Work-Life Balance for Leaders

July 25, 2022

Our Round Table topic for July focused on work-life balance.  Many Round Table discussions focused on the need to be in the moment to reduce stress and the feelings of imbalance.

See our website for our current Round Table schedule for a location near you.  Also, our All Time Zones Round Table is virtual, so you can join from anywhere.

All Time Zones
The time to begin taking care of yourself is now.  Don’t wait for one more sale or one more project; the perfect time to begin never comes.

If you follow the 80/20 rule, where 20% of your efforts produces 80% of your results, and you focus on that 20% and delegate or forget the rest, where are you putting your additional time?  In your business or personal life?  Take the extra time to become more balanced.

The biggest drag on productivity is the failure to get routine sleep.  Challenge yourself to begin a new sleeping routine:
Select a weekend to sleep as much as you can to restore your rest.  Then commit to getting 8 hours of sleep each night, going to bed and waking at the same time every day.  You will have more balanced energy, internal peace and be more effective in your business and personal life.

A member of our group recommended the book, “Holy Moments” by Matthew Kelly.  The book offers insights to living in the moment.  There are opportunities every day to have a Holy moment.  Remind yourself when you walk into a meeting or even a grocery store, Christ is amongst us.  This practice will sharpen you.

Often, leaders and business owners are lonely in their roles and find it difficult to find colleagues at their level to discuss issues.  (A good reason to join a Round Table!)   A recommended book: “The Path Out of Loneliness” by Dr. Mark Mayfield.  One member tries to personally touch 7 people every day with a kind word, or a kind gesture.  Try to set a goal of touching several people each day.  It will help relieve loneliness in our world and ourselves.

Andy Hill authored the book, “Be Quick- But Don’t Hurry” based on his basketball career at UCLA under coach John Wooden.  When UCLA would get the basketball, they would run down the court faster than any other team, but once they were in place, they stopped and passed the ball, to stay balanced.  Often, we are task and results oriented and move too quickly.   When we push too much, we lose balance, and we may be pushing others beyond their speed.

Establish a routine.  Set aside time when you will not be available, and others will work around your routine.  This will become an expectation for them.

Each month, create a calendar and set aside time for church, family, exercise, and sleep.  Do this for the entire month.  Have your direct reports do this exercise and meet with them to discuss the month.  This will calibrate your calendars.  This process will help to bring discipline and order to chaos.

Plan your vacations early.

Understand that your commitments change as the seasons of your life changes.  This is true for you, your employees, your customers, etc.  Everyone must work together to have work life balance for all, and it starts with recruiting and setting expectations.

Do not have work email on your cell phone because it can take away from focusing on the moment before you.

Continue to trust and praise God in the balance and imbalance.

Sometimes you must tell people to do their work.  We must still delegate.  Don’t fall into the trap of doing things yourself.  You will end up frustrated and burned out. Also, be aware of the signs of micromanagement.  Be careful to not spend time watching everything an employee is doing, but also do not take over their tasks.

We can make up time if opportunities come up that interest you during the day.  For instance, one member was asked to coach football at a camp two mornings.  He was interested and realized he could work at night to allow time to do something he was excited about. 

Grand Rapids
One member is a pastor, and it is an occupation with 70-hour workweeks.  To have time for yourself or your family:

  1. Set aside and commit to family time.
  2. Have a structure in place that provides a backup for you while you are unavailable.

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35 NIV).  Jesus made it clear to his disciples that he could do only what his Heavenly Father revealed to him and gave him the resources to do.  Therefore, it was essential for him to spend the first part of each day in his father’s presence. This was the priority of his day!  Everything that followed throughout the day was dependent upon that time alone with his Father. Therefore, he was intentional about practicing it. He diligently guarded it. He made a daily sacrifice to keep it. And he invested the first of his resources in it. He set a great example for us to follow.

Ask yourself, I am following Christ or those around me?  Challenge yourself to be willing to be unsuccessful in the eyes of the world in order to be successful in the sight of Christ.

Is there such a thing as work-life balance?  We don’t have the capacity to balance everything that comes at us in life. Instead, seek to be completely focused on the activity that is at hand to give it your best, whether that is related to work or to life.

Use storyboarding techniques to outline and solve problems, plan new strategies, and get more engagement and ownership from employees.

At times we have a serious priority on our to-do list, making it difficult to balance personal and business life – fix it first.

Get employees to organize, systemize and write procedures for their job, allowing for balancing of tasks and having back up procedures in place.

The key to work-life balance is to delegate.  When we get good at things, we have a hard time handing them off.  Find out what you love to do and delegate the rest.

Upcoming Leadership Events

  1. Our Grand Rapids Leadership Breakfast Social with Linda Kleist, owner of Identity Creative, is on Friday, August 19 at 7:00-9:00am at the University Club.
  2. Join us in on Friday, September 16 at 7:00-9:00 am at the Birmingham Country Club for the Birmingham Leadership Breakfast Social with keynote speaker, Romy Kochan, President and CEO of Gingras Global.

If you are unable to attend our events, subscribe to CBRT’s YouTube channel where you can review all past event presentations.