New Year Resolution: Work-Life Balance

Several studies show more than 60% of executives feel a serious degree of burnout – and that feeling doesn’t stop at the top. Technology is great, but it leaves many of our phones buzzing during time off, feeling like it’s next to impossible to disconnect. What can we all do in 2019 to try to strike a better balance of work with our lives outside of work? Here are a few steps that have worked for me – and may be worth incorporating as a part of your New Year Resolution.

Take a deep breath.

This seems like such a simple step to take, but so often we are in reactive mode, assuming that every email and request requires immediate action. The reality? In my experience, there are very few situations that require an immediate response. But so often we feel the need to provide an immediate response which leads to knee-jerk responses – and let’s be honest, no one is at their best in a reactive state. Instead, we should try to be cool, calm and collected. Collect your thoughts, regulate your emotions (tones can be perceived differently in emails) and thoughtfully consider the request.

Ask yourself – am I the best person to handle this?

Believe it or not, you aren’t always the best person to handle or respond to every request that comes your way. As you’re taking a deep breath, you may realize there’s someone else in your organization that would be better suited to respond. This can be especially true for those in management positions. Often those within your department may bring you items for action that are their own – or could be their own.

Organize and set boundaries.

It makes sense that the next step is to make sure there’s a clearly defined hierarchy and that everyone understands their role. Make this a collaborative process, rather than impersonally assigning and delegating tasks – it’s important to build relationships with co-workers in the process. A couple of questions to consider as you divide and conquer:

* What items is everyone responsible for?

* Who should respond to certain requests?

* What decisions is everyone empowered to make?

Once these three steps are taken – the hardest part will be sticking to them – always, no matter what. The next time an “urgent” email or text interrupts your day, or night – resist the urge to stop what you’re doing to respond. Instead, take a deep breath, examine the request, determine if you’re the best person to handle it – if you are, respond in time – if you aren’t, delegate it to a team member. Simple. Effective. You can do this!