1. What are some techniques for achieving work-life balance?
Juggling work and personal life is a skill that many people develop over time. Whether you’re the type of person who manages to balance everything perfectly or the type of person who constantly struggles, here are a few tips to help you balance work and personal life better.
- Plan time for work and personal life. Make it easier on yourself by creating a schedule and sticking to it. Reserve time on your calendar for alone time, rest and recreation, and other personal time. This will help you plan time for work, personal life, and other important tasks. Additionally, try not to put too many demands on yourself and allow for rest days when needed. Make time for things that you enjoy, and you’ll be on your way to a healthy life balance.
- Set boundaries at work. Setting boundaries at work is key to keeping your focus on your personal life. Make sure you have key hours set during the day where you will be unavailable for work, and stick to them rigidly.
- Work from home on occasion. Working from home occasionally can be a great way to balance things out. Make sure to set boundaries and don’t over work yourself. Also, work on one task at a time and take breaks to recharge. When it comes to eating and drinking, make sure to be healthy.
- Find a work-life balance partner. If you decide to have a family, it’s important to find a work-life balance partner who understands your needs. This way, you can work productively without feeling guilty.
- Make time for friends, family and activities outside of work. This will help you to relax and balance work and personal life in a healthy way.
Successful balance-seekers are persistent and understand the importance of balance in their lives. It takes time and effort but it’s definitely possible to find and maintain a life with work!
2. What are your tricks for holding effective virtual meetings?
Meetings can be exhausting but virtual ones can be very effective but they require planning. The easiest way to hold effective virtual meetings is to carve out time and space in your calendar. Many of us would like to believe that we can summon energy, engagement and enthusiasm when it’s convenient. But in reality we need to get out of bed early, hit the ground running immediately and not check our email until after our daily tasks are completed.
Virtual meetings are the best way to get face-to-face with people across the country and around the world. But most of us manage to pay a physical toll for that convenience. I’ve found some pretty effective ways of mitigating these costs, including going on walks or bike rides during conference calls, standing or lying down during long phone calls, setting up a “laptop pitstop” in my home office where I can stand while talking on the phone—you get the idea.
One of the most powerful benefits of virtual meetings is you can hold them anywhere, anytime. Start with your agenda, agenda items and follow-up actions to help people stay on track. Then for each meeting, review feedback and prepare an action plan for next steps. In addition, don’t overlook opportunities for coaching and mentoring when you have time. Lastly, build trust so that people will not only trust in your ability but be willing to share their thoughts and feelings—this makes for higher levels of achievement.
As a quick cheat sheet, here are some key tips for virtual meetings:
- Make sure everyone knows the purpose of the meeting and why it’s important.
- Send materials ahead of time. The meeting should be for discussion, not regurgitation.
- Have everyone sign in 5 minutes ahead of time to avoid any surprises or delays.
- Schedule enough time for questions, discussion, and adjournment. A good virtual meeting should last around 30 to 45 minutes.
3. How can I tell my boss no? I’m constantly being asked to work longer and longer hours.
Everyone feels overwhelmed from time to time. This is especially true at work, where we’re expected to put in long hours to get projects done. For some of us, it’s nearly impossible to say no to extra requests. But saying yes all the time leads to a feeling of being trapped and can cause mental and physical health problems.
It may be tempting to say yes to every request from your boss. But that isn’t how you build a successful career. The key is to figure out when it’s appropriate to say no.
If you are timid about saying no, here are some ways to do it:
- Be confident in your decision.
- Tell your boss what you need from them to be able to say yes (e.g., work breaks, extra resources, more guidance, more limited scope, etc.)
- Use phrases like “Yes, but…” or “I’d love to” or “How can I help?” instead of “I have to” or “I don’t have time.”
- Pick your battles and schedule in advance so that you won’t be forced into taking on more than you can handle.
About the Author
Dave is a seasoned executive and entrepreneur who founded several companies in entertainment, investments, and technology, and worked on Wall Street for almost 25 years. He started his career by joining a fledgling investment bank, Jefferies, when it had less than 200 employees.
Today, Jefferies is a multi-billion dollar diversified public company (NYSE:JEF). He rose from the entry level position of Analyst to Group Head of Internet and Digital Media and was one of the youngest Managing Directors in firm history. As one of the only managing directors of color in the firm, he successfully broke through the Bamboo Ceiling. He not only worked hard but also played the corporate game. Hundreds of bankers have worked for Dave during his career. He has mentored many of them who have gone on to some of the best business schools and companies in America.
He is eager to share his knowledge with Asian Americans and other disadvantaged groups seeking to maximize their potential and achieve their career goals.
If you want some great career tips and insights check out Dave’s book, The Way of the Wall Street Warrior.