We all struggle for a work-life balance, but most of us don't realize that sometimes the path toward achieving might be something so simple.
Some of the most successful people I know are sharing their secret weapon for remaining strong and finding balance.
One of them is Donna Shalala. By her own admission, Shalala is a workaholic. The president of the University of Miami has a resume that anyone would find impressive — accomplished scholar, teacher and administrator whose job titles include secretary of health and human services under President Bill Clinton. While Shalala doesn't have kids, she does take care of her elderly mother and oversees thousands of employees. Shalala was asked about work-life balance at a recent luncheon.
The secret weapon, she says, is a good night's sleep. "The biggest mistakes I've made in my career happened because I was overtired," she told more than 400 women at a lunch sponsored by the Commonwealth Institute South Florida.
Coincidentally, or maybe not, Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, also is on a campaign to advocate for a good night's sleep. Her personal wakeup call came in the form of a broken cheekbone and a gash over her eye — the result of a fall brought on by exhaustion and lack of sleep. She wondered, "Is this really what success feels like?"
Instead of bragging about our sleep deficits or how busy we are, Huffington urges us to close our eyes and see the big picture: We can sleep our way to increased productivity and happiness and smarter decisionmaking. The first step, she says, is getting 30 minutes more sleep a night.
So there you go! Two powerful women are telling you that sleep is key to good decisions and our well-being. If you're giving up sleep to get more done, it's time to change that habit. Huffington says sleep-deprived women will learn the value of sleep the hard way, as she did, especially when trying to see the big picture in business.
As someone who is guilty of giving up sleep, I'm going to change my habits. I hope you will, too.