Part seven in the What Top 10 percenters do differently series. Do You Have A Healthy Work-Life Balance? An Executive Head Hunters View.
You’re flat out, exhausted, not even close to finishing what you have on your plate for the day not to mention what you need to get done before Christmas. Getting home for dinner is a something you saw on a sitcom one time in the 70’s or 80’s. Healthy work-life balance should be easy with all the new gadgets we have to make our life more efficient and easier. Right? Ok now it is time to wake up.
Back in the, 80’s and even the early 90’s people did have a work-life balance. They came into work at 8:00/8:30, had a break at 10 am when the tea lady came by (remember the tea lady? If we had one now we would say tea person?). Lunch was an hour and when we went home, we actually went home to wind down. There were no mobile phones or emails to follow us in the car, at the stop lights, in the garage and at home while we are trying to eat dinner or speak to our family. When we were at home, we were present in the moment and not looking at devices every five minutes just in case we missed something monumental. Nothing major happened after 5:30 pm that couldn’t be actioned the next morning and the world didn’t end. That’s what work-life balance used to look like.
So what do the Top 10 percenters (T10p’s) do today to keep a healthy work-life balance?
Let’s face it, these days when you are paid a squillion dollars the company expects you to deliver and to practically be on call all the time, even on the weekends. When you own the business it is easier to set the rules. However, you answer to your clients who also have different expectations now, to what they did back in the 80’s/90’s. If you are an executive or manager for a major organisation how do you ensure productivity along with keeping a healthy work-life balance?
Here are some things that I have observed from the T10p’s, in the last 10 years especially:
- T10p’s know that to be creative, inspirational and productive you need to be on top of your game. You can’t be on top of your game if you are burnt out.
- T10p’s are masters of planning and organisation. At the end of each day T10’p’s take the time to review the day and plan ahead for the next day. Time management is a priority because if you get behind it will overwhelm you.
- T10p’s know that in order to have the time they need for balance they need to delegate effectively. To have a healthy work-life balance you need to have spare time to work on your health and if you try to do it all, you will run out of time and energy.
- T10p’s plan for their life, as well as, their work. Whatever their thing is: meditation, exercise, or downtime, they diarise it to make sure they create the time. Exercise to clear the mind and improve your health doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym, it could literally mean getting up from your desk and walking around the building. Walking to your appointments and back, walk and talk meetings, easy applicable things that can be implemented into a daily routine. Planning time for your health is essential if you plan to be effective in the work place. Clearing the mind is just as important as physical exercise. T10p’s are learning new techniques to wind down their mind so they can clear it, to be able to see clearly.
- T10p’s are nice to others and don’t differentiate. Considerate and polite and in the moment for every meeting. Why is this important for a healthy work-life balance? Because if you carry negativity around with you, mean to staff, suppliers, colleagues etc., it will affect your experience in the work environment and you will also carry your negativity home. Try saying please and thank you more often and watch the difference it will make. Say good morning to your staff and job well done more often and watch the culture get better. Try turning your phone and technology off on a Friday night and not turning it back on until Sunday afternoon and see what a difference it can make. It’s the little things that can make a big difference.
I see a lot of burnout executives trying to do everything and letting things fall through the cracks because they simply can’t do it all. Their health suffers and so does their home life. If your health and home life is suffering, it’s hard to be on top of your game and if you are miserable at work because you are doing too much, your health and home life will also suffer. You need to take care of both. Take a look at what you are doing and where your priorities are. Are you really doing the best job, tired and burnt out? Are your staff burnt out? Think about changing the simple things. I know we hear this all the time but the reality is we need to sometimes hear things over and over again before it sinks in.
About Judith Beck
Judith Beck has placed hundreds of executives over 20 years and is Managing Director of Financial Recruitment Group, Founder of Financial Executive Women and Chairman of Eon Mentis. Judith is a key note speaker on various subjects, such as How To Be A T10p, Stakeholder Management, Building your Internal and External Brand to name a few.