When we’re doing amazing and important things, we usually accept that increased stress and reduced relaxation are part of the equation. After all, getting stuff done in today’s world requires a little bit of a sacrifice, right?
What you may not realize is how big of a price you pay by ignoring your work life balance. New studies show that stress (literally) shrinks your brain and reduces your productivity on all cylinders. That’s not to mention the devastating health effects.
The best defense against all these ailments is a healthy work life balance. It won’t only restore harmony, but will result in better results during the limited time you’re taking on the world at work.
If some of the most successful people in the world can achieve this successful work-life balance, you can too. Here are some of their tips to steal:
Don’t neglect time for yourself
Shark Tank entrepreneur Damon John spends almost every weekend catching bass at his lakeside cabin. And he’s after something more than a big catch, because studies show that spending time alone is vital for recharging your batteries.
Many of us make the mistake of spending our limited free time with friends or family. While time with loved ones is important, you’re never truly recharging if you’re constantly expending your energy in a social environment. So even if it’s just for ten minutes, you should pencil in some time to pamper just yourself daily.
Vogue editor Anna Wintour plays tennis while Richard Branson does Kitesurfing (among other crazy activities) to find a healthy work-life balance. They realized that exercise doesn’t only have physical benefits, but brings along a slew of mental boosts that improve their life balance. You don’t have to be a crazy athlete to do this either – Harvard-trained psychologist and best-selling author Shawn Achor says all it takes is 15 minutes of fun cardio activity per day to reap the benefits.
Oprah Winfrey swears by meditation to clear her head and achieve a semblance of work-life balance. She says it’s, “only from that space can you create your best work and your best life” and science backs her up – mindfulness meditation has been proven to do everything from help clear your inbox to increase profits (!).
Many meditation experts say you only need a few minutes to start seeing results, but you should aim for at least 20 to see the full benefits and separate from work.
Get together with mentors
General Motor CEO Mary Barra is influenced by a network of them. She writes how mentors correctly advised her to take an HR role even though she was an engineer. “Different people see different aspects of us as we progress in our careers and handle the opportunities and challenges along the way.”
Having a group of mentors is a perfect excuse to have a life outside the office, because it still greatly benefits your career in a big way. So don’t be afraid to reach out today.
Do a detox
Physically leaving the office is all for naught if you’re peering at team updates on your IPhone during dinner. That’s why mega-moguls like Arianna Huffington swear by a digital detox at night as a way to truly disconnect from work, and you should too. Plus, after peering at a screen all day, being away from electronics has some documented benefits.
Well before bed, consider setting your phone on airplane mode to avoid dings from your boss. If you don’t want to fully disconnect, consider at the very least disconnecting work communications from your personal phone.
Try some charity
The best way to give back to yourself is to give to others. That’s why almost 90% of successful entrepreneurs are involved in charity. Helping others can give you a sense of purpose outside of work, and compel you to do more outside the office. That’s not to mention that giving back is a great life practice; plain and simple.
Visit the tribe
Reach out to the LTH Tribe to get even more work life balance tips! If you have any of your own tips, we’d love to hear them!