The pro golfers that I represented as a sports agent had a difficult challenge. Because their work took them on the road, sometimes for weeks at a time, their family time suffered. Some players chose to bring their families with them on the road, and that sometimes compromised their sleep and concentration. Some traveled solo and missed their family.
There wasn’t one right choice. Each player had to find his or her sweet spot.
Balance between work and home is so important, isn’t it? That’s why it’s important to challenge the idea of bringing “your whole self to work.” A better idea is bringing your best self to work.
This is especially important for leaders and parents, because you are modeling behavior that will influence others.
Balance means that you’re not burned out at home or at work. Your home and work situations fuel positive energy. Tough right? I agree.
I like this definition from the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute: You are physically energized, emotionally connected, mentally focused, and completely aligned with whatever mission is most important to you.
4 tools for finding that balance
1. Develop a personal mission statement. This is your road map to achieve what is most important to you, and help filter the distractions. For example, my personal mission statement is to connect, inspire and lead with creative courage and optimism. I find it to be a bumper pad on my conversations, decisions, thoughts and, in turn, choices. We make mission statements at companies, why not for ourselves?
2. Notice your activity and energy output. Where do you spend the most time and energy? Is it aligned with your mission? As you mindfully inventory your time and energy output, ask yourself, “Is this serving my best self? Is this consistent with my personal mission?”
3. Dig into what fuels your best self at work. Certain habits will energize your best self at work (and certain ones don’t). For me, it’s a daily workout that clears my mind and makes me feel fresh and energetic to honor the needs of my schedule. Conversations with my family and feeling connected to each of them also energize me to show up as my best self. What in your life energizes you in the role you are playing at work?
4. Brainstorm what would make that balance even better. Here’s a tip I picked up from HPI: You likely spend more time working than doing anything else in your life, so it’s important to drill down on how your job could make you a stronger person. How could you ensure your job helps you become your best self and a better person
Your Game Changer Takeaway
When we find balance, we can be our best at home, in our roles with the people who are most important to us. That feeds our best work, and vice versa. No one size fits all. Use these tools to help challenge the myth of bringing your whole self to work. It’s more strategic and meaningful to devote your best self to your personal mission and the balance of work and home.
Molly Fletcher helps inspire and equip game changers to dream, live and grow fearlessly. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working with elite athletes and coaches as a sports agent, and applies them to the business world. Her e-learning courses spark both personal growth for individuals and corporate development for organizations. Sign up here to receive our monthly newsletter.