The quest to achieve work-life balance seems like an elusive ideal. Like perfection itself, it is something we are supposed to strive for, but rarely achieve.
However, there are highly accomplished professionals such as music industry executive Lindsay Guion — Founder, CEO and Global Chairman of GUION PARTNERS — who is living proof that achieving work-life balance is not an illusion. It is a practical reality that anyone can experience, regardless of existing commitments.
According to Lindsay Guion, here are three tips for managing work-life balance that make the difference between enduring stability and endless stress:
Have a Plan
When it comes to managing work-life balance, the value of a solid, realistic plan cannot be underestimated. The plan needs to include key priorities in each area such as work, family, exercise, learning, recreation, leisure time, and quality sleep — which are then mapped to a schedule.
Of course, occasionally deviating from the plan is fine; and for most people, will be unavoidable. However, the key factor is to get back on track as soon as possible. Lindsay Guion states that if there are too many deviations from the plan, then it means one of two things: an individual isn’t truly committed to the plan, or the plan itself is unrealistic and needs to be replaced by something that is going to work.
If you are running into these issues, you must reflect and determine what the cause of your deviation is. It is important that you identify the issue and adjust your plan accordingly.
Set and Keep Boundaries
File this one into the “easier said than done” folder because setting and keeping boundaries can be extremely difficult; particularly for high-achievers who are often the go-to person in their workplace.
Lindsay Guion explains that nothing will interrupt or totally overhaul work-life balance more than failing to set and keep boundaries. Naturally, there can be exceptions now and then, which is fine. However, keep in mind that they are boundaries. If they don’t function in that manner, then they are just suggestions that nobody is going to heed or respect.
Play the Long Game
Many people who work hard at achieving work-life balance end up pulling the plug after a few weeks or a few months, because they have not yet experienced the trans-formative benefits that they expected. Yes, maintaining a balance between work and personal life has its own rewards, but it does not mean that stress will be completely eliminated.
The message here is to stay the course and play the long game, because the rewards of work-life balance are cumulative rather than instant. Lindsay Guion elaborates to add that in a sense, striving for work-life balance is like deciding to become healthy. For the first while, eating better, exercising, and following the advice of one’s doctor can be much more pain than gain. But eventually, a pivoting occurs and the rewards of being healthy begin to manifest in all kinds of remarkable ways. It’s the same with work-life balance. People need to stick with it and trust the process. If they do, they’ll reap all kinds of benefits, and their only regret will be that they didn’t start sooner.
Lindsay Guion’s Final Thoughts
Achieving the ideal work-life balance is difficult but completely attainable for even the busiest of professionals. Make sure that you develop a realistic plan, set and keep your boundaries, and remember that change does not occur overnight. Take the time to execute these steps and if you find they are not working to your full potential, then you must readdress your plan and adjust to meet your needs.