Ripping up the rule book: How a remote leader redefined work-life 'balance'

Discover innovative approaches to remote work that prioritize results over rigid schedules.

By 

Rajat Mishra

Problem-solving

girl ripping up the rule book: How a remote leader redefined work-life balance

Problem-solving

By 

Rajat Mishra

Navigating the wilderness of remote work can be an unprecedented experience. You can find yourself constantly chasing a metaphorical unicorn being ‘balance.’ What if I told you the magic behind remote work had nothing to do with balance? Rather it was something much simpler?

As the CEO for a successful startup company, I too have struggled chasing after balance. When I realized that the key lies in harmony (not balance)—my productivity and state of mind improved exponentially. 

We all go about our days differently and partake in activities that ease any tension we may experience. As the leader of Prezent, I too cherish some day to day activities that keep me on track. Here’s six of my personal habits that drive my harmony-fueled lifestyle:

  1. Morning Meditation: I begin each and every day with an inner journey of meditation–awakening my mind so I am ready to conquer the work I have set for myself in the day ahead. It’s a scheduled, essential part of my daily routine to achieve inner peace. It sets the tone for the meetings that come after, and ensure that I am able to maintain tranquility for the tasks at hand. 

  1. Walk and Talk: The idea of chaining myself to a desk, and staring at a screen for hours on end, feels extremely stifling. I decided to participate in meetings on the go, calling my teammates on the phone surrounded by the energizing outdoors. Apart from getting my daily dose of Vitamin D, going on these walks keeps me both physically active and mentally agile. Moreover, the fresh air and open space I am exposed to on these walks gives me plenty of creative freedom and allows me to innovate seamlessly. 

  1. Out and Back: Being the CEO for a company that prioritizes effective enterprise communication, conveying ideas clearly is very important to me. It is especially critical in forming personal relationships in professional environments. To do so effectively, it goes beyond exchanging professional emails and negotiating business deals. One example in my personal life is through my dynamic with my wife, Deepti. We make it a point to schedule regular walks together, making use of the time to have meaningful conversations. We prioritize giving each other an opportunity to lead the discussion, making these walks not only good for our health but also for our overall relationship. 

  1. Family Fiesta: Many days come about where I find myself totally engrossed in work and the moving elements of Prezent. Nevertheless, I make it a point to draw a clear line as the day comes to an end. Everyday at 5 P.M. sharp, I shut the lid to my laptop, and redirect my entire focus to the home front and my family. Whether I am cheffing up a new recipe in the kitchen, challenging my kids to a board game, or simply sharing about our day, the time I have with my family is priceless. It is my sacred time, and stands to keep me connected to my loved ones amidst the whirlwind of work Prezent confronts me with on a daily basis. Being able to unwind and allocate this time to your personal life is something leaders fail to do when they are super captivated by the work they are doing, and prioritizing this time will enable a more harmonious mindset to tackle these problems as they come about in future. 

  1. Nightly Nurturing: As the night dawns upon me, I proceed into my evening routine. The aroma of my diffuser and the soft notes of ambient music create the ideal backdrop for my nightly nourishment ritual. During this time, I am able to decompress from the strains of the day, reconnect with my core and rejuvenate my spirit. This hour presents me with a passage to serenity, a soothing bridge from the busyness of one day to the promise of the next. Having this refresh-period at the end of the day ensures that I am physically, and emotionally prepared for anything that lies ahead of me as work presents itself. 

  1. Team Trust: My leadership mantra is simple. Trust in the competence of my team and their commitment to our shared vision. Delegating tasks to my employees is not just offloading busy work, but rather carving out mental space,  and time for strategic thinking, and the larger, more critical aspects of my role. Trusting in my team members and having faith that they will execute in their delegations allows me to work smarter and drive progress for our company as a whole instead of getting caught up in the minutiae. This allows me to free up mental space and not go about micromanaging every task I encounter. It all boils down to hiring individuals that share the same passion to make the dream a reality, and I am privileged to have found a group of like minded individuals in my own company. 

The takeaway is to respect the time you allocate for each task. None of these mentioned habits take precedence over each other. They are equally important and all serve as valuable parts of my day to making me the efficient leader I am. Don’t fill every hour with tasks and chores. Give each moment its deserved attention, and create a symphony of experiences. In this way, you can blend work and life seamlessly, enriching both in the process. 

Refocusing my goal from achieving balance, to prioritizing harmony has been the difference maker in allowing each aspect of my life to shine without overshadowing the other. Always remember that self-care is not an act of indulgence, but a necessity that fuels your professional and personal journey. 

So, how about you? How do you find harmony in your work and life? I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Share them below and let's inspire each other towards a harmonious life!

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