We hear a lot about work-life balance these days. As leaders, is it even possible?
In many cases, you can't fully turn off work when you get home, and inevitably, family commitments will sometimes happen during work hours. However, you can fully engage with your work, family and community by making deliberate choices about what to pursue and what to decline. You can also include your family in these decisions.
As Marty Hazell, Senior Director, Strategic Initiatives, Planning and Economic Department, City of Hamilton, told me, "Leadership isn't a 9 to 5 job. It can be exhausting and stressful. To be able to stay in the game for the long run, the most effective leaders are able to prioritize the demands for their time and maintain a healthy work-life balance."
It may be that balance is not about keeping your work and personal life separate. As Laura Vanderkam, author of I Know How She Does It says, you sometimes have to get creative. For example, you may wake up early on Sunday to do a couple of hours of work so you can spend the rest of the day baking and tobogganing with your kids. Or you may have to rethink what is ideal. For example, if you can't be home for family dinner, have family breakfast instead.
It's also important to take time to read a book, pursue a hobby or catch up on sleep. While it might seem indulgent, or like you don't have the time, taking care of yourself will also benefit your organization.
Paul Armstrong, Vice-President, Academics, Mohawk College, says, "As leaders, you have a critical role to ensure that the organization is healthy and capable of achieving the strategic priorities and goals. Invest the time in yourself to maintain your health and wellness. The investment in you will contribute significantly to the overall success of your company or organization."
P.S. For tips on Work-Life Balance scroll down in the newsletter! I'm going to practise a few of them myself!