Over-long hours, not quite enough time or money and super dedication to the cause are common in our sector. I’m sure you’ve seen how they can sometimes lead to burned-out, unhappy and stressed people – obviously not good for the individual or the organisation.
So, how can you help yourself and your staff find a good life balance?
You’re not looking for a perfect balance every single day, by the way, but a general feeling of satisfaction with the amount of time and energy spent on different aspects of life.
Your organisation is responsible for ensuring conditions help staff find a good life balance through flexible working etc. And there are plenty of things you can do as a manager to encourage balance for your team, too.
- Aim to foster a culture of working office hours only. Encourage your team to go home on time and let them see you do the same
- Keep alert to signs of life balance gone awry (not coping with workload, working long but ineffective hours etc) and offer your help. What can be dropped or delegated? Could a deadline be moved? Do they just need a break?
- Help staff say ‘no’ more often. This is really hard to do, but incredibly effective. Core tasks need to be done but there’s usually a choice about how and when. It’s worth remembering, if you say ‘yes’ to something you don’t want (interruptions or last minute requests) you are saying ‘no’ to something you do want (the peace of mind of finishing a project or a restful evening at home)
- Encourage daily and weekly habits which enhance life balance, such as Friday donut break or ‘walk to work’ day. We are all of us, a bunch of habits that either take us where we want to go or where we don’t.
- Create regular opportunities for team members to reflect on their life balance. Using a diary page to colour code activities in different areas of life identifies where changes are needed. Changes may only be small but can make a huge difference.
There is no one answer for getting to life balance. Positive change happens over time, as people make minor adjustments to aspects of their life. You can help your team see that it’s a choice rather than luck whether they have one.
If you want help creating a happy, balanced 2013 for you and your team contact me here or call 0208 772 7808 for a chat about how I can help.