Maintaining a healthy work-life balance

One of the biggest challenges many business leaders face is trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance.  In fact I think we all struggle with this at times, and it gets even more challenging as you move to higher levels of responsibility in an organization.

When someone shares their concerns with me the first question I ask is “Do you like what you do?’  I believe people are always better at doing those things they enjoy and are passionate about.  Sure you won’t like everything your job entails, but as a general rule, if you like what you do, you do it better.  It’s very hard to do your best work, if you don’t enjoy it, let alone balance it with family obligations, social engagements and hobbies.  Once this question is answered it a little easier to establish some parameters for yourself.  Below are some additional suggestions that I was reminded of at a recent event and I wanted to share with you.

  • Make choices – Don’t let life happen.  Some people have more energy than others. Know your limits and schedule your time accordingly. Learn to outsource whatever you don’t like to do. Don’t enjoy cleaning the house? Then pay someone to do it for you. If you don’t have time to bake a homemade cake for your child’s bake sale, bring in a store-bought one, and for all you moms out there, throw away the guilt.
  • Don’t feel guilty about making time for your family. Both work and family are important, and there will be times when you need to prioritize one over the other. This is normal over the course of a career and if you choose your workplace with care, your employer will respect your choices.
  • Don’t neglect yourself. The soft issues — such as workplace culture — really do matter. You won’t be able to do your best work if your values don’t align with those of your work environment. If you’re passed over for a promotion because you chose your child’s concert over an after-hours get together, it’s probably time to consider a change. If you need to fit in daily exercise to maintain equilibrium, set aside the time and don’t apologize for it.
  • For those of you unattached, choose your husband, wife or partner carefully. Once you’re married, you’re a team doing the work-life dance together.
  • Recalibrate daily. You might not feel like you’re maintaining a work-life balance every single day. Take time to reflect and change your plan for the following day accordingly
  • Finally, keep learning, laughing and have fun.

Tell us how you maintain your work-life balance?