A Sense of Balance

Entrepreneurs’ lives are notorious for struggling with balance. There is always something sense of balance one could or should be doing. This is because, as an entrepreneur, one is the legally responsible person for the organization. In building something from idea to reality, there are so many things to take into consideration.

True balance in one’s life is something many people (entrepreneur or not) struggle to find. Sometimes, we must settle for a sense of balance. To find a sense of balance, we must tend to our common human needs. For most, this includes dedicating time towards work, social life, spiritual expression or insight, family, and personal time.

Learning Outcome: 

Students learn to work towards balance or a sense of balance in their working lives. 

The following exercise is a list of things to consider in creating a sense of balance. 

1.    Thoroughly schedule your time and, as best you can, stick to your schedule. How much time can you dedicate to family? As mechanical as this sounds, it can be a great tool to make sure you are actively giving your family or lover time. Then follow through.
2.    Give yourself personal time. There are only so many hours in a day and we only have so much gas in our tanks. We all need time for ourselves now and then. If you find yourself longing for such time, schedule it in and if you absolutely need it, try to not let anything interfere.
3.    Create a space dedicated to stillness. Having a room dedicated is a luxury many cannot afford. You can have something as simple as a particular chair to sit in. Rest and silence are the goals. You needn’t sit for a long period of time. Fifteen minutes can help.
4.    Establish boundaries with individuals who might try to monopolize your time. Be assertive regarding boundaries.
5.    Let go of the vampires in your life. Be mindful of who is poisonous. Do you have friends who sabotage your interests, do not support you or drag your energy down? Get rid of those relationships and nurture those that are positive.
6.    Delegate. Few do quality work when they carry the entire weight of a business on their shoulders. Do too many things simultaneously and all of your efforts can slip to mediocrity or burnout. Learn to ask for help and to trust when sharing responsibility.
7.    Work efficiently. Try operating via the least effort principle—expend only the amount of energy necessary to get the job done. In doing so, you will have more energy to put towards other areas and can curb exhaustion.
8.    Have reasonable goals that you believe are achievable and can be done in the time you give yourself. Accomplishing goals builds confidence.
9.    Know when to stop. Tomorrow is another day. Cultivate the ability to set things down. When one is passionately engaged with a conflict, it is easy to perpetually ruminate on the problem. Sometimes thinking too much only adds gas to the flames. By letting your mind rest, your subconscious has the opportunity to do some computing.
10.    Take time to celebrate. Personal recognition of accomplishment is important. It will keep your spirit up.
11.    When you are with your family (or friends) be with them and allow the thoughts of work to subside.
12.    Engage in activities that give you a sense of play, carefree-ness and joy– every week.
13.    Eat, Sleep, and Move. We all know that eating well, getting sleep and exercise help us stay fit; improve our mood, maintain health and energy.
14.    Know your audience or whom you serve. Find your manner of service. You don’t have to be working in an orphanage to be serving others—nor does your audience have to be big. There are all levels and sizes of contribution and service. Finding your method will enable you to see past some of the difficulties you encounter, as you will be “fighting the good fight.”
15.    Synthesize your interests. If you are engaging in a process that utilizes many of your talents, interests and abilities, you will feel a greater feeling of wholeness.

If you would like to use these games in your own classroom, please do! If you do, let me know how how it goes and if you have suggestions for modifying a game. 

I can be reached at jdhart@smu.edu

Creative Commons License
A Sense of Balance by James David Hart is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


About James Hart

Jim Hart currently serves as Interim Chair of Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship & Director of Arts Entrepreneurship at Southern Methodist University, Meadows School of the Arts. Hart is also the founder of The International Theatre Academy Norway.
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