Work-life balance is among the most challenging aspects of being a professional. Achievement and advancement often come with heavy workloads and long hours, and our personal lives can inevitably take a hit. Add being plugged in to work at all times via email and text, and our overall health and happiness can be affected as well. Here’s a look at seven ways executives can make work-life balance a real priority.
1. Analysis. Take a detailed look at time management: how much time is being spent at work, how efficient that time is and how much work is carrying over to your home life. Afterward, make a list of top priorities at work and home to help prioritize what’s important to you.
2. Consider the workplace benefit. Work-life balance is often a universal issue, from entry-level employees to CEOs. Those in leadership positions should understand that many people are dealing with this at one time or another — or perhaps on a constant basis. Executives that recognize these signs can help to create a better office culture, and increase employee engagement and satisfaction.
3. Lead by example. A workplace focus on balance won’t mean much if the leadership team doesn’t follow the same advice. Executives need to practice what they preach so that there are no mixed messages for employees.
4. Focus. Work projects and issues often linger after we walk out the door at the end of the day (whatever that hour may be). An important part of getting out of the office is letting those things go, even if it’s just for a few hours.
5. Health. Here’s something that many of us don’t think about enough: how our jobs affect our health. Long hours add up quickly, and working on nights and weekends can prevent us from decompressing from the stress. Flexibility in your work life is key to making your health a priority.
6. Learning from experience. Regret is a difficult feeling to work through, and it can emerge when dealing with work-life issues. Missing an important personal or family moment can create significant guilt. On the other hand, that also may cause self-reflection and a new focus on making necessary changes.
7. Reconsider the terminology. Those that feel a work-life balance is a constant uphill battle may need to shift their way of thinking. Even avoiding the “work-life balance” phrase may help. Instead, think of it as engaging in healthy behavior in all aspects of your life. This way, you will bring positive energy and good health into the office and at home.