So why then, is it so difficult to be able to do it consistently, without sacrificing one for the other?
Long term success comes from achieving a blend of work and personal vitality. The recognition of this, is crucial. The key rule is to design your own optimal week.
Start with scheduling activities to include more than just work and official commitments. Sit down every Sunday to plan your week and include these five key pillars as essential:
Pillar 1, Health and fitness:
Plan your exercise, healthy food and prep for the week. Got busy days with lots of travel? Try breathing exercises or meditation before you start your day, and use the weekends for longer cardio, strength or yoga sessions when you have more time.
- Be prepared – ensure there is filtered water in your office, healthy snacks in the fridge and create a culture where lunches are nutritious as well.
- Review your office space and invest a moment to consider layout. A work environment that displays balance, is uncluttered and has space for creative moments is key.
Identify the business wellbeing formula as well as your own. Run your body with the same type of planning and attention. What exercise do you love the most? How can you make active living a part of your day? And, what helps you relax?
Pillar 2, Admin and productivity:
What key projects, meetings and personal admin need your attention most? Are you on top of your personal finances and in control of your budgets at home, as well as at work?
- Do you work best in the morning or the evening? Acknowledge your creative DNA and plan around that to get the most out of your focus time. Read and exercise during other parts of the day.
Where do your responsibilities at home fall primarily, and how can you divide and conquer?
The biggest stress for most executives and leaders is personal finance. Pay more attention to this in a constructive way on a weekly basis and you will master your money mojo.
Pillar 3, Family:
Plan your family obligations and share responsibilities. Make the plan visible on the fridge at home and to your EA as well, so you know what events cannot be moved. Swap morning school drop offs with other parents occasionally and exercise before work.
Make time for those you love. Pick up the phone, write a letter/email or just put the digital device down long enough to chat about your day. Family time is imperative.
Pillar 4, Friends:
Who are you choosing to hang out with this week? Can you incorporate something health or wellbeing related into your catch up?
- Are you spending time with people who inspire and uplift you?
- We are the reflection of who we spend the most time with and leadership can be a very lonely road. Find people who share your vision and acknowledge friends who are unconditional.
Take the time to communicate what you need and what you are going through rather than expecting everyone to implicitly understand. Be clear, value and nurture those you admire and trust.
Pillar 5, ME time:
A moment out of stimulus and activity or company. ‘Me time’ is crucial to re-group, calibrate and get out of your head.
- Block 15mins a day for a nano break, away from phones, screens and people. Even 5 minutes can help you reconnect. Even if it’s a walk around the office or just a split second outside.
Leaders who shine from the inside out and practice what they preach are admired. They create successful businesses and inspire loyal and tenacious employees.
Small, daily changes can very quickly improve your ability to handle stress, cope well under pressure and make the best decisions. Be deliberate and you’ll achieve the optimal balance of work and life.