Back in the day, when you left the office your work for the day was done. Unfortunately, those times are long gone. Thanks to modern “conveniences” like email and smartphones, and stiffer competition, maintaining a healthy work-life balance has become exceedingly difficult, especially if you’re the type to work incessantly to get ahead. But by following a few simple pieces of advice, even the most fastidious workers can find balance between their careers and the rest of their lives.
For example, consider Bill Redfern. As the CEO and President of a rapidly growing company, Bill is responsible for overseeing the daily operations. And yet he still manages to find time to train for triathlons, participate in charitable events and spend time with his family.
CEO’s and other hard working businessman have stated that the key to work life balance is to purposely leave time in your schedule blank. That way, you’ll be prepared for when a scheduled meeting runs over, or when a task takes longer than expected. By cramming in as many meetings as possible, not only does your ability to work suffer, but the added stress associated with an overly busy schedule can have negative repercussions on your health.
As a loving father, Bill Redfern cherishes the time he spends with his family. When given the choice to participate in a family activity or put in more time at work, he opts for the former. If you must, pencil your family into your schedule. It may seem like a cold thing to do, but it’s better than the alternative.
If you find yourself spending more time in meetings than you do at your desk, schedule “no-meeting” days. Workers perform better when they’re given a long, continuous stretch to get a project done. In turn, you’ll have gained a few precious hours to do non-work related activities.
Some employees are committed to taking time out of their workday to exercise. Proven to reduce stress, combat fatigue and improve your overall health, exercising is a great way to gently push your business problems to the side, if only for an hour or so. And if you simply can’t get out of a meeting, suggest having the meeting outdoors, or over a walk.
Bill Redfern went a step further. He became so enthralled with exercise that he began training as a competitive athlete. In 2013 alone, Redfern has completed three Olympic distance triathlons and a half-marathon, and plans to take on an Ironman challenge later this year.
One of the best ways to maintain a healthy work-life balance is to, at least on occasion, disconnect from the rest of the world. This might mean taking a vacation on a remote island, or simply not checking your email for a few days. When you do begin communicating with the outside world again, you’ll find yourself refreshed and better equipped to do your job. And remember, the more efficient you are at work, the more time you’ll have to do other things like spend time with friends and family.
Finally, try to find the time for philanthropy and if possible, incorporate it into your everyday life. For instance, Bill Redfern is currently looking into ways to become a corporate sponsor for autism. Helping others will make you realize that there is more to life than just work.