The Work/Life Balancing Act

Work Life Balance_ThumbnailI’ve been thinking a lot about work/life balance recently. It occurs to me that “work” holds the primary position in that expression, but is anchored by “life,” which seems to beg the question: “Is there really a balance?” For most of us in this business, it’s certainly obvious that it all depends on how crazy the month is—how many pitches, big client presentations, launch preparations, strategic plans to develop, creative conceptual exercises to take part in…sometimes work takes over and leaves little time for life. But it’s what we all seek to achieve, finding that perfect work/life balance, to be fulfilled in our careers as well as lead a rich life. I’m no expert on how to do this, but I have learned a few things over the years on how to try to achieve it.

First, it’s about organization and prioritization. If you can keep yourself and the team focused, you can accomplish what’s required and still manage to get home to see the family or meet those friends for dinner and drinks. Communicate the milestones, establish the timeline, and hold everyone accountable for delivering, so late nights/weekend work can be minimized.

Second, it’s about that four-letter word—team. You are not the only one on the team—you are surrounded by others who have the same mission you have. If you know you’ve got an important commitment, communicate it early and arrange a plan for coverage. Your team members can cover one night, and I’m sure you’ll be happy to pay it forward when they need to bow out.

Third, always remember what is most important to you, and the rest will work itself out. I remember showing up to my son’s game unexpectedly, after thinking I was going to be stuck at work and have to miss it. Even though the bleachers were filled and I was just one more person in the stands, the smile on his face and the cool “middle-school” head nod my way when he saw me told me that I had made the right decision. That was balance.

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One Comment

  1. Bob Kennedy
    Posted April 19, 2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Great simple, yet important, guidelines! A “date night” helps once a week even if you have to shift it around. In addition to prioritizing projects, “well begun is half done” can help as well. Defining goals, assigning responsibilty, following our processes, monitoring and refining along the way, clear communication….can all help to avoid late nights and weekends.