Achieving work-life balance is difficult. Often, the idea of effectively managing your calendar disguises the real work required to achieve greater work-life balance.
It takes more.
Achieving greater work-life balance requires remembering what is often forgotten or seldom discussed:
- Reminder #1: The business will always take what it can get from you. There’s no amount of work you can do that will satisfy the demand for more of you. If completing your work is required for you to feel a sense of accomplishment, it’s time to rethink what it means to be an accomplished professional.
- Reminder #2: The reward for demonstrating a strong work ethic is the same prize you receive for demonstrating any other virtue: You feel good. If you’re working hard and you don’t feel good, you’re working hard for the wrong reasons.
- Reminder #3: Hard work doesn’t cause success. It’s the work that causes you to succeed that matters more.
- Reminder #4: If you complain to your boss that you’re too busy, be careful: Your boss may not hear you have a capacity issue; they may learn you lack a capability. (Bonus: Capacity issues almost always indicate an opportunity to develop new capabilities.)
- Reminder #5: While working long hours is difficult, it is far more challenging to go home to someone you don’t love or parent an unruly teenager or manage an aging parent. In these cases, remember: “I’ve got to work late tonight” is code language for: “I’m not strong enough yet to work on the things that really matter in my life.” (“Yet” is the operative word.)
We’ve been told that the most important work-life reminder we share is this: Your friends and family deserve more than your left-overs, the little bit of energy you have remaining at the end of the day.
What will you remember to be at your best when it matters most?
P.S. A whole person always makes a better leader.