One of the most challenging parts of running a company is often remembering when NOT to work. I always have a list of things to work on that could keep me in the office late or end up coming home with me-and I know you do too.
As company leaders we make tough decisions every day. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance requires tough decisions too.
In fact, that's the first step to a better work-life balance, deciding to make a change.
Are you committed to finding a better balance to benefit you, your family, and yes,your company? Then it's time to commit and make some choices. I schedule my downtime just as I schedule my workday. I have a set time that I leave the office, and I do my best to stick with it. I've made a conscious decision to limit my weekly hours spent working and then make tough choices to make sure it happens. And when I'm home, I set work aside and focus on spending time with my family or relaxing. It can be as simple as putting down the cell phone and closing the computer. Leaving work, but staying attached to it and distracted by it is not trulyleaving work.
But how can you go home with so much left to do? The key is to delegate responsibilities, not tasks. Reducing your operational involvement is the best way to cut back your working hours without negatively affecting the productivity and success of your company. When you're not there, who is in charge? Who do you trust to make the decisions that keep your company running? Every CEO needs someone they can trust who knows the business as well as they do. I made a conscious decision to trust my team, and the best way to learn that this works is to give it a try. Sure, it took some getting used to, but once I saw that the world didn't fall apart when I let other people share the load, it became much easier to leave my work at the office and truly enjoy my time at home.
Reduce your operational involvement by delegating responsibilities, not tasks.
If you cannot take a vacation from your business, you don't have a business - you have a job. If my business were in a position where it couldn't run without me, then I would make changes until it could. I choose to take a vacation several times every year and I stick to that plan. Remember the key to maintaining a work-life balance is applying the same discipline in your life as you do in your work. If you say you're going to go home at 6 p.m., do it. And if you say you're going to take a vacation, take it. Having the discipline to say 'No' to the office and trust that it can run without you is the only way to achieve the work-life balance we all strive towards.
If you can't leave your business, you don't have a business - you have a job.
Lastly, I always remind myself that better work-life balance is not only better for me and my family, it's better for my company too. It's possible to lead a balanced life even if you're running a company, just remember the three Ds: Decision, Delegation, & Discipline.
There is one word at work that arrives like a gift. It makes me feel happy and brings a jolt of joy to everyone who sees it in an email, IM, or text. I love reading this word more than any other -- it has always spoken to me more than "bonus," "raise," and even "promotion." I bet you love it too.
The reason I love this word is that it's written every day. It denotes team progress, and is free for everyone, anywhere to use at any time. It speaks to our sense of accomplishment -- both as individuals and a team.
Before I share this special word, I want to tell you why it will make you rich. But let's be clear about what I think about wealth. Being rich is about achieving what you have dreamed of accomplishing
For many though, being rich means having $1M in the bank or buying that fancy car that they have wanted since high school. But for others, wealth is defined by their community service, overcoming addiction, or finally earning the degree that they abandoned 20 years ago.
I am not the only one who thinks broadly about the word rich. In a survey released last year, 90% of respondents said they believe that success is more about happiness than money or prestige. 60% of the same survey respondents said success means "loving what you do for a living"; just 20% said success is defined by monetary wealth.
So, do you know the one word that will bring you treasure? The one word you can write that will make you rich is, "Done."
You might be surprised, but stay with me so I can explain how powerful this little word is. The word "Done":
The more often you complete a task, the more your confidence to achieve what's next grows. Writing "Done" to your colleague or boss who has asked for status on a task, means everything. It's similar to crossing items off a to-do list, but in a collaborative way. That sense of confidence allows you to take on new challenges and continue to grow.
Most colleagues don't like asking for help. But when they do, they probably really need something from you. You have an opportunity to thrill that person when you respond with "Done" as it means you completed their request. This helps them get to "Done" too. Writing "Done" reminds everyone that they are part of a team, and that you have a key role.
Highlights your value
Getting work finished is energizing, and when you write the word "Done," it reinforces your contribution. It also enhances your reputation for being trustworthy, reliable, and dependable. Ultimately, our accomplishments are what satisfy our internal ambitions and are rewarded at work too.
People who love and respect the word "Done" work hard and have deep reservoirs of stamina. They take great satisfaction from being productive and helping others along the way.
They also happen to be the people who are rich. This is because they are driven by their talents to achieve greatness. Their hard work drives them to achieve their own goals and ensure their teams are terrific too.