If you’re a parent and have ever hosted a sleepover, you’re familiar with the childish competition to see who can stay up the latest. And if you were ever a teenager, you know about the myriad of dumb challenges teenagers use to size each other up. As adults, you’d think we’d have grown out of such juvenile behavior, and yet the number of professionals who measure their worth—and that of others—based on how busy they are says otherwise. But here’s the thing: being “too busy” is neither respectable, nor healthy. Work life balance, on the other hand, is both—and top talent knows this.
Shifting the Narrative: Why Work Life Balance is the New Corporate Ideal
No one needs to be told that work life balance is important. However, it took a global pandemic for people to realize that it is indispensable. Covid-19 sealed a paradigm shift that had been long in the making as the latest generation of talent saw their life upended from one day to the next. In light of this, no one is jostling to log the longest hours. On the contrary, balancing work and family has become the new measure of professional success, which means if you want to retain the ability to hire the best, you need to learn how to achieve work life balance, yourself.
Work and Life Balance in Three Steps
1. Pare Down Meetings
You don’t need to be a part of every conversation. If your firm rests on a solid foundation, and you’ve hired a talented team, you are simply wasting your time by attempting to keep an eye on each moving part. Too many attorneys attend too many meetings—and not because they need to, but because unbridled anxiety won’t let them do otherwise. For your own good (and the good of your team), you need to break this habit. Scrub low-level meetings from your calendar. Streamline those that are truly indispensable. And resist the urge to fill this time with other busy work.
2. Learn to Value Your Time
In 2019, Warren Buffet auctioned off a chance to join him for a private lunch (in support of a charitable food bank in San Francisco), and the winning bid fetched $4.57 million. If this isn’t proof that time well-spent with someone you admire is worth a fortune, nothing is. Unless you follow Buffet’s example and learn to value your time above all else, you won’t find satisfaction in achieving work life balance, and thus won’t make it a sustainable habit.
3. Get Your Priorities Straight
What matters most to you? In life, it is no doubt the people you love and the passions you nurture. At work? It is probably some combination of mentoring, finding new clients, collaborating, and dreaming up new avenues for growth. Are these the things you are spending the bulk of your time on? If not, you need to straighten out your priorities and ensure that they are.
To learn more about leveling up your work and life balance, and leveraging this to drive your firm forward, do not hesitate to book a call with Hiring & Empowering founder and best-selling author Molly McGrath today.