4 Phrases to Live by for Better Work-Life Balance

Culture & employee experience

Workplace mantras to help you establish clear boundaries and balance 

Last week, we joined forces with Headspace on World Mental Health Day to discuss the impact of the mental health crisis on today’s workforce in our session, The Global Workforce: Are they mindful, or are their minds full? 
We opened the floor for questions from HR, benefits, and people leaders around the world, and one of the biggest themes we gathered from attendees is that they are looking for clearer boundaries and stronger work-life balance.   

Establishing (and sticking to) the boundaries you intend to set is hard – and we get it.  

But we are hoping with a memorable catchphrase, you’ll resonate with these four lessons from fellow HR leaders to help you build a better routine and balance.

  1. You can’t pour from an empty cup. 

HR leaders today are often synonymous with caregivers: they put the needs and wellbeing of others before themselves.  

But if your goal is to improve the health, wellbeing and even work/life balance of your employees, you need to practice what you preach.

By taking care of your own wellbeing, you set an example for your team and establish cultural norms to take time for self-care and to disconnect.  
You’ll metaphorically fill your cup (and pitcher) so that you can continue to pour back to others. 

2. No agenda, no attenda! 

Have you ever caught yourself stuck in a meeting jail?  

You know, when you log online for the day and are greeted by 5 meetings in a row, wondering where you might sneak in a restroom or water break?  

If you catch yourself in this predicament regularly, it might be time to evaluate your meeting schedule.  

A good rule of thumb for those mass meeting invites that we love is “No agenda, no attenda!” 

3. When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. 

You have likely heard this mic-drop of a quote from Karen Martin before.

And it’s also likely you have experienced the challenge of doing more with less (a smaller team, decreased budget, etc.) 

Establishing priorities can be a real challenge in today’s fast-paced environment, and the priorities of today might vary from yesterday and tomorrow.

To help you better grasp your to-dos, our speakers recommend a two-part approach for prioritization: 

-Short term: Identify the week’s most important tasks (MITs) and where things rank on the priority scale.

Things might move, and that is okay. Don’t be afraid to renegotiate timelines when new projects arise. 

– Long term: Set clear goals, outline roles, and ensure that everyone understands the processes and expectations. Stay focused on your mission and vision and embrace consistent communications.  

A priority matrix can also help you identify urgency & effort and what to get done first. 

4. Don’t prioritize your schedule; instead, schedule your priorities. 

There are many ways to own your calendar. And now that you have cleared through the meeting madness, take a second to look at your calendar vs your to do list.  

Which one are you prioritizing? 

Sometimes, our most important tasks are not represented in our daily calendar.  

Block off time on your calendar for heads-down, focused thinking, and work time. Identify your most important tasks and give yourself time to complete them uninterruptedly.

You don’t work for the calendar; your calendar should work for you. (snap!) 

For more resources on establishing work-life balance, check out: