By Chris Boyce, former CEO, Virgin Pulse
A version of this blog originally appeared on The Huffington Post.
Is it just me, or is it harder to manage work and family life today? By the time I’ve made it through the day’s meetings, emails, projects, to-do lists, social media check-ins and updates, and the long commute home, I’m wiped out!
Modern life is busy, and it’s filled with distractions for all of us. These distractions mostly come through incredible, extraordinary technology that lets us be more productive, distracted, and up-to-date in the race of day-to-day life.
But in the face of all available technology, it’s easy to lose our center. With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I’m reflecting on how I can be more effective in both my personal and professional life – and why we should help our employees find this work-life balance, too.
To-Do list overload
Studies show that, since the 1960s and with the advent of tech, we’ve picked up an additional eight hours of productivity each day. Do you feel like you’ve gained an extra eight hours a day? I sure don’t. Technology like smartphones make us more efficient and give us the freedom to choose when and where we work. In theory, this should make us more effective, but does it?
It’s so easy to fill our time with extra tasks to get done and it’s hard to keep up. We’re not doing the simple things that replenish us and make us more effective anymore, like resting, exercising, and spending time. And as we neglect these areas of our well-being, we’re losing the ability to prioritise and focus on what truly matters in life. The fact that I’m a CEO won’t mean much unless I have meaningful relationships with my team and my loved ones, and take care of my physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
Set your priorities & parameters
As a husband and father of five, I’ve experienced firsthand this seesaw between my work and personal life. I realised early on in my career that work can always take more than you have to give. That’s why I decide what’s most important to me, and set boundaries protecting those things.
In my work life, I’ve set the habit of defining and declaring my core mission or one thing to complete each day. And in my personal life, I’ve set Sunday aside as spiritual and family time. In both of these conscious choices, I make the decision to focus on being present.
Ultimately, identifying priorities and setting boundaries both come back to one thing: quality. If you’re not feeling good about yourself or your relationships, or if you’re distracted all the time, it’s hard to deliver your best work.
It’s critical for companies to create healthy cultures and support employees across all aspects of their lives. By showing employees your company cares about all aspects of their wellbeing and lives, you can not only improve well-being but also boost engagement, productivity, satisfaction, retention, and much more, all while creating a stronger culture and great place to work.
The result? A workforce full of people who help your business thrive.