Business consultant Phil Jackson from Build Your Salon is here with some important insights into striking that elusive work/life balance and finding a sense of calm in what can be a chaotic salon environment. He offers three strategies in finding and actively pursuing this balance.

“First up you need to know what’s needed. You will never achieve work/life balance unless you are crystal clear about what it is that you’re trying to achieve in all areas of your life,” he said. “Have a really honest conversation with yourself – imagine your life as a pie chart. Where are you willing to spend your time, your effort and your energy? Then when you look at those slices, does your goal setting seem realistic?”

“If you’re trying to achieve 45 projects that are going to take an awful lot of time, effort and energy and you’re only allocating ten per cent of your time to those projects, something has got to give. So, either you need to be willing to allocate more effort in that direction or some of those goals have to go.”

The second step is in having a plan, and this means a broader plan as well.

“I’m always amazed by a salon owner who has every minute of their work day planned but has nothing in place for the rest of their time – it’s no wonder a few spinning plates get broken,” Phil said. “I should be able to pick up your planner or agenda and be able to see just by flicking through the pages what goals you have.”

“I want you to block out time on a weekly basis, get disciplined with your planning so that you can start moving towards your life goals,” he continued. “But it also means that you are going to get really good at saying no! I do all my planning on a Sunday evening. It takes me about an hour to revisit my goals, allocate my time and make sure that everything is as it should be for the coming week. Then if anybody asks me for anything during the week, I’m afraid the answer is no. People are greedy for your time, they are continually pecking for your attention – you have to be able to protect your goals!”

Point number three is in playing the long game and shifting your priorities based on your daily, weekly and monthly circumstances.

“Just because you’ve set those percentages for your time does not mean that I have to spend 35 per cent of my time, effort and energy every week with my children. For example, August I don’t work at all – it’s purely about my kids. That means that July tends to be all about the business and I’m OK with that too. When I get to the end of the year as long as you’re achieving that balance over time, it’s okay for one area of your life to dominate in the short term,” Phil said.

Wise words to live by – go out and nail that work/life balance.