Habits and Productivity
The Importance Of Work-Life Balance – Start Small, Think Big, Lead

The Importance Of Work-Life Balance – Start Small, Think Big, Lead

The Importance Of Work-Life Balance – Start Small, Think Big, Lead

We’ve all been told that we can do more. Be more productive. Work more hours. But what about your personal life?

On the one hand, most employees will simply disconnect from work-related things once their shift ends. Managers and leaders, on the other hand, don’t have a line between work and personal life.

Some of our clients have even stated that they couldn’t see the true importance of work-life balance. And that’s true for many folks in the executive world, especially now that work-from-home is becoming the norm.

Well, I hate to break it to you, but a healthy work-life balance is one of the best ways to grow in both areas of your life. Overworking at the expense of spending time on yourself might seem enticing and productive, but it’s quite the opposite.

So, leaders and executives alike, let’s see how you can maintain a work-life balance and how important it truly is.

Understanding Work-Life Balance in Leadership

For many, having a balance between their work and personal life might seem simple. You work your 9-5, and then you’re off to do whatever your mind and body desire. But that’s not really the case nowadays.

Leaders in every space out there who’ve embraced remote or hybrid working will definitely vouch for that. You see, a manager will usually spend the day hours actively engaging with the team or working on the current projects. Simple enough, right?

But, when they get off work, they’ll have to spend some time brainstorming, as that’s a big part of their work. And they might need to reply to emails, send reports, etc. This all accumulates and literally destroys any chance to create a work-life balance.

That’s why executives need to find harmony between their work and their actual lives. All these additional tasks should be part of that 9-5 and not the 5-9.

Why Is Work-Life Balance Important for Managers

The importance of work-life balance for managers is pretty straightforward. Overworking will lead to burnout, and unless you know how to effectively avoid burnout, it’ll feel like going down an endless void.

Besides that, though, there are some more practical reasons to embrace a healthier work-life balance.

Mental and Physical Health

I know what you’re thinking. Mental health is self-explanatory, but physical health? How will spending more time watching Netflix instead of working help physically?

Well, that’s not really the point. You see, work-life balance doesn’t mean that you’ll spend all your personal time in front of a screen. It means you’ll find new hobbies and create brand-new habits, like exercising or even taking an evening stroll.

Of course, this will also help immensely with your mental health. Speaking of which, it goes without saying that spending less time overstimulating your brain with new information will do wonders. After all, we all need to unwind sometime during the day!

Less Stress, More In The Moment

Imagine this. You’ve got all the long-term goals for the first half of the year set. You’ve created schedules that accommodate any interruptions or deviations. And, you know that once your clock hits 5 pm, you don’t need to work anymore for the day.

Didn’t you just feel a bunch of stress simply go away? That’s the case when you have a great schedule, which you can achieve with a healthier work-life balance.

Plus, this will allow you to remain in the moment. From a business point of view, you’ll have a better idea of what the current trends are, what new tools are out there, and so on. So, try to shape the future and act today.

Productivity and Success

This one is basically the result of the things I’ve mentioned above. Great health and minimal stress mean that you’ll be heaps more productive. And that extra productivity might also win you a couple of extra breaks during the day (preferably not coffee breaks).

But these are also key to your success as a manager and a leader. If you’re productive and lead a great life, you’re already an incredible role model to your team. Plus, you’re doing the work that needs to be taken care of, so that’s also a success on the business side of things!

That said, I know that you’re here to find the how – how you can improve your work-life balance. Well, you’ll first have to…

Start Small – 5 Daily Habits To Improve Your Work-Life Balance As a Leader

Rome wasn’t built in a day, folks. So, go for the small wins first before you embark on the long journey of finding the balance that you’re looking for.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a tool that every manager should use multiple times a day. It doesn’t take much. Just take a sit, focus on your breath, and let your mind do its thing. Stay in the moment.

As to how this will help you with your work-life balance, it’s quite simple. If you’re only focusing on the future and “what you’ll need to do today” instead of looking at the now, you’ll be unnecessarily stressed. With mindfulness, much of that stress will go away in minutes!

Time Management

Time management is a big one. This doesn’t necessarily mean having a strict schedule; it’s more about dedicating specific parts of your day to some particular tasks. We call these time blocks, and they’re pretty helpful as a whole.

By employing these on any workday, you won’t have to worry about not doing enough work. Plus, when you narrow down the timeframe of a mundane task, like answering emails or creating reports, you get it done much quicker, thus being more productive.

Regular Exercise

Whether you like lifting weights, going for walks, running marathons, CrossFit, or even just a 5-minute home workout, exercising is a must-have in your daily routine. Sure, it’ll help your physical health and self-confidence and all that.

But, more importantly, exercising helps you unwind. All that stress, all that anger and emotional distress, will simply be used to work out harder. This is especially great if you work out right after work, as you’ll be able to go back home without any of that emotional baggage.

New Hobbies

Alright, let’s get into something more serious. New hobbies are an incredible way to improve your life in general. But there’s a tiny detail here, which is why I included them.

You see, many leaders are workaholics. This work addiction will usually act as a getaway from growing as a person. Hence, so many managers don’t have hobbies, as they spend most of their time at work or doing work-related tasks. As this is a one-way route straight to burnout city, focus on finding some new hobbies that have no relation to your work.


I say unplug, even though you’re quite literally using the Internet to read this. But it’s true. We all need to disconnect from time to time, and you, as a leader, will have to do so every day.

Think of this. When was the last time you had dinner without checking your emails? Do you remember not having your Slack notifications enabled after 5 pm? Stuff like that will just interfere with your personal life and destroy the balance you’re trying to build.

Think Big – 5 Long-Term Goals For Work-Life Balance

Playtime is over. You’ve got some daily habits in place, but we need to take this to the next level. So, let’s see some practical long-term goals to get your leadership work-life balance sturdy.


Delegating isn't just about offloading work—it's about assigning it with intention and foresight. It's recognizing the unique capabilities of each team member and matching tasks to talents. This isn't just a suggestion; it's a critical leadership directive from yours truly.

This is your firm line in the sand. A line that safeguards your time and fosters a sense of ownership among your team. It's a rule that keeps your workload manageable, your team empowered, and your collective output high. Proper delegation doesn't dilute your authority; it amplifies it, preserving your energy and your passion for the mission at hand.

Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries is about defining where your work ends and personal life begins. It's teaching your team and yourself that post-work hours are sacred, meant for rest, family, or hobbies.

This is a hard rule. A rule set in place by you to sustain your mental health and productivity. Firm boundaries prevent work from seeping into every corner of your life and help preserve your passion for your job.

Set Priorities

Knowing what's crucial versus what's noise is key in your life, no doubt. Prioritizing tasks ensures that you focus on what truly moves the needle for your business and personal development.

This approach not only streamlines your workflow but also sharpens your decision-making skills. Set priorities that align with your values, and watch as your work-life balance naturally improves.

Say No

Saying no is an underestimated power in management. It protects your time, values, and energy from being diluted by tasks or meetings that don't serve your goals.

It's not about being uncooperative, regardless of what Bob from HR might say. It’s about being selective with where your attention goes. Say no to overcommitment, and you say yes to a more balanced, controlled professional and personal life.

Health First

Putting your health first is not a luxury; it's a necessity, especially for leaders. A healthy lifestyle catalyzes creativity, endurance, and resilience – qualities essential for effective leadership.

Integrating health-conscious choices into your daily routine doesn't just benefit you physically but also sets a tone for your team, emphasizing that personal well-being is as vital as professional achievements.

Lead – 5 Ways To Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance To Your Team

Now's the time to shift gears from personal practice to team tactics. You’ve mastered your own balance. You’ve got everything in place. Let's replicate that success within your team. It’s time to be their role model!

Lead By Example

Setting the standard with your own actions is pivotal in leadership. Uphold a work-life balance that clearly demarcates 'office time' from 'me time'.

Your behavior sets a powerful, unspoken code of conduct. You’re preaching some sort of balance. But what’s the point if you don’t act upon it? It’s when you do so that you’ll see it weave its way into your team’s ethos, cultivating a workplace where balance isn't just encouraged—it's embodied.

Encourage Time Off

I say encourage, but the word champion might be better here. Champion your team's right to disconnect. Encourage them to embrace their downtime fully—it's essential fuel for creativity and productivity.

Make it known that their out-of-office experiences are valued and that their rest is a priority. But, actually, go the extra mile and encourage your team to use their time off for creative hobbies and whatnot. Build a team that’s allowed to recharge. A team that always comes back stronger, sharper, and more engaged.

Understand Their Goals

Take the time to delve into what drives your team members. When you align their projects with their passions, their career becomes a journey they are eager to embark on every day. And, as a leader, that’s pretty much the best thing you can do for them.

This alignment not only boosts morale but also fortifies their work-life balance, keeping burnout at bay and passion at the forefront.

Delegate Appropriately

Strategic delegation is an art form that respects both the project's demands and the individual's growth trajectory. It’s not just about spreading the workload—it’s about recognizing and nurturing potential.

Find that sweet spot where challenges meet skill sets, and you'll lighten your own load while empowering your team to excel and grow.

Understand That Life Happens

Embrace flexibility and show genuine consideration for the unexpected twists in your team members' lives. By acknowledging that the work is important, but the well-being of the team is paramount, you build a foundation of trust and respect.

It's a reminder that, above all, you value them as human beings, creating a resilient and united team ready to weather any storm together.

Work-Life Balance Achieved; Time To R.I.D.E The Wave Again

Look, finding the right work-life balance for you won’t be easy. Plus, it’ll be ever-changing, as your responsibilities might change from time to time. But following everything I’ve mentioned above might just be enough for you to achieve that balance. And, if it’s not, Wave is always here to help.

At Wave, our clients have dealt with a lack of work-life balance over the years of being in managerial positions. Through our AI-powered coaching app, we’ve helped them Reflect on whatever is going on in their life. Investigate what’s causing them harm. Do things that actually matter.

But, most importantly, we’ve helped them Elevate their game. And, with the help of our coaching team, they’re ready to ride the Wave once again. Ready to fight the next thing that’s keeping them behind!

Interested in starting working on your goals? Book your first session now.

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