Productivity at work depends just as much on what you do when you’re not working as what you do when you are.
This month, we’ve found three insightful articles that explore the idea of work-life balance from different perspectives.
The importance of getting sleep
Author Laura Vanderkam is fascinated by productivity and has written extensively about the topic in her newest book I Know How She Does Is: How Successful Women Make The Most of their Time.
In an interview for Forbes magazine, Vanderkam revealed some common myths about career women’s lives and what she learned when she asked very successful women to track their time.
One myth is that career women get no sleep. Yet the women in Vanderkam’s study averaged 55 hours of sleep per week (eight hours five nights a week, and seven hours on the other two nights).
She points out that getting enough sleep not only makes you more productive at work but more present during family time, as well.
For those of you trying to get your “me” time in those precious evening hours, perhaps you should be scheduling that time throughout the day to make sure you get the sleep you need at night.
Read: How to Have it All: Time Management Secrets From Six-Figure Moms.
Working smarter, not harder
In another article, Vanderkam shares the story of Jessie Neville, a successful career woman who discovered the power of working smarter, not harder. By focusing on her highest value activities, Neville found she could accomplish what she wanted without shortchanging her family or personal time.
“Beware of ‘fake breaks,’” Vanderkam warns, such as “cruising around on the web following click-bait links.” That does nothing to refresh or rejuvenate you.
On the other hand, taking time for a walk or a meaningful conversation will re-fuel you to keep going with your focused work.
Read: The Secret to Time Management? Focus. Focus. Focus.
Is control more important than balance?
Of course, women aren’t the only ones that desire a healthy work-life balance.
Peter Aceto, President and CEO at Tangerine Bank, asked his Twitter network what they needed more time for, and he says almost everyone wants more time with family.
The key is to take control – not just of your time, but of your own happiness. Only if you are truly happy with yourself, Aceto declares, you can be at your best for your family and others.
Read: Prioritizing Time.