I won’t be home on time for dinner. I’ll try to make it, but this meeting may run long. I know we had plans for the weekend, but it’s due Monday morning. There’s no time for the gym with a sixteen hour day! Any of this sound familiar? I listened to this throughout my career in the corporate world. I found executives who maintained a great work life balance, but not that often. Line and middle management are better, but the ambitious ones struggle. The same applies to individual contributor SME’s serving as the last escalation point. Fear, lack of time management, and digital distraction are the three reasons I encounter most that kill the work life balance we deserve. Learn to “say no” and stop giving into fear, practice time management, and guard against digital distraction. Read on to find tips that will help you make this a reality.
Fear is our biggest challenge. Today’s common acronym FOMO, or the Fear Of Missing Out, is applicable in this discussion. In this case we’re afraid of missing out the following:
All of these are legitimate reasons, because they can affect our livelihood, but do we have a strategy or filter on when to say no? Can we create strategies to guard against being in these situations in the first place? If you’re promoted because you work twenty hours a day, then that’s the ongoing expectation that will be set. This is not sustainable nor healthy.
commit to prioritizing your life over work
Focus on promoting by adding more value. Create a sound plan around doing it with a healthy balance of time. Commit to prioritizing your life over work and especially outside normal business hours. Start practicing a new skill…”Say No” when someone asks you to work when it would compromise your life. You can always get to it the following day or someone that cares less about balance can work on it.
Any high-performing individual without a high-performing system is leaving a lot of time on the table. Time management and discipline are critical parts of any organizational system. They help set and maintain your brand with respect to being on time, following up, never dropping the ball, and more. You may be getting it done, but at what cost? Most likely your own life and sharing it with your loved ones.
You may be getting it done, but at what cost?
Effective time management will help even the most effective professional either get more done or find some much needed rest. A calendar is not just for tracking meetings. Commit to tracking your work there as well and you’ll find less conflicts for your time. Complete your work during business hours with this practice. Leverage the practice to free up your time for life. Read more on time management in my post on how to find more time in your day.
In our always-on world, most people will not turn it all off. They’ll look at the last email, or text, or notification. I’ve certainly been guilty of looking at email right before going to bed and taking another thirty minutes to research and respond. Learning to turn it off did wonders for me. I was more engaged with my family, got more sleep, read more, and enjoyed other hobbies. Who does not want or deserve this!?
Learning to turn it off did wonders for me.
We only have one life and you’ll want to say you filled it with much more than a career, email, and sixteen hour work days seven days a week. Turn off notifications and use your new time management skills to schedule time to review all of these “important” things. Communicate your new practices to others to make sure they know to call for emergencies. Read more on how to manage distraction in my post about cognitive junk food.
Work life balance is available to those willing to practice some new skills. Contact us today to help you achieve this sooner than later!