How Successful School Leaders Maintain A Work-Life Balance

School leaders have a ton of responsibility on their shoulders. It’s a role filled with research, accountability, organization, and communication. It makes sense, then, that a lot of school leaders, especially new ones, struggle to maintain a balance between their work and home life. Luckily, despite the obstacles, it is doable.

Whether you’re on your way to becoming a school leader or you’re already one, here are ways successful school leaders maintain work-life balance (that you should take on board).

They Study Online

When deciding to advance your career as a school leader, it’s a sensible idea to choose online courses. That way, you can work your studies around your career while saving time for your home life. If you’re a school leader who wants to climb the ladder even more or simply want to build your leadership skills, consider doing an online EdD with no GRE required.

These days, there are plenty of ways to gain new skills and further your knowledge from the comfort of your own home. For school leaders with little time on their hands, this is ideal.

They Plan Their Day

Rather than letting the day come as it pleases, successful school leaders organize their day so that they have enough time to relax at the end of it. But, of course, there will always be snowballs happening, as the role of a school leader is never straightforward. By knowing your goals, meetings, and obligations, though, you’ll find it easier to make time for yourself.

It’s not just the time you’re working you should plan, though – it’s also the time you spend at home. By delegating certain hours to meals, socializing, and relaxing, you’re more likely actually to do those things rather than carry on working.

They Make the Most of Their Time Off

It’s difficult to switch your brain off from most jobs, but especially those where you are in charge of many people. Many school leaders struggle to get away from their work, as they have the responsibility of an entire place of education on their shoulders. Those who maintain a work-life balance can do this, though, by focusing on making the most of their time off.

Whether you like to play video games, explore new places, or read books, it’s important you do the activities you love when you get time to yourself. That way, your brain has a real break from the challenges of the work.

They Take Their Breaks

School leaders are just as entitled to breaks as other faculty members, but often, they’re seen as superheroes who are always available. While it’s important to be there when needed, you should also prioritize taking your breaks. After all, you’ll work much better once you’ve had time to relax. Better yet – get some fresh air on your break to revitalize.

They Eat a Healthy Diet

School leaders find it difficult to get through the day without a well-balanced diet to provide them with the right amount of energy. As a school leader, you’ll find that you need tons of energy for your meetings, planning, and research, so make sure you eat nutrient-rich foods to keep your body and brain going. Some healthy snacks to eat throughout the workday include –

. Yogurt

. Fruit/Veg

. Granola Bars

. Nuts

They Manage Their Emails Early in the Day

Rather than checking their emails once they leave work, school leaders with a proper work-life balance manage them as early in the day as possible, so adopt that method, too. That way, the emails that come in later won’t be as difficult to tackle. Plus, once you leave for the day, the bulk of email communications will be done with, and you can focus on spending time with family, pursuing hobbies, or simply relaxing in front of the TV.

They Maintain a Regular Exercise Routine

A regular exercise routine might seem like a difficult task as a school leader, but it’s important for better mood, stamina, and energy levels. If you work as a school leader, it’s important to exercise three times a week for best results. That could be doing any form of exercise – weights at the gym, swimming in your local pool, or even natural exercise from joining a sports group. By improving your health and energy levels, you’ll have an easier time putting your all into work and then being able to enjoy your home life. Plus, you can combine exercise and a hobby.

They Are Present When with Family

A huge part of maintaining work-life balance as a school leader is making sure you are present when with loved ones. The job requires talking to and managing so many different types of people that it can be easy to switch off from communicating when home, but that must be avoided if you have family there.

If you’re concerned about spending enough time with family as a school leader, you should delegate certain times for hanging out with them. For example, you could say evening meals are always to be spent with your family. Or you could decide that Sundays are just for seeing the people you love, whether that includes taking a trip out of town or cooking up a delicious family recipe. What’s important is that you switch off from your academic career and focus on the ones you love.

They Switch Their Phones Off When They Can

As a school leader, you might find yourself staring at screens for far too long. Technology has evolved many areas of life, including education, and while it makes a lot of tasks much easier, it can also affect your eyes and mood. So, to make sure you fully switch off from work when home, you should also switch off your phone, if only for a little while.

Not only will this help you get away from the ping of new emails, but it’ll also ensure you make the most of your time away from work. In fact, putting the phone down now and again is good advice for anyone.

They Get Enough Quality Sleep

Many people striving to find work-life balance spend too much time working and socializing and not enough time sleeping. While both activities are important, you won’t get the most out of them without enough sleep. This is especially true for school leaders, as you need to be on the ball if you’re managing a school or college. When people rely on you, your brain must be active.

Of course, it’s not always just about the length of sleep; it’s also about the quality. To improve your sleep’s quality, then, you should –

Lower the Temperature 

People sleep better in cool rooms, so make sure the AC is on during the hotter days.

Buy a New Mattress 

If your mattress is either uncomfortable or more than eight years old, it could be harming your quality of sleep, so consider purchasing a new one.

Use White Noise 

If you live in a place where you can’t get away from the noise, use white noise to drown it out not to affect your sleep.

Avoid Caffeine After Midday 

As a school leader, the idea of withholding caffeine might seem scary, but it’ll help in the long run. After your morning coffee and midday boost, try switching to decaf, and you’ll find your quality of sleep improves.

They Travel When They Can 

School leaders who prioritize both their work and home life make sure to travel when they can. While the work is very much located in one area, it can feel free to get out into the world and experience new locations. So, if you’re ever feeling overwhelmed with leading a school and you need a breather, consider taking a trip during the weekend. Just remember not to take your work with you! Even a short trip one town over can be enough to revitalize.

They Have Hobbies Outside of Education

While school leaders are very much passionate about inspiring and educating students, maintaining a work-life balance also has hobbies outside of work. By taking up basketball, painting, gardening, crochet, or any other kind of hobby, you give yourself something to focus on other than academia, which can often be what you need.

They Leave Work at Work

OK, so it’s not always easy to leave work at work as a school leader, as often, there are extra hours you must put in once the students have gone home. However, what works is making sure you get any extra work you need to do in the school/college so that when you go home, work is completely left behind. It might mean you get home a little later, but it also means that you can fully enjoy the relaxed atmosphere once you are there.

Being a school leader is both challenging and exciting. However, with a career with such high responsibility, it’s important to maintain a work-life balance. So, focus on keeping a healthy lifestyle, enjoying your moments at home, and leaving work where it belongs – at work.

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