The Power of a personal review

We have work reviews, planning sessions and board meetings, but very rarely do we invest enough time in doing personal life reviews. Similarly, most people plan ‘IN’ their work (e.g. sales plans for the next quarter) rather than ‘ON’ their work (e.g. where do I want my career and/or life to go in the next 5 to 10 years?).  Many people spend days and weeks writing business plans and doing budgets for companies, but virtually no time doing these things for their own life or a personal review.

Which is more important: your work or your life?

Do you live to work, or work to live?

Perhaps we should invest more time planning both our careers and our lives. If it works for companies why shouldn’t thorough, regular planning work for us personally? Commonly people don’t give themselves permission or have the structure to do personal reviews.

Personal review quick wins

Have personal quarterly review days with specific focuses or themes. For example, schedule in your diary now these quarterly reviews:

  • Review Days: re-evaluate how your work and life has been going. Ask yourself: What would need to change or be different for me to enjoy my work and life more?
  • Fun and indulgence days: go do something just for fun each quarter. Keep a file of fun ideas and book them well in advance so that you have something fun to look forward to.
  • Planning / Vision Days: set new goals for the next 12 months and five years. I always like to do this formally around my summer holidays.
  • Unclutter days: allocate a day a quarter to get low priority items out of the way. That way you can let unimportant things accumulate without stressing too much, knowing that you have a special day assigned to look after them.
  • Do a work life balance planning or career development course or read a book on the topic.
  • Work with a mentor, life coach or get a wise buddy.

While you are at it… review your life philosophy

Earning more money can enable us to improve our quality of life, but if earning more money takes over as the primary goal,
this can ultimately have a negative impact on our quality of life. Show me someone just chasing the dollars and I’ll show you someone who probably doesn’t really know what they want in their life.

Part of living a more authentic life is to be aware of your ‘quality of life’ philosophy. Sometimes we can get caught up in growth and success models, and become trapped in the philosophy that ‘more is better’ to increase a sometimes falsely perceived ‘standard of living’. More can be better, to a point, but if you don’t know what that point is you may find yourself focusing more on the dollars than on the quality of life.

Some questions & actions

  • What is your quality of life philosophy? Are you living it? Are you on the right path to living it? If not, list three things that need to change.
  • Ask yourself: is your life too busy and complicated? What do you need to do to create a simpler life? What should you keep doing?  What should you newly incorporate? What should you stop doing?
  • Review what you need to do to realign your current situation with your ideal life and work situation. Write down the names of three people who can help you do that. List three skills or resources you need.
  • How much money is realistically enough for you not to live a dissatisfied life?

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