This past week made me think. Another school year has ended with my youngest daughter heading to high school and my oldest starting her senior year. For our entire family, this summer is a time to slow down and reset. But, for me at least, this summer has already been a time to reflect on my work-life balance.
And it really is a balancing act. Like most of you, I’m very busy. I fly around 100 times a year for work, which means I’m away from my family — a lot. As the miles add up and years go by, I’ve realized that more than just balancing the two, my work life and home life, I want to be purposeful in each.
Stop and examine your life and yourself, both personally and professionally, on a regular basis. It’s hard to meaningfully pour into both sides, but if you’re just simply going through the motions for either, you’re likely to accomplish nothing.
In my personal life, annual father-daughter trips help my family recalibrate the scale. Usually inspired by something my daughters are learning in school, I take three or four days and travel with them individually. We take a journal on every trip and write about our experiences. We’ve done this for nearly a decade, and each father-daughter adventure allows us to reconnect and refocus, and move forward with a little more intention. It would be easy to let a year go without carving out this time. We’re all busy after all. But we don’t. This time with my girls is too important.
At work, we have programs in place that help the entire team reset. Every two weeks, team members meet one-on-one with their adviser to talk about personal and professional highs and lows, ways they can improve, how the company can help them and what are the most important tasks to complete over the next two weeks.
You might be thinking, “I don’t have time,” or “we can’t schedule another meeting.” There’s always an excuse not to stop and check in on things. Stop making excuses. Your team members are too important. One pow wow every other week helps you share wins, troubleshoot challenges, build trust and provide a safe and consistent space for your team members to be heard.
It’s all about being purposeful. Finding purpose and being intentional at home and at work is hard. Trying to balance both at the same time can feel impossible. But your success and, more importantly, your fulfillment in both depend on it.
This article originally appeared in the Tennessean.