Today, I want to talk about work/life balance and my own experience over the last few years.
For many people, the idea of success has evolved in recent decades. More & more, financial markers of success need to be accompanied by a sense of purpose alongside a feeling that our lives are adequately balanced between our personal and professional lives.
As a business owner, I’ve had a whirlwind few years. My independent production company, Bankhouse Pictures, is up and running three years now. Anyone who has started a business venture can tell you that they suck up time left, right & centre. You could literally spend all your waking hours taking care of business.
For me, achieving an optimal work/life balance has been a process of trial and error. As a business owner, I didn’t get it right the first time around and that’s ok because I learned from the experience. I have realised that the key to a good work/life balance is taking the time to decide upon your priorities and what really matters in advance. That way you can plan your time with those priorities built in.
I recently brought a new film Release to Galway Film Fleadh. This production came out of Feature Film School and features a brilliant group of new acting talent. The cast applied themselves to the 12-week course in Feature Film School and this film was the result.
Galway Film Fleadh is a festival which holds a special place in my heart as it was where my first ever screenings took place. Galway is a brilliant city at the best of times, but during the Film Fleadh the buzz about the place is just incredible.
I was there last year with another film, South. When I look back on how that time panned out, although it was only a year ago, it seems longer. In the time since I have had a mental shift about work/life balance which gives me more perspective.
Last year, with South, I didn’t have the balance right. I just worked the whole time, in fact, I didn’t even see the screening. Not only that, but I missed out on a lot of other stuff too, like the reaction of the audience. You know, I was there to work – and that’s what I did, but there were sacrifices to be made.
This year, I promised myself I wouldn’t make the same mistake again. I got my priorities right and planned my time in Galway so that everything got attention.
Family and friends are so important in my life and I know that whatever success I experience in life, I want them to be a part of it. At this stage in business I can step back and see what really matters to me – and family is one of those priorities. So, this year when I was going to Galway I decided to bring as many of my family as possible. I wanted them to share in the screening and to just spend some downtime with them. So, that’s what I did.
There was time for business too. I spent some time in the Radisson in Galway which houses the heart of the film festival. It was business, but it was lots of fun too networking with old work friends.
Working around the clock, at the expense of your personal life is not sustainable. When you’re constantly missing out on the fruits of your labour because you’re focussing on the next thing, that can become a drudge. Choosing to inject fun and enjoyment back into your life by getting the balance right can set you up for increased productivity and personal fulfilment now and into the future.
This year, at Galway Film Fleadh, I set a new benchmark for myself going forward. What about you?