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Work-life balance: The 5 elements of a winning week

This feature reminds us that there’s an art to striking a work-life balance, and gives us skills to bring both business and personal vitality to life.

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Ensuring health and wellbeing is absolutely essential for the achievement of creativity, productivity and leadership; something high achievers know all too well. We also know the power of leading by example, and how a CEO can radically affect the culture, drive and connectivity within an organisation – for both employees and customers.

So why are so many CEOs that I work with struggling to find that perfect balance – that trifecta of leading from within, leading by example and ultimately leading others on the importance of business and personal vitality?

Long hours, large financial decisions, board level responsibility and commitments to industry social events equate to constant withdrawals on a CEO’s reservoir of personal vitality and wellbeing. We all need to ask ourselves:

  • Are you leading with energy and a sense of purpose?
  • What’s the best use of your time, and do you have time out for yourself to create space for making strategic decisions?
  • Are you in good health, and are you demonstrating the importance of well-being in the workplace?

The Australian workplace wellness survey states that the challenge for employers is in taking a strategic and measurable approach to human capital, starting with the leaders themselves.

Here are the five pillars of performance that will assist you in leading by example and being personally accountability from within your organisation:

1. Fitness and wellbeing: find exercise and activities you love and do them weekly. Mental agility requires physical health; so don’t put activity at the bottom of your priority list. Schedule it into your week as a matter of importance. When you consider that 14.4 minutes is one per cent of your day, doing a 15-minute work out each morning seems quite feasible. Do the WakeUpWorkout; walk, swim or jog for 15mins a day, and in 100 days you will be 100 per cent better off than where you are now.

2. Admin and productivity: key KPIs both inside and outside of your role, should be worked on regularly, not just each quarter. When setting KPIs you should consider staff, management and your own personal admin and planning, and then create a plan that will enable you to execute the areas consistently. If you’re delegating tasks, then ensure you receive weekly updates. Bear in mind that a winning week financially creates and much better commercial month.

3. Friends: since we have limited free time it’s important that you choose who you spend it with wisely. Spend time with friends and colleagues you value; those who support you, understand your drive and who you enjoy the company of.

4. Family: It’s crucial to consider your family time, responsibilities and moments with those you love on a weekly basis, and not just let months and years fly by where they are last on the list. When you’re at home be present – put the phone down for a few moments and spend quality time with your family.

5. Me time: all great leaders need time to think, plan and be visionary. Ensure you create space for this each week by having some time alone. Take time out to check in with where you are at in your week, to consider big strategic decisions or to tune into the smaller issues that need your experience and advice.

6. … and the sixth pillar is giving back. Get involved in your community, become a mentor, do some charity work or just spend some quality time with those close to you. Giving back is not always about financial contribution; it’s also about supporting those around you.

My biggest advice is to make these five pillars ‘business as usual,’ and integrate them into your teams, direct reports, and the company culture at large.

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