In a video series called “Finding and Maintaining a Work-Life Balance” by Leadercast Now, six important topics were discussed by various professionals to help others find and maintain a work-life balance.
1. Finding Your Leadership Balance
The first video shared how one married mother of three has been able to find the right balance between her career and home life.
She explained how she was able to figure out how to integrate her life with the gifts she had been given. She called it “personal purpose” where you take the gifts you have been given, the values that you have and the life experiences that have shaped you and learn how to focus them on one thing vs. multiple things.
She quoted Dr. Martin Luther King by saying “we are all leaders, it’s just a question of where we will serve”. She said she has approached the parenting of her three daughters the same way. She views her parenting as “building future leaders” because her daughters will ultimately be leaders of their homes, leaders of their church, leaders of their community, etc.
She was able organize her life around 1 purpose statement and by doing so it moved a lot of conflict aside even though as working parents you encounter a lot of conflict. She said if you know why you are doing the things you do and parallel that with what you believe, it helps you wrestle the different choices you have to make as a working parent.
She agreed there will be trials in your life but it’s ultimately how you navigate the trials so in the end you can say that you did the right thing. She shared that when her daughters were teenagers, she had to take a break from her career because she couldn’t keep everything on track. She said over the course of her career she took three breaks (she also referred to the breaks as hitting the “pause button”) and when she returned back into the workplace she did so with more purpose and impact.
She encouraged people to unleash themselves form conventional work thinking.
2. Accomplish More Naturally With a Mindset Shift
In the second video we heard from a gentleman who was at a really good place in his life … just finished his MBA, he and his wife just had their second child and he was starting a new dream job. He felt like everything in his world was going well until he received a call from his doctor telling him he had cancer. He quickly realized that what his life looked like on the outside was not what his life actually was on the inside. He quickly realized all of the things he thought were important fell by the wayside and he began to focus on what really mattered.
After the cancer diagnosis, he believes he had a mindset shift. He put a greater value on family which resulted in greater achievements at work. He was able to relax and take time in his day to step back and look at his life and what he was trying to achieve which helped him see whether he was putting too many expectations on himself or others.
He believes it is valuable to focus on being more present and involved. He shared that sometimes you have to put restrictions in place so you can be more engaged, whether it is spending less time on your phone, doing less “after hours” work for your job, checking in with your family throughout the day or engaging more with your family and friends on the weekends … you realize that your job/work is going to be OK.
3. Work-Life Balance for Healthy Teams
The third video discussed the importance of creating margin and balance in your life. The gentleman in the video said “If you don’t know how to lead yourself, you can’t lead others”. He addressed the importance of developing a healthy team … which includes eating a healthy diet but it also means being excited to work, having a good balance with home life and a process for dealing with stress because stress impacts how healthy you are.
He said it is important to find things that are refreshing to you and things that bring life into you. An example for him was golfing. He uses golf as a stress reliever. When he’s golfing he is focused specifically on that and nothing else. He believes everyone should find a stress reliever.
If he is stressed his team is not getting the best version of their leader so in order to lead healthy people you have to be healthy yourself. He ended by saying teams that have fun, even while working hard, are healthier teams.
4. How External Factors Affect You and Your Team
A highlight of the fourth video was answering the question “What is present in this moment”. This can help identify a challenge at work or something that is causing emotional distress or anxiety.
Talking about where one’s anxiety is coming from can often times allow the person to “breathe” and realize things aren’t quite as bad as they think. If someone is anxious about something you may think they are anxious about a presentation they have to give the next day or a deadline they are trying to meet when in fact their anxiety could be due to the fact they worked late for the last two nights and have not gotten home in time to tuck their kids into bed or talk to their spouse.
It is important to recognize outside factors that may be affecting your team and talk them through it. Once it is off their chest they will perform better.
5. Who Owns Your Agenda
The fifth video discussed how important it is to own your own agenda. Many people think they own their own agenda but when they really stop and think about it … they don’t.
The educator in this video said she challenges her students when she hears them say they are overwhelmed and have too much to do (work, school, family, kids, etc) by asking them “who owns their agenda”. They typically respond “I do” to which she says “I would like to challenge that … I bet you don’t”.
She proceeds to tell them if she followed them for 7 days would she be able to see the values that they believe are important in their lives. She said this is always very revealing because someone may have a specific value but they end up acting completely contrary to that value or the value cannot be detected in their everyday life.
She tells her students that when there is a disconnect/misalignment with someone’s values, it causes them to feel overwhelmed and experience unnecessary stress. She reminds them that if they live in alignment with what they value they will have less stress and anxiety. She used the example of one of her students who wanted to own her own business. When she opened the business she made herself available 24/7 to her clients and was starting to feel overwhelmed. She explained to the student that she can tell her clients what times they can connect with her (i.e. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday). The student didn’t realize it was OK to define her own schedule. Own your own agenda!
6. Having Enough Time
The sixth video focused on one of the things we hear people say all of the time “I don’t have enough time”. The gentleman in the video explained that people who have a sea of opportunities before them end up committing to too many things whether it’s because they have a hard time saying no, they enjoy being challenged, they like problem solving or in some cases they may just like to play the victim.
He explained that when people say they “don’t have enough time” it is essentially a lie. They are acting as if they don’t have control over their schedule and what they have committed to when in fact they do. They are choosing to put something else first. They are making a choice “not to have the time”.
He said when this happens, you really need to sit down and take a personal inventory and determine what you can take off the list to make room for things that should be a higher priority (like health, fitness, etc). Narrowing your focus and paying attention to other parts of your life will give you a boost of energy and allow you to put your best self into something. He said in some cases this allows you to take more on, by doing less.
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