4 work-life balance objectives to set in 2016

This new year, use your life to bring balance to your work

As the calendar turns to 2016 and we are resolved to try new things, perhaps it is time to ponder work-life balance in a new way? People tend to think about how work impacts life, but there are definite ways your life can make you stronger at work.

At a recent breakfast meeting, an agency CEO was talking about some of the firm’s strongest employees. When asked what made them stand out, this leader cited their ability to bring personal interests and habits into the office and amplify them in a manner beneficial to the company. As the conversation continued with a handful of other industry leaders, the following checklist was born.

You need a passport
We live in a global world. Many clients operate globally. The lack of a passport indicates someone who hasn’t traveled outside the US. You can’t have a truly global perspective if you don’t take in other cultures.

Read books
Creativity is a PR pro’s stock in trade. A good tome keeps your mind sharp. Many of the leaders who helped shape this column believe that so deeply they have instituted book clubs at their organizations.

Take all your vacation days
"I’ve too much work to do" is no excuse. Have the discipline to take your vacation days when you are supposed to – and spread them out. It keeps you refreshed. One agency head I spoke with was seriously considering eliminating carry-over days for the sake of staff productivity.

Love to shop
If you craft consumer campaigns, it helps to be a consumer. And don’t forget to shop your competitors, too.

Other items suggested include learn how to pack, emotional intelligence, a hunger to try things outside your comfort zone – if you do so in life, you’ll more likely do so at work – and making an effort to include diverse people in your personal life, which will instill an attitude about diversity and inclusion that will permeate professionally.

We should all work to live, not live to work. But why not strive to have each element empower the other? A successful career enables you to live more fully. However, many aspects that make for an enjoyable personal life can benefit your professional performance. Call it work-life or life-work, but that’s a balance we all can achieve.

Gideon Fidelzeid is managing editor of PRWeek. He can be contacted at gideon.fidelzeid@prweek.com

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