How to Create a Healthy Work/Life Balance

Is a healthy work/life balance possible for a successful Force Multiplier? YES! 

In the fast-paced world of Executive Assistants, Chiefs of Staff, and all Force Multiplier roles, achieving a harmonious work/life balance can seem like an elusive goal, but with the right mindset, strategies, and tools, it’s completely attainable.  

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and overworked when the boundaries between work and home are increasingly muddied, so let’s talk about some ways to find some equilibrium.

1. Set Boundaries, Communicate Them, and Protect Them 

Establish clear dividing lines between work and your personal life. But I’ll be the first one to raise my hand and say I am guilty of crossing that line… a lot. 

It’s easy to get in the habit of always being “on.” You might not even realize you are doing it… checking emails at night when you get into bed, picking up your phone when it “dings” during dinner, or checking your calendar while watching TV with your family. Try to carve out time for yourself where you can be totally present away from work, then communicate it to your Principal and your coworkers. Being open with and committed to your boundaries will be beneficial for your mental health, your relationships, and your productivity when you turn work-mode back on. 

2. Effective Time Management

You’ve probably heard it a thousand times but it bears repeating: Time management is critical!

Starting your day with an organized priority list is essential. Better yet, put your list together the night before! This helps you reflect on what you accomplished that day and what needs to be top on your list of to-dos for tomorrow.

This list doesn’t have to be set in stone—priorities can change pretty quickly in a fast-paced environment—but it should be your guide. Prioritize what tasks are time-sensitive with encroaching deadlines, then block time on your calendar for each task. When you allow yourself ample time to focus on one thing, you can complete it with more clarity and focus. 

I’m a pen to paper kind of person, but you can also utilize sites like WRIKE  or Todoist to create to-do lists for yourself and collaborate with your team! 

3. Utilize the Tools That Are Available To You 

Whether you’re on top of all the new AI trends or prefer the basics, it’s essential that you find tools that make your life at work easier, like project management platforms and calendar apps. 

Here are some of my favorites:

  • Time Buddy or Calendly are fantastic for finding convenient meeting times on your Executive’s busy schedule. Time Buddy is a simple way to verify all the time zones when you’re planning and scheduling international meetings, events, and travel. Calendly goes one step further by eliminating the back-and-forth emails to find the perfect time to meet amongst multiple parties. (Though Google Calendar just added their own meeting-finding feature, too!)
  • ChatGPT is a great tool to have in your arsenal for generating content and suggesting language, whether you are writing an email, posting to social media, or writing a blog. Just remember to review and edit anything you use in your own voice!
  • Slack is incredibly helpful for teams that don’t work in an office together. It provides a place for instant communication where co-workers can message each other, strategize, and share thoughts without clogging eachother’s inboxes. 
  • Otter.ai is a game changer for notetaking in virtual meetings. It can be used to translate speech to text to create notes from meetings. It converts sound to text within minutes, and the notes are searchable and shareable. It’s compatible with Google Meet, Zoom and Dropbox. Need I say more?
  • Amazon. This tool really doesn’t need any kind of explanation. It’s the everything store. Order your office supplies, podcast recording equipment, even get your executive’s favorite seltzer delivered monthly. Save yourself the time and chaos of hopping from store to store looking for supplies—just get it on Amazon!

4. Find Your Peace Amidst the Chaos 

Work can be stressful. Home life can be stressful. It’s important to find techniques that help you stay present and reduce stress when things start to feel like too much. My favorites are:

  • Take a 10 minute walk. Get some fresh air in your lungs and get your heart pumping. It is amazing how rejuvenating this can be. 
  • Try 10 minutes of Meditation. I’ve been dabbling in Transcendental Meditation lately. It’s simple and allows you to rest your mind for a short period of time. 
  • Introduce mindfulness practices. Set a timer to remind yourself to stay present and reduce stress. Take a few deep breaths between tasks or emails. Keep a sticky note on your computer with a peaceful reminder.
  • Talk to someone. If something is bothering you or creating stress, there is power in numbers. Find your people and let them help you. 

5. Regular Reflection — Assess and Adjust as Needed 

The Founder & The Force Multiplier has some amazing tools that can help keep you on track and in tune with how you’re balancing your work and personal responsibilities and goals. I strongly recommend you try the Execution Plan Template and ask yourself the 5 Accountability Questions daily. 

6. Most Importantly: Remain Present, No Matter What You’re Doing 

Often, the reason we feel overworked and overwhelmed is because when we’re working, we’re thinking about home. When we’re home, we’re thinking about work. This leads to a lack of contentment or accomplishment in either realm. 

Set clear boundaries for yourself and your Founder. Yes, many Force Multiplier jobs require us to be on call—the important thing is to discuss with your Founder what hours, modes of communication, and degrees of urgency work for you. Then, fiercely protect your designated free time! Work will always be there, so be present with work while you’re working and present with your family, your friends, or your hobbies when you can!

Remember, achieving work/life balance as a Force Multiplier is an ongoing journey—one that requires intentional effort and continuous adaptation. The pendulum will swing both ways. Be patient and mindful of what you need to do to bring your life back into a healthy balance.

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