33% of CMO / marketing directors say their work-life balance makes them unhappy. Here are 8 simple steps to take to create a happier, healthier, more successful you.
We know you know. And we know it’s easier said than done. But business success depends on the ability to manage your time and be clear on your priorities. So, your work-life balance can be the ultimate demonstration of your talents.
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.
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.
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.
Invest your energy
There are things you can control. There are things you can influence. There are 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.
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 in your work-life balance helps your mind stay strong and calm.
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.
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, something that’s not been fudged with in a factory. So, an orange is food: a carton of orange juice isn’t. Make a habit of eating, regularly, slowly, enjoyably, sociably – and stay hydrated. You’ll feel so much better for it.
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. Using ‘you’ instead of ‘I’, let your inner voice take the longer, wiser, kinder view.