How many times have you called your subordinate on a Sunday, and the call has been ignored? You know it well that she or he is either pretending the phone to be in silent mode, or is supposedly away to see an ill cousin who doesn’t exist.
Employees lying low on the pyramid of their career can get away pulling off such shenanigans. But what about you, the boss, who makes these calls, trying to achieve those unreal targets?
Work-life balance is more of a myth in this technology driven corporate world. It is an ideal; a mirage. Work-life ‘integration’ is the jargon to be realised. It gets even trickier when on top of the pyramid. Not only are you into the business 24*7 in some form or the other, but your actions trickle down the chain too.
Being a Leader: A Double-Edged Sword
Leaders inspire the team with their actions; similarly poor (time) management percolates down to the base too. Not only does their personal life become more vulnerable, the environment in the work group also gets affected, resulting into poor overall performance, rise in employees’ disinterest and risk of an attrition surge. If those were not enough, health issues come by uninvited.
Moreover, being incessantly on work does not guarantee excellence. Many studies have prompted that the most successful leaders are those with a better work-life integration. So, how do they achieve it? What’s the golden rule?
The Golden Rule to Maintain Work-Life Balance
Every leader is intrinsically different. Hence, there is no golden rule in particular. Yet, there are a few basics, which go a long way.
Calendaring it all: Although most of the leaders tend to maintain a calendar, rarely do they place their mom’s monthly check up, or their kids’ annual function on it. It works wonders when such aspects of life beyond work are included in the same. Not only does it feel rewarding towards the family, but also helps in utilising even the last minute of the day.
Compartmentalizing: Prioritization holds the key to success, but comes with the grief of overlap at the leadership level. Thus, it makes sense to compartmentalize the work, define success for each, and then deploy equal commitment. Coupling it with the old adage of ‘one thing at a time’ goes a long way in fixing rather complex issues.
Involving family: Actual involvement of family members, and their suggestions into the business works best for seamless integration of work and life, without either being intrusive. Spouses – especially from the same field of work - come handy in addressing few of the most daunting tasks.
Travelling: A timely vacation is loved by one and all, including your business. It gives the necessary break to shed the lethargy and rejuvenate oneself, thus helping the business in a long run. A family outing to the nearby hill-station or weeklong drive with friends is never a bad idea, is it?
Meditating: And finally, this timeless mantra of attaining ten minutes of calmness goes well throughout the day. It helps in aligning the thoughts within, gives better perspective to the existing ideas, and instils energy into the otherwise monotonous daily toil.
All said and done, it’s also important to make sure that your team realises a similar integration and doesn’t get overwhelmed.
Futuristic planning, foreseeing irregularities, proactive measures against uncertainties and composed reaction towards surprises helps a leader inspire the team, whilst resolving the myth of work-life balance.