When he’s not busy being the billionaire founder of Virgin Group and its 400 companies, Sir Richard Branson is known to have a bit of fun. You might find him partying with his family on a private island, dressing up like Che Guevara, or rescuing endangered turtles.
“Achieving work-life balance is like walking a tightrope. Lean too far one way and you'll lose your stability and topple,” he writes in “My five tips for work-life balance.”
Here are Branson’s recommendations for a more balanced existence:
1. Slow down
Branson says that we’re often too focused on what we have to “do”: reply to emails, have meetings and appointments, finish our to-do list. We need to make time to just “be,” when we pause our work and enjoy the moment. We might go see something inspiring or beautiful, or spend time with loved ones – anything that makes our worries about the future drop away.
2. Work hard, play hard
“It’s no secret that I like to play as hard as I work,” writes Branson. “Go on, let your hair down.”
3. Do what you love
Finding a job you’re passionate about means work and life won’t be so separate, Branson says. Work doesn’t have to be a chore.
4. Find an employer who supports work-life balance
Like Virgin, of course! They offer flexible working, unlimited leave, and shared parental leave. It’s not easy to achieve work-life balance when your employer subtly or not-so-subtly discourages it.
5. Expect to fail sometimes
“We all fall off the tightrope and make mistakes sometimes. The important thing is to learn from it, get back on, and get it right the next time,” Branson writes.