of being in business, that’s a positive to take out of a terrifying event, but if you think again about your priorities when the press has bored of Christchurch and moved on to the next star of the 24 hour news cycle, then that’s an even better outcome!

SiteSuite Website Design - Online Marketing Blog Author Chris Sutton

Co-founder and Managing Director of SiteSuite Australasia, Australian pioneers in web design and ecommerce since 1997. For more from Chris you can follow him on Google+ or Twitter, and for further professional musings and thoughts on his other passions in life,

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