Several months ago, my wife and I got into a “discussion” about my work schedule. I was in the thick of it with trying to market my coaching, interact with my clients, and create content.
It was awesome! At least, it was for me. As we sat on our couch together and discussed how much time I was dedicating to my business, a few things became clear. We were both right about the work/life balance situation.
She wanted better balance for me and the family and I didn’t mind the imbalance. Being raised on a farm embedded in me the idea that you work from early in the morning until dinner time. This was my pattern 5-7 days a week. Not a problem for me. It felt normal and right to work like that. But it wasn’t great for the family.
I want to show you how scientifically, we were both right.
Not Everyone Wants Work/Life Balance
Not everyone wants the same level of work/life balance. Research by Dr. Eduard Spranger and Gordon Allport prove it.
According to their research, someone’s need for work/life balance is found in what is called the Aesthetic drive or motivator for an individual.
When one has a strong Aesthetic Motivator, this is what it looks like:
But look at the contrast when someone has a low Aesthetic Motivator.
Through the use of a Motivators assessment, you can discover how strong this motivator is in your life. My wife is a 43 and I am a 12. This difference was a big part of our disagreement.
The high drive for results and low need for balance opened the door for me to work long hours. In other words, if my wife and I were running the business, my hours of operation would be much more than her’s. This was the root of our problem.
Open For Business
We each have different hours we are “open for business” before we feel out of balance. The lower the Aesthetic number (from 0-100), the greater the hours of operation.
When we realized this contrast, we were able to come up with some simple solutions to prevent more frustration. More on that later.
How about you? Are you able to work long hours repeatedly and not feel out of balance? Or do you find you need to have a good balance of work/life?
Whichever end of the spectrum you fall on is okay. That’s the reality of the situation. If you are a 9am-5pm type, that’s great. If you are more of a 5am-9pm that might be great for you, but it will impact others.
My 5am-9pm mentality was a problem for us but not me.
Work/Life Balance Isn’t Just About You
Here’s an obvious statement. Work/life balance isn’t just about you! Because you and I are rational, we know this is a true statement.
In the long run, I knew I couldn’t sustain a 6 day-a-week schedule that was 8-12 hours a day. Not because of me but because of the impact on my family. For some people, they don’t see how that crazy of a schedule is sustainable.
But if you are in a relationship where someone works those types of hours, it’s not about you. It’s about how their brain is wired. They are driven to get results, In their mind’s eye, they are being practical and in touch with the real world reality that they need to spend time on this.
Fortunately, there is a way to use this aspect of someone’s motivations to get them to see the situation from a different perspective. Look at the graphic on the right.
Someone that is “Low Aesthetic” will be the descriptors below the white line. We used this awareness of my profile to change my behaviors and attitude about work.
Since it appealed to my realistic and practical nature to create more reasonable “hours of operation” in my business, this is where we focused.
My work schedule was more than “my” schedule, it was the family. So we laid down some practical rules for working hours.
How To Stay In Balance
For low Aesthetics, we don’t need to stay in balance for us, we need to be reasonable with how our work schedule impacts those around us.
Not only that, but to consider that Kari didn’t just want me physically present but my brain and heart too. How do you make this happen then?
Fortunately, the solution is simple. We created a window of hours that are mine to work within. I have the freedom to work in these hours as much or as little as I want. I’m open for business during those hours. But once those hours are over, I’m closed. Mind and everything else needs to close down.
I’m flipping the “Sorry, We’re Closed” sign for the day. With this approach, there is freedom for both Aesthetic types. For the low, they see the benefit of “turning it off” and for the high, they are able to check out for the day.
If you don’t set your business hours, things will get worse for everyone. We know this is true and fortunately, the way to solve it is easy.
Which Kind Of Person Are You?
Which Aesthetic type are you? You can get an answer to that question and many more insights by taking the Motivators assessment. In the assessment, you’ll learn about this motivator and 6 more.
Your results will give you powerful self-awareness insights into your behaviors and motives. Insights that include your drive for knowledge, power, competition, sacrifice, and much more.
You can take the DISC + Motivators assessment online by clicking on the link below.