We all know that feeling after stuffing ourselves to the point we can barely move. What was I thinking? The eyes often have it when it comes to making decisions stomachs would veto if they could get a word in edgewise. It’s matter over mind, particularly delicious matter that makes mouths water ravenously.
The same default to reflex also keeps us over-estimating our capacity on the work side. We get stuck in reflex-before-thought, a habit that drives exhaustion and stress. It’s highly counter-productive to anything anyone wants to do well. Without presence of mind and energy, the default is to a retaliatory mode that drains performance and feeds presenteeism.
The remedy is a proactive work-life balance strategy that puts the emphasis back on thinking before we act. That is the home of optimal performance and the foundation of work-life balance.
What is work-life balance? It’s a process of constantly checking in with how we are working, bringing informed performance to the table, not simply reacting to things all day. It’s about how more effective work creates better performance and richer lives by eliminating time sinks and bringing more attention to everything we do. The data shows that organizations with the highest employee engagement get big-time results—almost triple the shareholder returns in report by Hewitt Assoc. I have more on the success tool of work-life balance here.
Quality work-life balance programs are an insurance policy, making sure that the best practices rule, instead of autopilot commotion. They insure that what we do is effective, not knee-jerk, and that we acknowledge that excellent work comes from minds that are refreshed and engaged, which is what employee engagement programs are all about. The more we focus on how we can work more effectively, and operate consciously, not on autopilot, the more it opens up a richer experience on the job and off.
Work-life balance promotes maximum functioning of the key productivity tool, attention. Without that, we are unbalanced characters.
Here's a tool to manage one of the biggest threats to effective work: stress