Having a good balance between work and home life is more than just a good idea. It’s proven to be better for the bottom line and productivity. The most successful and satisfied people have a balance.
A study by the CEB Corporate Leadership Board, a conglomeration of CEOs from 80 percent of the Fortune 500 companies, studied 50,000 employees across the globe. Their findings? “Employees who believe that they have good work-life balance work 21% harder than those who don’t.” Inc Magazine took a long look at what balancing work and home life means to business and industry.
We’ve identified six areas that can deliver these kinds of results.
Here are six work-life balance tips you can implement right now to make this possible.
1. Identify Imbalances
This is the most important part and sometimes the hardest. You need to try to stand back and objectively view the situation. You’ve got the skill set to analyze business situations. Use these skills in your personal life.
Anja Hume, (website in German) from Germany, is a balance coach. She developed a pie chart with eight sections: Work, Friends, Family, Body, Spirituality, Home, Personal Development, Free time. Each section is filled in to represent how happy you are with that part of your overall life.
Areas that are not filled in need probably more attention. You can generally assume that the more balance you have, the better you will be in every area of your life including work.
The higher life satisfaction you will have. At the same time, the sections don’t have to be equal, but you do have to understand and accept that sometimes the sectors are out of balance. Sometimes accepting these imbalances is enough to significantly increase your overall happiness.
2. Set New Life Priorities
With the whole picture in front of you, set new life priorities to bring more balance into the pie chart in the future. More balance will help you be more productive.
Plan specific goals for your life. Your business should be a part of this, but you also need goals not connected to the business.
A lot of people have a bucket list. What’s on yours? How close are you to achieving everything on the list? What must you do to achieve those goals? Are the goals realistic?
3. Slow Down
This is the second most important part. Look at it this way: no machine can run 24/7 indefinitely. It must have downtime for maintenance and repair. The harder the work, the more maintenance, and downtime must be planned. Work for the machine must be arranged by priority. What’s the most effective and efficient use of the machine that delivers the best results? The same applies to you.
Your employees look to you for instruction, guidance, and inspiration. They are going to try to copy what you are doing. Help them to slow-down after a tough project by leading the way. You set the pace.
You can also try a meditation headband that monitors and improves your meditation practice and guides you to a calm mind.
“No battle plan survives contact with the enemy,” said Helmuth von Moltke, a German strategist. You have to be willing to make changes, sometimes on the fly, to meet the circumstances. Former NFL player and immensely respected NFL coach Tony Dungy put it this way, “You can’t always control circumstances. However, you can always control your attitude, approach, and response. Your options are to complain or to look ahead and figure out how to make the situation better.”
This is another area where you have the skills needed to succeed. When things go in a different direction at the office, you are flexible. You can react and cope. Your life doesn’t always go the way you want it to, but you can change plans and still come out ahead if you pay attention and use what you have.
Find out what you need and keep that. Get rid of the things you don’t need. You already do this in business. If something is not meeting the bottom line, you either change things so it does or you get rid of it. A good work-life balance pays big dividends across the board.
To go simple, start simple. Pick one area of your life an examine. Start with your wardrobe. How many shoes do you really need? How many suits do you need? If there’s something the closet you haven’t worn for years, get rid of it. That done, move on to the next part of your life.
This is one more area where you have the skills in business. Apply to the other parts of your life. Where can you delegate? How much can you delegate?
Some stuff, you must handle it. There’s no substitute for you being at your kid’s birthday party. Some can be put on others. As kids get older, they should take on more responsibilities around the house. Get a housekeeper. You may have to pay the household bills, but someone else in the house can sort them and send you the important parts.
When delegating in your personal life, always remember to ask instead of telling. When you ask, you are inviting the other person to step in and help you. That makes a big difference.
Got ideas to better balance work and life? Share them with us. Let us hear from you.