33% of CMOs / Marketing Directors say they’d like to enjoy better work / life balance. Here are 8 simple steps to help create a happier, healthier, more successful you.
1. FAMILY FIRST
We know you already know. And we appreciate that it’s easier said than done. But business success depends on the ability to manage your time and be clear on your priorities. So, being able to enjoy better work/life balance can be the ultimate demonstration of your talents.
2. SLEEP LIKE A LOG
A good night’s rest literally mends your mind. Sleep clears out toxins in the brain and helps file away your feelings so that the next day dawns bright and clear. Let your mind and body unwind before bed, and aim for 8 hours.
3. INVEST YOUR ENERGY
There are things you can control. There are things you can influence. There are also things you’re concerned about – but don’t control and can’t influence. Make the first your focus. Be upbeat about the second. And stop talking about the third. This feeling of gaining control and influence over your life is one of the key ways to reduce your stress levels.
4. READ BOOKS
Reading for just 6 minutes can reduce stress by 68%. But that’s not why great leaders tend to be wide readers. It’s also the fastest way to build experience, to gain insight, to develop empathy, and to remain a rounded human being.
5. EAT FOOD
When you’re busy, it’s easy to skip breakfast and grab lunch on the go. When you’re tired and hungry, it’s tempting to reach for sugary treats or quick processed foods too. But it puts your blood sugar on a roller coaster with your energy levels, attention and moods screaming up and down.
Generally, the answer is to eat food – defined by Dr David Reilly of the WEL programme as ‘anything you can eat for nutrition which is, or has recently been, alive’. In other words, when you can, try and eat something fresh. So, an orange is food: a chocolate orange probably isn’t. If you can make a habit of eating, regularly, slowly, enjoyably, sociably – and stay hydrated – that’s brilliant. You’ll feel so much better for it.
It’s the one thing proven to reduce an astonishingly wide range of risks to your health and wellbeing. But do you need to bust it daily down the gym? No, you get all the benefits just by walking for 10 minutes, three times a day. Step by step, you really can enjoy better work/life balance.
Write. Draw. Cook. Sing. Knit. Doodle. Do something creative, anything you enjoy. In our grown-up lives, we don’t flex the muscles of imagination enough. So, a little dash of creative activity helps your mind stay calm, strong and flexible.
8. SPEAK KINDLY TO YOURSELF
Neuroscience reckons that we talk to ourselves at an average rate of 4,000 words a minute. So make sure the voice in your head talks to you kindly. Cheering yourself on is great, but so is self-compassion. Life can be hard, luck runs out, and you can’t win ‘em all. Use ‘you’ instead of ‘I’ in self-talk and let your inner voice take the longer, wiser, kinder view.