Permission to Have a Life

There’s no question that people do better at work when the rest of life is working for them.  They’re healthier, happier and they show up stronger at work.  

So why do our people struggle to make life work for them?

Maybe it’s because they don’t feel like they have permission to have a life outside of work.  In our “always on” world it can often feel the need to respond immediately to every request and demand, which leads to feeling they can’t shut down until all the work is done.

But the work is never done.  There will always be more, especially for high performers.

As leaders, we have to give our people (and ourselves) permission to live life and focus on what matters most, not just work.  It has to be okay leaving some of the work for later.  Not only does this help people focus on the moments that matter most in life, but it helps people think more intentionally about what they’re focused on in the workplace.

To foster this as leaders, we can state it, but more importantly, we have to live it.  Making “life outside of work” a celebrated part of your organization’s culture comes from you as a leader having a life outside of work, making non-work intentions a priority, and encouraging your team members to find the right integration of work, life and self-care to keep them at their best.

While this may mean you don’t get an immediate response to your Slack message, it also means your people show up stronger and more likely than not, when that Slack response does come in, it will be more thoughtful and innovative than you imagined.