Do you often find yourself struggling to prioritize between your personal and professional activities? Take a look at this blog written by our Giant President, Lisa Bodine, on how fostering a sustainable work life is key to reaching your highest potential.
I’ll be frank: my calendar is pretty full. I like it that way!
I love being deeply involved with my clients, our team and my business. Being a central part of the work we do at Giant Voices every day brings me satisfaction and joy. In fact, it’s precisely because of how much I love my work that I find I need to remind myself to take a step back from time to time.
Sometimes this means asking hard questions.
Am I still effectively coaching and mentoring our team when I am booked in back-to-back meetings? Am I exercising, eating, and sleeping? And what about my family; are they receiving enough of my time and attention?
When I’m deep in the grind, I’m not always thinking about the long-term impacts. But I should be. After all, having a rich, healthy, balanced life is what allows us to bring our best selves to the work we love so much—not only in the short term, but for years to come.
On Superhero Self-Care
We all know the image of the entrepreneurial superhero. Up at the crack of dawn for a ten-mile run, in the office by daybreak and still there at midnight. We love the grind!
So is it really “overwork” if you feel happy with what you’re doing in the moment? Unfortunately, yes.
Chronic overwork—working more than 55 hours per week—is common for entrepreneurs and business owners. It can also have serious health consequences.
What I’ve learned over time is that the most successful business owners habitually prioritize self-care, even while pouring their passion, energy, and love into their work. That’s what gives them that superhero glow—and what positions them for long-term success.
Thankfully, it really is possible to do it all. You can master your jam-packed schedule and still remain the awesome, passionate, driven leader you were born to be. It just takes a little help and a lot of determination.
Work-Life Balance, Pandemic-Style
We are all aware the pandemic has drastically changed the way the world works. At Giant Voices, we went almost fully remote during the initial lockdowns, and we learned a lot:
- We learned that we can be Giant from anywhere. When you love the work, it doesn’t matter where you are. Flexibility has been key to surviving the pandemic from a business perspective.
- We learned we can maintain relationships without seeing our coworkers and clients in person.
- We learned we’re extremely productive, but our new hybrid environment comes with drawbacks. We can take more meetings, but that leaves us with less time to decompress and shift gears between clients.
- We also learned employees will follow leadership’s tendency to overwork unless we are clear with our expectations—and practice what we preach.
All this learning has led to small but powerful shifts in our company. By embracing a flexible work environment, we’ve been able to help our employees take care of themselves and their families, without sacrificing their work.
We’ve also empowered our employees to raise their hands when they feel overwork creeping in—especially when we don’t physically see each other as often. This increased transparency surrounding workloads, workplace burnout and mental health has been a positive shift for our team.
Rest and Recharge
Over the last few years, I’ve made progress in achieving a sustainable work-life balance. Here are some of the things that have worked for me.
1. Relying on our team
There are things only I can do, but there are also tasks in my client roster that our team is beyond capable of handling. Whenever possible, I delegate. This lightens my workload, and it brings me joy to see our team advance in their skills. It also effectively increases our organizational capacity by eliminating the bottlenecks that can occur with us all.
2. Taking time away—truly away
I prioritize exercise that forces me to focus on the task at hand. If I’m running a trail or mountain biking, I’m present in that moment—and that moment only. It’s meditative. I also take time with my family. Coaching soccer and family vacations allow me to truly unplug.
3. Prioritizing relationships
I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the support of my partners, our team, my husband, kids, mom and extended family. The village around me also includes close friends, my work network, and my spunky pup, Poppy—Giant Voices’ newest office dog. Sustaining these relationships makes me a stronger business owner and leader.
It’s not bad to be tempted to work around the clock. In fact, it’s probably a sign that you love what you do!
As a leader, however, I can’t afford the consequences of overwork. Our team needs me to show up fresh and ready, every day. They also look to me to model an approach to work-life balance that aligns with our values. These are both responsibilities that I take seriously.
Over the last few months, more of our clients have come to us with questions about promoting healthy work-life balance in their companies, and we’ve evolved our services to help our clients grapple with company culture development, values creation and recruitment/retention strategies in the post-pandemic world.
Questions? Just drop us a line. We’re here to help.