You may disagree, but I believe that “work-life balance” is not fully attainable.
That said, I also believe there is a definite need for a constant “work-life attempt at balance.”
To think that we can attain and maintain for the long-term an ideal level where our business lives and personal lives are in true harmony is an unrealistic expectation. This is because both are in a constant state of change. Like the captain of a ship or the pilot of an aircraft, leaders in business must constantly adjust course in order to reach the destination. We determine a destination – where we want to go. And then we take off in that direction. Just when we think we can relax and enjoy the ride, we hit turbulence, and are forced to regain control and recalibrate.
This time of year is a good time to “adjust course”. The first and fourth quarters in a business year tend to be the busiest, with their respective starts and finishes. But right in between the two quarters is a two-week period where we should consciously shift focus and “recalibrate”.
If you’re a business leader, use this checklist to RECALIBRATE over the next two weeks to help adjust course for your business and personal life.
Reflect – Purposely take time to reflect on what went wrong this year, what went right, and what lessons you have learned from both. Do this for both your business and personal life. Though separate, one does affect the other.
Engage – Purposely engage with people outside your normal circles – extended family, friends you may not see regularly, and those in your community.
Check – Review your goals for this year. Did you hit them? If not, are they important enough to carry over to next year, or do they need to be removed from your list? Great leaders say, “No” exponentially more than they say, “Yes.” What’s on your “No” list?
Ask – Ask those around you for advice. In the office, you’re likely to have a smaller crew over the next two weeks. Though productivity will be lessened by this, it gives you a great opportunity to get to know your team members individually and ask them for their thoughts and ideas as you plan for the new year.
Listen – We leaders can be guilty of asking but not listening. So ask, yes…then listen with intent. You might be amazed at the insight your team members have when you take the time to listen
Inspire Yourself – Take time to read something inspirational and motivational during this period. In today’s world, we tend to place so much value on “doing” that it is easy to forget about “being”. Stop doing long enough to just enjoy “being” – being with those who are important to you, being who you are, and being able to think.
Be realistic – If you didn’t finish a major initiative for the year by now, it’s highly unlikely it will happen this year. There are leaders who push their teams during the holidays to reach nearly impossible goals. They may do it, but it is likely they will be resentful, and this could lead to lower productivity in the new year.
Rest – Yes. Rest. Whether you like to admit it or not, you need a break; and your team does as well. Take a little extra time during the holidays to rest so you are fresh in the new year.
Acknowledge – Purposely take the time to acknowledge those in your personal and business life who have helped you get to where you are today. Think not only of those in your life right now, but those who invested in you in years past. Great leaders never forget where they came from and who helped them get to where they are today.
Treasure – Take time to treasure the moments of the season. The traditions – the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the holidays – are like no other. Don’t be guilty of rushing through the upcoming days, but instead savor the memories.
Engage – You may not be a leader who enjoys attending events and making small talk, but do it anyway. Your people need to see you as more than just a talking head or a suit in the corner office. Be appropriate, of course, but be personable and be real.
There are 11 RECALIBRATE points on this list, one for each day from now through New Year’s Day. Don’t just skim through the list. Pick one a day and apply it. Then post a note here and inspire the rest of us!