The Three Lanes of Work Life Balance

The Three Lanes of Work Life Balance

By John Dashfield
November 23rd, 2013

You cannot hope for high achievement with low quality preparation. Frank Dick

A few years ago I was fortunate to attend a presentation by top sports coach Frank Dick. In case you don’t recognise the name, Frank was coach to such sporting legends as Daly Thompson, Boris Becker and Gerhard Berger. Among many fascinating insights I heard that day, Frank talked about work, life balance, an issue many business people seem to have challenges with. He said that people who lead, have a unique interpretation of time management and enjoy achievement in all three lanes of life’s motorway.

The Three Lanes of Work Life Balance

The fast lane is the over-taking lane, it is your occupation or business. The middle lane is your family, partner and friends. The inside lane, the slow lane, is you. A common pattern is that people spend far too much time in the fast lane, in the belief that this is where superior performance comes from. They become consumed with their work and spend little time in the other lanes, because they feel they really need to be in the fast lane. For many, this is where people believe they need to focus their efforts to keep life ‘in place’ and where they get their sense of identity.

But this strategy is flawed because a high price is often paid in terms of quality of life, high levels of stress, troubled health, relationships suffer and productivity become less efficient. The real high achievers realise that all lanes head in the same direction, and therefore spend time in all three that produces the vitality, energy and zest, which in turn accomplishes more with less.

They know that the activities in the middle and slow lanes are equally as important as those in the fast lane, and need to be planned as well. Many business owners take far too little time off. Yet, more than most, business owners are in a position to decide how much time they allocate to the various aspects of their lives, aren’t they?

Whether you’re a business owner or aspiring entrepreneur still working a day job, you need to take time out for you and your family. So I invite you to ask yourself “Am I taking the free time I really need this year?” If not, book it in now and then plan your work around it. It doesn’t matter what time of year you read this.

By taking more time off your work, time becomes more, not less productive, because it’s about working smarter not harder. Your ultimate level of success will correlate to the time you take to rest, rejuvenate and enjoy a high quality personal life.

If you have a question for John please comment below and if you’ve enjoyed this article about work, life balance subscribe to The Inspired Man’s newsletter below.

John Dashfield

About John Dashfield

John Dashfield is a transformative coach, catalyst, sounding board, mentor and friend to those ready to experience more happiness, prosperity and make a bigger difference in the world. Find out more about John

3 thoughts on “The Three Lanes of Work Life Balance

  • Great post and couldn’t agree more.

    A healthy body and mind will lead to peak performance and this is achieved by taking care of yourself and friends and family. The outside lane can easily pull newer business owners towards it and hold them, but once you get that balance good things start to happen.

    Nice perception. Mike

  • A simple yet powerful reminder that we all need balance between all three of the lanes. I like the analogy – it’s a good reminder! Next time I’m stressed, I’ll ask myself which lane I’m in. Then put on my blinker! Great stuff!

  • John, I couldn’t agree more that it’s all about working smarter, not harder. It’s easy to get caught in that fast lane, that’s for sure. The more we practice turning on that blinker and making our way into the middle and right lanes, the better off we’ll be in all areas of our life. Thank you for this post!

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