Struggling to achieve the ideal work-life balance always seems like it’s a top priority for busy executives. It can be challenging, but making deliberate lifestyle choices can help leaders fully enjoy their work, family, and community.
Get Outside During the Workday
Did you know about half of the U.S. worker population eats lunch at their desk? Instead of spending more time in front of a screen, get outside! Take a leisurely stroll around your facility or relax downstairs while you get some fresh air and soak up the sun. The physical and visual stimulation of being outdoors, albeit even briefly, will make you happier at work, and you’ll feel invigorated to tackle the rest of your day.
Use Your Vacation Days
Did you know that half of the U.S. worker population doesn’t use all of their vacation days either?
This happens for a number of reasons — for both managers and employees. “Managers may be hesitant to take extended time off because they fear their absence will be a hardship on staff and other executives,” says Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company. Since many managers don’t take vacation time, employees model that behavior because they don’t want to appear guilty of not being a team player.
In addition, the workaholic culture we engender leaves employees feeling like they have too much work to do, don’t want to fall behind on work, or fear they will lose their job if they take a vacation. Regardless, it’s important to take vacations because it can prevent burnout and lower your chances of getting sick.
Don’t Answer Emails After Work Hours
The ability of having access to work email 24/7 has created an “always on” culture — so much that France declared this as an “explosion of undeclared labor” and mandated sending emails after working hours illegal. Here, in the U.S., our culture has slowly learned to accept that sending and answering emails outside of working hours is normal, and some business leaders even expect their employees to be available at a moment’s notice.
This is not ideal for a healthy work-life balance. Set boundaries for yourself and make it clear to colleagues and managers that you will not routinely answer emails after work hours or on vacation.
Get Enough Sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should get anywhere between seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Any less than seven hours can inhibit your productivity at work! Not only that, but a Korean study suggests that people who get less than six hours of sleep a night may be more likely to develop diabetes, heart disease and strokes.
Sometimes work can be demanding, but getting enough sleep is extremely important for maintaining your overall health and sanity. If your job doesn’t allow you to get enough sleep, look for changes you can make.
Although finding the optimal work-life balance can be challenging, it’s important to take time to reflect upon what your ideal scenario looks like. Do you plan to go outside during your lunch breaks? Do you plan on taking a well-deserved vacation? Whatever your ideal scenario may be, focus on a plan and put it into effect!