The Trick to Balancing Leadership and Life Now
Work-life balance has taken on a whole new meaning since the pandemic began.
For leaders, juggling work and home life from home is no easy feat. This can make even the highest-functioning leader feel like they are always connected to the job. Meanwhile, they often have to deal with family interruptions, despite their best efforts to have quiet work time during the day, leaving them feeling overwhelmed with their dual responsibilities.
This is where self-awareness and mindfulness are critical to helping leaders. Self-care is so important to allowing yourself time and space away from the day’s work tasks. If you do not do this on a regular basis, you are headed for burnout. In other words, being in the constant pace of stress and fatigue while juggling many balls will not yield high performance, it will hinder it. Also, imagine the impact that it has on those that you care about the most.
Your job is to lead and inspire others. And you can only do that if you are making your health a priority.
So, how can you ensure that you maintain the work-life balance you need to keep your energy levels high, being resilient and capable of handling anything that is thrown your way both personally and professionally?
These tips can help you recharge your batteries and find the balance that is right for you so you can lead effectively at work and at home.
3 Simple Tips for Leaders Who Struggle with Work-Life Balance
#1 – Consider the Example You are Setting
Do you want a team of exhausted, overworked and potentially disgruntled employees? Or do you want to lead a workforce that consists of energized, engaged and enthusiastic individuals and leaders?
Your people get their cues from you, and they rely on your example to understand what is expected of them. So, if you are not paying attention to your life away from work, they, too, may end up integrating much of that behavior into their own lives and then suffer for it.
Unfortunately, some leaders still feel the need to put in more than 50 hours a week in order to do their jobs. But that is not what working hard is about. It is about being smart and efficient about when and how you spend your time.
Of course, as a leader, you have additional responsibilities and it is inevitable that you may work longer hours, but that should not be the norm all the time. Finding balance between work and life is not impossible. You use your creativity every day to handle challenges at work, so it is definitely within your skill set to establish boundaries and design a schedule that works for you.
#2 – Use Technology in a Way That Benefits You
Work-life balance requires a mindset shift. Try to find ways to automate processes so you can use your time to refresh and recharge, as needed. For example, there are hundreds of apps that can help you with everything from creating to-do lists to tracking your fitness activities.
Of course, the temptation to keep working beyond what is expected may arise, especially if you have had that habit for a long time. However, if you work to become more mindful and creative as to how you integrate technology, it may offer you a more balanced life and career.
#3 – Schedule Free Time and Make the Most of It
If you are like most leaders, your calendar is filled with meetings, calls, projects, and reports that are due. My challenge to you is to block off time for you – whether that is time for you to catch up on things so you can wrap up your day at a decent hour, or actually take a break is entirely up to you. The point is to manage your time more effectively.
Do you really need to participate in every meeting invite that comes your way? I suspect not, so stop stretching yourself so thin and delegate meetings, projects, and tasks accordingly.
Start with just half an hour of “your time”, for example. Just be sure you do not start filling over that time or you have sabotaged the reason for doing it. It’s simply about building a new leadership habit – one that is talked about at great length yet exercised inconsistently by many leaders.
Work-Life Balance and Being Self-Aware
Too often, leaders burn out without even realizing how or why it has occurred. In many cases, it is because they never took the time to stop and reflect on the quality of their lives from both perspectives, and nor have they established healthy boundaries.
Now that our lives have become blended like never before, it is even more important to incorporate work-life balance strategies into your life. Small steps can create amazing changes in our lives if we just commit to starting. Are you ready to take action today?
How have you struggled with work-life balance in the last year? What have you done to help yourself get through? If you want to share, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 1.855.871.3374.