How do you encourage a good work-life balance during this busy time of year?
The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Seek Integration, Not Balance
I don’t believe in work-life balance because it’s implying that your life can be segmented entirely. Instead, I strive for integration and that often means co-mingling different arenas of life (health, relationships, business, etc.). I use my calendar as a tool to allow me to schedule in things like yoga, time with friends or even time alone. Same for work calls, meetings or planning time.
2. Place Value on Work-Life Balance All Year
Our team is 100 percent remote, so we already understand and place a high value on work-life balance. Our software was created so people could work whenever and wherever they want. We encourage a healthy work-life balance all year round; it’s part of our mantra and what our company was built around. When things start to get busy, our team knows how to get things done while still enjoying life.
3. Invite the Team to Work Remotely
With the holidays around the corner, some employees have family out-of-state that they do not get to see often. We encourage remote work (with sufficient team communication) so that team members can enjoy their personal lives and still work from wherever they would like. It all boils down to workplace happiness as well as us trusting our employees.
4. Gift Days off That Don’t Impact PTO
An overworked team member is costly. They won’t get much work done today, or any day until they can recharge. Occasionally I will give them the afternoon/day off with no impact on their paid time off. Generally, they have already earned that time off anyway by working on weekends or late nights. They just feel obligated to be in during “office” hours rather than asking for time off themselves.
5. Maintain Your Routine
It’s easy to have your routine shift as more things get added to your plate, but I make my morning rituals non-negotiable. Before the work day begins, I make sure to set aside time to meditate, exercise, and eat a healthy, energizing breakfast. This time allows me to begin my day feeling more focused and prepared.
6. Lead by Example and Make Personal Time Non-Negotiable
I’ve learned that leaders set the norm for work-life balance, even if they don’t encourage their team to follow. It’s unfair to your team to disregard your personal time because they’re going to feel guilty and pressured to do the same. That’s why I too make sure to use vacation time, while also scheduling in “mandatory” times to check out of the office and enjoy my life daily.
7. Minimize Weekend Work
I minimize having work spill over into the weekend so I can enjoy this time with family and friends as well as use it to handle holiday errands.
8. Put the Team’s Focus on the Big Picture
When people are cognizant of a long road ahead, they instinctively pace themselves. So keep the new year front of mind. Otherwise, the intensity at the home front during the holidays can distract folks from long-term goals and cause potential burn-out on both fronts. To slow folks down this season, discuss performance metrics in context with year-long trends and targets for the coming year.
9. Plan Ahead
The best way for me to make sure that balance happens is to plan ahead. Last year, I did not do a good job planning ahead and ending up working on Christmas Day. This year, I have already cut back on meetings scheduled around busy holidays, delegated some responsibilities, and put better procedures in place to make sure that customers are happy and I am not working that day.
10. Become Very Productive During Work Hours
I believe a good work balance is achieved when you don’t have to do any work-related tasks outside of work hours, especially during the busy times. How am I productive? I organize, plan and execute my to-do list. Working at a steady pace, all with no excuses and minimizing any distractions.
11. Delegate Tasks
You have to figure out what eats your time and from there remove all the unnecessary activities that you do daily. As an entrepreneur, it’s best to know the value of time and spend it on things that only you can do. Delegate other things that you’re not really good at; that way you can focus on more important things that you should do.