CXOs of today operate in a hyper-competitive, fast-paced world. Round the clock connectivity gives them a great advantage – of being always accessible. However, it also takes a heavy toll. Making time for personal commitments poses a serious challenge; so does the absence of introspection as to where their own life and career is headed.
Here are some simple and do-able tips for CXOs to keep driving in the fast lane, with a clear view of the horizon and occasional stopovers in the sunlit valleys of life. In other words, to achieve the delicate goal of better work-life harmony.
Family time IS important
If you happen to be in station, earmark a time of the day which is exclusively for the family. Could be breakfast time. Could be dinner time. Make sure your international calls and Skype conferences are scheduled in such a way as to not to impinge on to this time.
Treat your weekly off days with the respect they deserve. Do not allow yourself the luxury of driving over to your office on such days.
Avoid sweating over small stuff
Small stuff is important. But you do have team members who take care of the minute details. Guide them, by all means. Do not get directly involved. You would only get blamed for micro-managing.
Prioritize well. Prioritize in advance. Follow Bhagavad Gita, which exhorts us to render our duties faithfully, guided not by desired results but by imperatives of the tasks themselves.
Check if you suffer from a decision fatigue. Put routine decision-making in an auto-pilot mode. This is bound to free up lot of your time which could be used more productively.
Let your biological age not bog you down. Learn and use technology in such a manner as to ensure some breathing space for yourself. That is when you will feel connected to terrestrial life outside your extra-terrestrial universe of work.
Technology can enable you to be virtually present at different places in different time zones. It can also enable you to be connected to anything critical happening which you genuinely feel might need your intervention. Use technology to delegate better and more effectively.
Schedule your priorities
Time is a finite resource. Use it intelligently. Engage when necessary; take a break when required. Meaningful interactions with family and close friends could leave you well charged up for the tasks ahead. Productive discussions with clients and professionals can help in resolving issues more effectively.
Excellence needs the fuel of passion. When passion drives your professional journey, constraints become less formidable. Tasks cease to become chores. Wise scheduling of your priorities results into excellence.
From IQ and EQ, on to SQ
Give your overworked brain some rest. Try using your heart to decide upon an issue. You will notice that improving your Spiritual Quotient would improve your performance. Small doses of gratitude and compassion help. Being aware of yourself and being conscious of what is happening within you helps. Humility helps. Developing equanimity helps.
Happiness and contentment within is great to have. You end up radiating it to those around you. Harmony in the work atmosphere improves. Output of the whole group improves.
You might find that IQ, EQ and SQ are like the spokes in the wheel of life, of which career is but one component. If all are equally developed, the wheel does not wobble – it runs smoothly.
A non sequitur?!
Before I sign off, allow me the liberty to pose a question. By hyphenating ‘work’ and ‘life’, are we not demeaning life? While chugging through our careers, we could honestly believe that work is much greater than life. In fact, it is merely a part of life. A subset, which needs to be in harmony with all other aspects of the multi-hued experience we call life. Perhaps, it is time to correct our perspective.
My proposal is this. Next time round, do not think about work-life harmony. Think only about achieving a state of harmony between the work-sphere of your life and the other spheres of your life – family, friends, hobbies, and the like.
When the conductor of an opera gets on to the stage to produce music that touches our souls, what he strives for is excellence, based on harmony. A discordant note from a single cello could ruin the performance. Likewise, all CXOs strive to get desired results, based on a harmony – between different managerial functions, between the organization and its various stakeholders and, above all, between the different constituents of their own lives.
So, how do you achieve this state of harmony? Would you like to share some insights?