Post #3 in a series of 6 posts on balance: Why can’t you have it all—or can you?

Life-Balance-QuestionsIn “No, You Can’t Have it All,” Harvard Business Review (October 2012) guest author Eric Sinoway presents a framework he designed with business professor Howard Stevenson “to help ambitious executives understand their limits and make tough trade-offs. It starts with considering all the dimensions of your life, developing a vision of yourself for the future, and then evaluating how your options advance you toward your goals.”

Simple, right?

To guide executives through this process, the framework provides the following five compelling questions:

  1. Where do your options fall on the needs-wants spectrum? Most things fall somewhere in the middle. Some wants are so strong that it’s difficult to separate them from needs.
  2. What are the investment and opportunity costs? Most decisions involve both kinds of costs. The challenge is to understand if incurring them will help you achieve your goals.
  3. Are the potential benefits worth the costs? Does the benefit you’ll receive warrant the investment you’ll have to make?
  4. Can you make a trade? Many of us try to exchange something we want for something else that we want. But sometimes the two items can’t be traded. Money, for instance, cannot buy health.
  5. Have you considered sequencing your most valued options? Consciously staggering your goals may enable you to be equally successful over time.

Next time, I’ll try to answer the questions!