Have you ever attended a Little League baseball game and seen a parent pacing behind the bleachers on his or her cell phone spouting financials and business updates? Or have you personally rushed through a quick dinner at home to log-in for a webinar with colleagues in Asia-Pacific?
The business world becomes more global every day, requiring employees to stay more connected than ever, often affecting personal commitments and family time.
At Dardis, we regularly interact with business leaders who constantly struggle with maintaining a healthy work-life balance. While professional success requires time and diligence, a burn-out mentality of 14-hour work days and constant travel can have an opposite effect. When work interferes with one’s personal life, relationships can also suffer, leading to lower employee satisfaction and presumably less engagement.
So how can employees – from entry-level positions to the executive level – maintain that elusive work-life balance? To Caryn Seidman Becker, chairman and CEO of CLEAR, employees can have it all. She wrote in a LinkedIn blog post:
“You can ‘have it all,’ but each person needs to define their personal ‘all’ (what makes you happy), because you can’t have everything. For me, my ‘all’ is quality time and focus for my family and my company. A lot gets eliminated—girl dinners, many gym workouts, me time—but I still love my ‘all.’ It is not work-life balance—it is all intertwined. It’s simply life.”
Balancing work and personal commitments is a constant juggling act, but here are five simple steps for moving you closer to a healthier work-life balance:
- As Seidman Becker illustrated, prioritize your commitments and define what makes you happy. When you must cut into personal time or eliminate activities, do not cut from this list.
- Read those around you. If your spouse consistently complains about your long work hours or if your kids suffer from your absence, it’s time to reevaluate and implement steps to achieving a healthier balance.
- Schedule downtime. No one can go full speed non-stop, so make time, even during the workday, for a short walk or lunch.
- Identify your go-to people. If you schedule is overloaded, know who you can delegate to, and if you’re on vacation, designate a trusted colleague to fill-in during your absence.
- Adapt to your work seasons. Most industries have busy and slow seasons. Take advantage of your slower seasons by dedicating more time to family and friends.
By making a commitment to a healthy work-life balance, you’re already on your way to being successful in the workplace and at home.
Photo credit: By KVDP, Shokunin, Aungkarns (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons