The definition of a good work-life balance is rather subjective. Which explains why it’s long been a debated topic in the workplace. The immeasurable nature of this invisible equilibrium is what makes it so hard to understand, execute or maintain. But all we need to know is this: too much stress can damage our brains, cause us to make poor decisions, and raise cortisol levels, which can increase arterial blood pressure.
Science supports that chronic stress attacks everything from the brain and the pituitary gland to the heart. And recent research even suggests those working a 55 hour week face 33% increased risk of stroke than those working a 35-40 hour week.
So for execs and entrepreneurs, striking that work-life balance is more important than ever.
How can ambitious executives create a healthy life balance without losing momentum at work? Here are four work-life balance tips to help you achieve the perfect harmony for both your health and your business.
Protect Your Private Time
The time you spend with your family can easily become lost when the work piles up. Guard this time and tell yourself that this time is inflexible. This could mean having phone and email cut-off hours in the evening, booking in at least one weekend a month for family time, or simply making sure you include personal appointments in your Outlook calendar (and sticking to them).
Delegate and Give Others Responsibility
Micro-management is a poor allocation of time, so letting your team do what they’re good at or remembering to outsource when you simply don’t have the resource yourself is crucial.
Entrepreneurs are often attuned to working in a solitary way and this can cause the unproductive mindset of wanting to do everything themselves. But asking for help is important and it’s an easy transition from ‘controlling’ to ‘supervising’ if you let yourself take that step back. Be the one who signs off, but don’t get involved in every nitty gritty detail if you don’t have to.
Put Your Health First
Making time for fitness and exercise is important. Not only does it keep your body and vital organs in good check, but it also reduces stress and the release of endorphins after cardio can help to fight symptoms of depression.
Exercising is essential for a healthy body and mind, and those who make time for working out will see a noticeable difference in their performance at work. More specifically, studies have shown that low-intensity exercise reduces fatigue symptoms by around 65%, so finding time to hit the gym after office hours (even if it’s just for a light jog) will be worth every minute.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Today’s advanced technology means that we can stay connected with colleagues and business partners at any time of day. With smartphones, tablets and notebook laptops, we can easily synchronise work with travel. So don’t miss an important family holiday to attend a board meeting. Instead, take a 30 minute break from the beach and video call with the rest of the team from your hotel room. Whilst it’s not healthy to take too much work home, remote systems do allow modern day execs to work from anywhere in the world too.