Many CEOs, business owners, and managers would love a healthy work-life balance, but few achieve it. Most work tirelessly in their roles, neglecting the other aspects of their lives, eating up all their fun time.
Data backs this up. Harvard Business Review found that leaders worked on 79 percent of weekend days and 70 percent of holidays. They also put in 9.7 hours daily on weekdays, significantly more than the average employee.
This post explores how to have a healthy work-life balance, even if you are at the top of a large organisation. We’re not promising to solve this age-old issue for you completely, but following these tips can push your professional life in the right direction.
Stop Striving For The Perfect Work-Life Balance
CEOs and business leaders tend to be type-A personalities who want to dominate in every field of life. If humanity’s highest goal was sharpening pencils, they’d be the best pencil sharpeners in the world. This attitude applies equally to matters of work-life balance.
The truth, though, is that there is no such thing as a perfect schedule. People in positions of power and authority never achieve it. And any article on healthy work-life balance tips that claims it’s possible is pulling your leg.
The trick is to maintain a fluid approach to work. As Daoist sage Lao Tzu puts it, “the master has no fixed mind.” You want to go with the flow and act decisively to balance your life when the opportunity arises. Sticking to a rigid schedule isn’t always possible when you are in a position of authority.
Do Something You Love
Creating a healthy work-life balance is much easier when you are doing something that you love. In fact, the question of how to maintain a healthy work-life balance doesn’t come up. You’re just happy to be doing what you are doing because everything feels like play.
If you’re at the top of an organisation and things don’t feel like this, it’s an indication of one of two things. Either, you don’t love the process or you are taking things too seriously.
Remember, stress is what you experience when you are working hard on something you don’t enjoy while passion is what you experience when you work hard on what you love.
Put Your Health First
Slaving away at your desk for fifteen hours a day might be a great way to pay homage to hustle culture, but it won’t do your health any good. Leaders who spend their days grinding away in dark cabins, fuelled by Wotsits and Danish pastries discover their health failing rapidly. They’re just unable to sustain their pace of life.
Don’t let yourself get dragged into this lifestyle. Put your personal health at the top of your value pyramid and keep it there. If your business starts to chip away at your physical and mental well-being, take a step back – and if you see that your employee’s mental health is suffering, being mindful of similar factors is always useful. Overworking can lead to chronic illness and death. And when that happens, you can’t serve anyone.
Be Prepared to Switch Off
One of the best ways to maintain a healthy work-life balance is to force yourself to switch off in the evenings and at the weekends. In fact, it might actually be good for getting things done. Microsoft, for instance, found that three-day weekends boosted productivity by a whopping 40 percent.
It’s not so much the time off that matters, though. It’s more the permission to let your mind switch off. Giving yourself some psychological peace can work wonders for changing how you feel about your life, and how your family responds to your work hours. If you return home joyfully after a 10-hour day, the pressures of work won’t spill over into your family life. By contrast, if you bring home all the angst, frustration and rage with you, your relationships at home will suffer.
Focus On Your Top Priorities
Lastly, you’ll want to focus on your top priorities during the working day, leaving everything else to your subordinates. Don’t rush from one problem to another like a headless chicken, putting out every fire yourself. Delegate responsibility so you have more control over your workflow.
The importance of a healthy work life balance is clear to most leaders. Life shouldn’t be 100 percent about work, even for high achievers. Getting the balance right between work and play can lead to a far more fulfilling life. Try implementing some of these strategies and see how your life changes for the better.