Striking a work-life balance in a busy world
Everyone struggles with a work-life balance. Between spending time with friends, diligently finishing urgent projects, and making your 7 PM yoga class, the hurried pace of modern life doesn’t leave a lot of room for deep breaths and relaxation. Lindsay Guion is the Founder, Global Chairman & CEO of GUION PARTNERS, based out of New York. As an established personal manager working with multiple Grammy award-winning artists, Lindsay is an entrepreneur and global CEO who knows the stresses that busy business professionals face. What follows is his discussion on the difficulty of maintaining a work-life balance and how you can take steps to amend it.
Technology has made workers available around the clock, which means longer working hours. A shocking 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week. In comparison, back in 14th century Europe, a peasant did not work more than 150 days a year (that being said they were doing backbreaking labor, but still, that is much less than we work now). So, beyond stretching the parameters of your conditions for employment, Lindsay Guion has a few tips to strike a better work-life balance that will keep both you and your employer happy.
Set a Schedule
The first tip is to schedule your time. Whether you are a freelancer or a full-time employee, the value of a calendar to schedule your time cannot be understated. In a world where 20 different things can be expected of you at once, blocking out time can be an essential tool for success. Lindsay Guion suggests considering your personal time the same way as work time: block it out. Making your yoga class, meditation, time with friends or reading as important as work by scheduling it out will ensure you stick to it. Without scheduling this time, these activities often fall by the wayside and will eventually leave you feeling unbalanced.
This next one is arguably the hardest: unplug. The easiest way to get caught up in work is by looking at your phone. Leading experts advise avoiding your phone for the first and last hour of the day. The natural inclination towards a quick dopamine fix in the morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. Lindsay Guion suggests setting aside time to look at your phone and emails and to not allow it to become instinctual to be constantly plugged in. This inclination will raise your cortisol levels and will eventually catch up with you.
The Power of “No”
It can be very difficult to say no but try. With limited time and energy, it will become important for you to start limiting time-wasting activities and people. Lindsay Guion explains that the most common time-waster is social media — if you are someone who spends more than 15 minutes scrolling through social media, it is time to break the habit. When you are trying to make time in your life for what is important, these types of activities only limit your maximum potential. Lastly, you will want to re-evaluate the people in your life. This one might sound harsh, but if you are constantly meeting up with old friends to grab a coffee but have little to no interest in the relationship, it is time to cut the tie.
Remember, while finding a work-life balance might seem like a selfish act, you need to take care of yourself before you can begin to take care of others. So, Lindsay Guion reminds you to schedule time for meditation, unplug your phone and stop scrolling through your social media feed.