No matter how successful you are in your profession, it’s still important to find happiness in both your work and personal lives. It often happens that successful professionals neglect their personal lives to achieve success at work, or those who focus on self-care end up overwhelmed with work.
Work-life balance is key to a happy life. Below, 12 members of Business Journals Leadership Trust discuss some practical ways to increase personal satisfaction in work and life.
1. Block out time to work hard but play harder.
Work hard. Play harder. It’s important to schedule time for yourself and your partner as you do for meetings and desk work. Self-care is very important to me, so I block out time to take my favorite spin class a couple of times a week. A former colleague taught me “pencils down,” which is putting all devices down and dedicating time to focus on your partner in our technology-driven lives. It has been a game-changer. – Stephanie Reich, Stateside Associates
2. Ensure top priorities are things you can control.
When making a to-do list, make sure your top priorities are things that you can control. With life and business, you can only do so much in one day and it’s essential to keep your objectives focused. As the adage goes, you can water the garden, but you can’t make it rain. Do what you know you can and make sure you know what your priorities are so that you can keep them balanced at the top of your list every day. – Scott Scully, Abstrakt Marketing Group
3. Schedule regular clarity break dates with yourself.
Take intentional clarity breaks. I schedule a date with myself every Friday morning, preferably at a coffee shop, for 90 minutes. This gives me a chance to unplug and get away from the noise in order to tackle both a personal and professional topic. These topics can range from ways to better help my direct reports to scheduling the next date with my wife. – Jarod Latch, Spiracle Media
4. Strive for a realistic schedule based on priorities.
It is crucial to accept that there is no “perfect” balance, so there is no point in trying to establish perfect schedules. Instead, strive for a realistic schedule based on priorities, and don’t be afraid to unplug from the outside world once in a while. Realistically balancing priorities is extraordinarily satisfying and rewarding. – Sanjay Jupudi, Qentelli
5. Set a schedule that creates boundaries.
I create boundaries around my day. I work solidly from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and nothing more. Then, on Friday, I work from 1 to 5 p.m. By creating these time-bound boundaries, I let everyone know when I am working and when I am not. This helps with more effective communication while providing me with a work-life balance that helps me stay sane. – Christopher Tompkins, The Go! Agency
6. Pursue what you enjoy.
Enjoying what you are doing, knowing your impact and being your whole self drives work and life satisfaction. This includes activities outside of the work environment, whether that is raising a family, volunteering for nonprofits or participating in athletic endeavors. Satisfaction isn’t about time boundaries, it’s about pursuing what fulfills you. – Laura Doehle, Elevation Business Consulting
7. Schedule time to focus on work time and pleasure.
Do time blocking. Preschedule time on your calendar for work and for pleasure. Schedule time to review key issues, emails and texts. Rather than trying to pay attention to everything at once, schedule time to focus. This applies to work and your personal life. – Jared Knisley, Fizen Technology
8. Build your job around your strengths and interests.
The greatest success I’ve found in increasing my satisfaction in work and life is to build my job around my strengths and interests. I like to travel, write and speak, so I created a CMO position where I provide thought leadership for our company and no longer am burdened with operational, sales or other responsibilities. I’m exponentially happier now that it no longer feels like work. – Kent Lewis, Anvil Media, Inc.
9. Know that your business is improving lives.
To find personal happiness in work, you have to know that your business is helping your customers and improving their lives in one way or another. Whether you support their education, help them maintain a healthy lifestyle or make smart investments, knowing that your product is making someone’s life better is at the core of your personal satisfaction. That’s what makes all the efforts worth it. – Peter Abualzolof, Mashvisor
10. Don’t do business you’re not passionate about.
My biggest advice is don’t start a business around something you aren’t passionate about. Otherwise, you’ll end up in a situation like this where you’re trying to find satisfaction in work and life. You’ll hardly have any time for the extra stuff because entrepreneurship is a 24/7 thing, but if you’re stuck for some reason, remind yourself of your “why.” If it’s strong enough, it will keep you going. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
11. Have a purpose that resonates with you personally.
It’s important to have a purpose to find your “why,” and it can’t be a token purpose. It has to resonate with you personally and be something in which you’re deeply vested. You’ll need to have a strong handle on your true personal values to find that and you’ll need to identify what’s really important to you. Having a purpose that aligns with your values greatly enhances satisfaction. – John Ehle, Northern Lakes Real Estate Investments LLC
12. Incorporate fun into core values for satisfaction.
One of our company’s core values is “Make it fun; don’t be a jerk.” I strive to make sure that both my employees and I are gaining personal satisfaction at work by incorporating fun into our core values. Hiring an experienced, competent leadership team has given me more time to enjoy my personal life. – Jason Hennessey, Hennessey Digital