With springtime comes the annual tradition of spring break. It’s too early for reliable 2021 spring break travel data, but anecdotally, I have seen images of spring breakers visiting warmer climates while also hearing from others who are reluctant to travel.
Whichever camp you fall into — a traveler or a non-traveler — spring break reminds us of the importance of relaxation and fun in our lives. Finding our work-life balance is important to keep us motivated, connected to our families and friends, and energized for our work ahead. It reduces stress and helps us to stay focused on personal and professional priorities.
Beyond work-life balance in our own lives, it is also important that those of us in leadership roles advocate for our employees’ work-life balance. Remind your employees to disconnect from work on weekends and at night. Proactively put in place a moratorium on late night emails. Give employees time — like during daily meetings — to celebrate personal successes as well as professional ones. Offer to help identify work priorities so your employees have a pecking order for getting stuff done so they don’t get overwhelmed by everything on their plate.
Both employers and employees have a vested interest in promoting a healthy work-life balance. A lack of balance between employees’ work and life typically results in lower productivity, mental errors, emotional decision making, and other pitfalls. According to Harvard Business Review, “[T]he story of overwork is literally a story of diminishing returns: keep overworking, and you’ll progressively work more stupidly on tasks that are increasingly meaningless.”
That’s not to say that putting in an occasional long day is bad and not necessary, but many have been doing this frequently during the last year. Take a deep breath, use lean tools and principles to look at your processes, set priorities, and make a concerted effort to balance your work and your life. Carving out time to disconnect will pay dividends personally and professionally.
As always, please stay safe and keep looking out for one another.
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