Work Life Balance – Yes I want that!
Achieving Work Life Balance Makes You Happy and Successful
Some might argue the pursuit of happiness is directly related to work life balance. “You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way,” said Walter Hagen, the famous golfer. I bet I would get a resounding, “Yes,” if I asked every employee at MMIS | MediSpend, if they would approve of a change from a 40- to 30-hour work week. After all, work life balance and increasing productivity seem to be counter intuitive. In fact, research and a European movement prove the two are interconnected. So let’s explore how to reduce work week and have a more balanced life.
Laws Encourage Better Work Life Balance
Indeed, a new French law, “right to disconnect,” requires companies with more than 50 employees to establish set hours for sending and answering emails. The law includes provisions to ensure employees protect private time and get paid fairly. Remember in 2012 when Daimler deleted all emails received by employees while on vacation? Or when Volkswagen blocked all emails to employees after business hours? In the name of improving work life balance, the German Labor Ministry enacted a law that prohibits managers from calling or emailing employees after work hours, except in an emergency.
Sure, the “right to disconnect” has major benefits but so does changing the way we work.
In This Morning Routine will Save You 20+ Hours Per Week, Benjamin P. Hardy offers a road map for leading a more productive personal and professional life. As a result of reading this, I reflect on my own life. I’ve always been highly motivated, often times called a “workaholic.” I worked hard and played hard from an early age. I’ve always been passionate about my work. I launched my career in 1985 at Hewlett Packard, and I believe HP would have championed the 30-hour work week if the research had been available back then.
After all, work life balance has been an issue of concern for some time now. So, I think about how long and hard I worked over the past 30+ years. What did I learn? How can I work with my leadership team to build a culture that empowers people to enjoy their work and their life as one integrated experience? How can we find the sweet spot of work life balance? The research shows that individual productivity increases and the work week decreases when following a special formula.
Why Strive for Work Life Balance
As an entrepreneur leading a fast-growing SaaS company, I’m empowered to help the “magic middle,” our younger staffers, as well as our senior leadership team change the way they work and live. I’m personally motivated and passionate about our MediSpend mission. So are our MMIS employees. And I want to break the misconception about being passionate and driven at work at the expense of one’s personal life.
A Schedule for Better Work Life Balance
Indeed, Hardy’s advice and the supporting research for saving 20+ hours per week motivate me to put into practice the following changes:
- Get 7+ hours of sleep (Yes I need to go to bed earlier each night!)
- Meditate or pray before you start your day
- Have a non-stimulant beverage and review your goals for the day – write them down with a pen and paper – set your intention for the day
- Eat well within your first waking hour – high protein breakfast. Remember your body hasn’t had fuel for 10+ hours.
- Block your time for deep thinking, creative and high productive work (2 to 3 hours) Enjoy it!
- Exercise – work hard, bring your body to exhaustion, push yourself
- Eat well and balanced – protein, carbohydrates, and fats
- Meetings and interactive work – email, social media (1 to 2 hours)
- Block time for deep thinking work (1 to 2 hours)
- Have fun with non-work related activities
- Eat well and balanced – protein, carbohydrates, fats
- Wind down – low lights, meditation or prayer, review of day, and journaling
- Sleep peacefully
To stay true to our core values, we need to find the right balance of work in our lives. Our bodies and minds need to be nourished both at work and at home.
At work our experienced agile teams are dedicated to delivering and supporting our SaaS cloud compliance software solutions and strive for total customer satisfaction. In addition, I want to empower our employees at MMIS to live our values and mission of customer satisfaction, innovative product development and providing value to our customers. The idea is to motivate our employees through example and empowerment, so they organically shorten their work week, become more productive and feel proud to create the MMIS | MediSpend culture.
Recommended Reading on Work Life Balance
- Cal Newport, “Deep Work One of the most valuable skills in our economy is becoming increasingly rare. If you master this skill, you’ll achieve extraordinary results.” Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four “rules,” for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill.
- Benjamin P. Hardy, This Morning Routine will Save You 20+ Hours Per Week
- Ron Friedman, Ph.D, The Best Place to Work – the Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace