Embracing Work-Life Balance Can Be Your Secret to Success as a New Leader

Work life Balance - Blog- Cover

It’s Ginny here. I’m jumping on to share some of my thinking before our upcoming workshop on April 18th. Can you imagine what it would be like to juggle flaming swords while riding a unicycle on a tightrope suspended between skyscrapers? Daring:  yes. Maybe a little absurd:  indeed. Yet everyone is aspiring to it because it’s a realistic metaphor for what we’re calling work-life balance. Work-life balance is often seen as the ideal state where professional success and personal well-being harmoniously coexist. But let’s peel back some of the layers of this concept for a moment and get real.

The Myth of the “Always-On” Leader

You’ve likely encountered a leader who never takes a break. They constantly answer emails, attend meetings, and burn the midnight oil. While it might seem they’ve been working from a recipe for success, the reality is quite the opposite. Burnout is a real threat. It can affect decision-making and devastate overall performance — the leader who goes 24/7 struggles in other areas of their life and is entirely out of balance. However, work-life balance isn’t about achieving a zen-like state where every aspect of your life is perfectly aligned and harmonious. It’s not nirvana, and it’s certainly not a fallacy either. It may be better to think of it as a perpetual dance, where different tempos and rhythms have you swaying with different energy and exuberance between the demands of your job and the desires of how you want to live your personal life. The type of work-life balance that suits one leader differs greatly from what works for another. It all depends on what you value most, your life stage, and how much you want your work and life to be integrated vs. how much separation between the two you desire.

Life is Not Perfectly Portioned

Conventionally, work-life balance is often misconstrued as a 50:50 split between work and personal time. But that’s not realistic. Here’s the kicker – life doesn’t always deal in equal portions. Sometimes, work demands more; other times, your personal life takes the spotlight. We must stop envisioning this as a seesaw and understand that the equilibrium we’re striving for is far more dynamic.

We often convince ourselves to get better at juggling work and life to sort it all out. Have you ever considered that what would be far more beneficial in our relentless pursuit of effectiveness is a pause button? Pressing pause can be a brilliant strategic move that gives you exactly what’s needed to enhance productivity and creativity, making effectiveness soar. Pauses, such as taking time for hobbies and personal interests outside of work – whether it’s painting, gardening, playing music, or volunteering – give you the gift of perspective, which has the bonus effect of working as a catalyst for success.

See Your Boundaries and Uphold Them

There’s no denying that this is hard. Work-life balance isn’t about chasing that mythical point on the horizon where stress and challenges simply vanish. And it’s not about eliminating the chaos; it’s more about learning to read the water and understand where it will be most choppy on any given day. When you see the potential for storms and use your knowledge to determine how to approach them, you can adjust, keep things going, and maintain your cool. It’s far more effective than attempting to ride along the unpredictable waves of deadlines, meetings, and projects every day, all while trying to stay upright, then wiping out and crashing into the shoreline at home; recognize that it’s okay if you need to get out of the water. 

Setting boundaries is an art form. Successful leaders know when to say ‘no’ and how to reassess the situation to prioritize their time and energy most effectively. There’s a delicate line between professional commitments and personal limits, but trusting your intuition and insight without second guessing or bending to conform “just this once” will help you preserve your boundaries.

Building Your Toolkit

In an era of being constantly connected, you’ll begin to see how learning about things such as time blocking, mindfulness, digital detoxing, and ‘quality vs. quantity’ communications give you strength and create healthier and more productive environments at work and in life. We aim to contribute to your sustained success and make life more enjoyable.

The workshop will give you practical tools that will help protect your energy and focus. The best part is that the solutions we’ll discuss are adaptable to suit your individual preferences. Work-life balance is achievable, but your multi-tool needs to be created. You’ll discover how to confidently embrace the chaos of work and select and deploy the proper supports as you need them. Who knows, even if you find yourself on that unicycle with the flaming swords in the future, you’ll be more confident in your ability to master the situation with a bit of flair.

By Ginny Santos, CEO, Neolé

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Don't miss out on new resources, tips, and invitations to our free events designed to enhance your wellness, sustain high performance, and optimize engagement at work and in life.

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© Neolé 2024