Are you Maintaining a Healthy Work-Life Balance?
Have you recently noticed that you, your firm’s partners or employees have been delivering low productivity and showing signs of burnout, unhappiness and illnesses caused by stress? All of these could be the result of a lack of work-life balance.
Your business partners and employees are your key assets. Therefore, it is important to create and facilitate a healthy balance between the work and personal lives of everyone associated with your firm, if your goal is to increase your profit margins. Refusing to address these issues can seriously impact the sales and growth of your firm, especially if employees are made to feel pressured.
Each person has different values and goals, and their own perception of success. So, what looks like balance to one person may differ for another. How do we ensure our associates and maintain a healthy work-life balance?
Let’s first break down the concept of work-life balance. What does this mean?
Work-life balance is knowing there is enough time in the day to successfully achieve work-related tasks, being able not to feel drained when having to get through these tasks and family responsibilities, and regularly participating in activities we enjoy.
Balancing work and personal life involves (1) accomplishment: completing what needs to get done, and (2) enjoyment: having the time for loved ones, fun, rest, exercise and hobbies.
To assist you on the journey toward maintaining a healthy work-life balance as a business owner, here are six tips to follow and pass on to your business associates and employees.
1. Decide What Your Values and Priorities Are
Knowing the goals you want to achieve, and the life you want to live, will help bring you closer to figuring out what balance looks like for you. Often, our time and energies are spent on things that aren’t important. Once you understand your values and priorities, you can start saying no to those things that push you further away from them and yes to things that align with them. You can then begin to arrange your life so that it supports the personal and professional goals you want to achieve.
2. Identify Your Balance “Blockers”
Balance blockers are those things that we either think or do that are in the way of achieving the balance we desire. It’s a perspective we hold about why we can’t pursue work-life balance.
Some examples of balance blockers are:
- Living by the expectations of others at work and at home
- Consistently putting the needs of others before your own
- Being afraid of change
- Being stuck on appearances
Watch when you use your blockers as excuses to justify why you can’t achieve work-life balance in your life. Look at ways to achieve your goals, even though the balance blockers exist.
3. Balance Your Mind
The key to balance is in your head. So, your perception of life can affect your work-life balance. For some, this might mean making a deliberate effort to change the mindset. Typically, accountants feel bad about focusing on work-life balance as they believe taking time for themselves – away from work – is a bad use of time. This is a misconception.
In fact, we’ve experienced cases where initially cynical accountants who hesitantly agreed to living a balanced lifestyle are now reporting that they are more relaxed, have more time for themselves, and haven’t sacrificed their jobs or their level of professionalism in the process!
4. Create Non-negotiable Time Blocks in Your Schedule (at least Twice Per Week)
Non-negotiable time is personal time that you designate for yourself that you will not reschedule, cancel or postpone. Give yourself at least 30 minutes for these time blocks. Enter the appointment as you would for any other appointment. This time if for non-work-related things so that you can focus on you. You can choose to go to the gym, get a massage, take yourself to the park or just do nothing! It may feel strange when you’re first starting out but commit to doing this for at least six weeks and it will get easier thereafter.
5. Consider Hiring a Professional Life Coach
It’s tough to keep focused when you’re trying to accomplish a more balanced life and everyone around you is being rewarded for working around the clock. Making a change that will affect you personally and professionally can be difficult, even when it’s a positive change. This is usually because familiar patterns are hard to break. We all need someone to talk to. The best option might just be someone whose only job is to help you plan your career, manage your life and set goals to keep you on track – a professional life coach.
6. Create a Vision
Write down your vision of a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle. This should highlight what you want to achieve, as this is a key tool to helping you fulfill your goals. When designing your vision, consider this: If your work and personal life was more balanced than it is today, what would you have time to do? What would you no longer do? How would your career improve? What impact would a more balanced life have on your relationships and your quality of life?
Balancing work and personal life isn’t easy, but it can be very worthwhile in the long-run for the individual and your entire firm. Encourage your associates and employees to strike a balance between work and personal life and you would be amazed at the positive impact this has on productivity and growth.
What do you do to maintain a healthy work-life balance?