Soft skills & personality
Work-life balance for managers – 5 golden rules

Table of contents

Today’s post is a guest article by Martin Auerswald (biochemist) and Martin Krowicki (health consultant). The two write on SchnellEinfachGesund and Primal-State about healthy habits that anyone can use to make their everyday life healthier and easier.

Work-life balance

The digitalization of the world of work is a double-edged sword. It gives us the opportunity to be more productive, work more efficiently and be available for your team and your customers wherever they are. At the same time, the temptation to mix work more and more with private life has become much greater.

Perhaps you’ve caught yourself in situations where you’ve quickly answered emails before going to sleep, taken a phone call with the family at the breakfast table or opened your laptop while on vacation?
This is certainly okay in individual situations, but if it becomes permanent, the work-life balance is definitely out of balance.

Many authors and managers are now turning away from the concept of work-life balance and prefer to talk about the
life balance
. This is about integrating work as part of life and harmonizing it with personal interests. Here are 5 golden rules to help you reconcile your daily professional challenges with your private/family life.

Time management


  1. Parkinson’s law: define your time

Time has become the most important currency for most people and it seems that most people’s time account is completely overdrawn.

“We have enough time if we just use it properly.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


To finally leave the space-time continuum, you should start to define your time. The background to this golden rule is Parkinson’s law:

“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”
“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

This means that we need just as much time for a task as we have available for it. Without a clearly structured day, you will find it difficult to detach yourself from your work and won’t be able to find a moment for yourself.

Take a few minutes to determine your daily availabilities.

How would you like to plan your life? – It is in your hands.

  • How much time do you take for your work?
  • How long would you like to have breakfast with the family in the morning?
  • When are you available for your employees?
  • How much time should your fitness training take?


Set yourself clear time frames

– in your calendar – and protect your time. Communicate this to your employees and family to gain more understanding – preferably before the respective appointment begins.

Give your counterpart a friendly hint: “I have / we have scheduled 30 minutes for our appointment, okay?”. This means that you are both entering into a deal and will use the time available effectively – benefiting both sides.

The same applies to private appointments, such as time at the gym. Set yourself a clear goal here too, for example exactly one hour. This way you avoid unnecessary procrastination and focus on the essentials.




  1. Set your top 3 priorities

We often want far too much in life at the same time, which usually overwhelms us. Not all goals have to be so big that they intimidate us. Priorities can help you to focus on the essentials – they become powerful routines for your everyday life.

It is advisable to set three real priorities that you want to stick to at (almost) all costs. It works best if you inform those around you (colleagues, family) and thus create clarity for everyone involved. Explain why this is important to you – everyone will understand and give you this time.

A managing director from the insurance sector, for example, has set himself the following priorities: eight hours of sleep a day, sports three times a week, an afternoon of games with the family. According to his own statements, he meets 80% of these three priorities, which is certainly a realistic goal and can be achieved in the long term.

It is important that these priorities are a real balance for you. They should do your body, mind and family good so that you can recharge your batteries.

What are your priorities?

You can find ideas here:


  • 10 minutes of meditation every morning
  • 8 hours of sleep every day on average
  • Power nap at lunchtime

Family / friends:

  • an afternoon of games with the children
  • Dinner together with the family
  • Extensive Sunday breakfast
  • Weekly meeting with a good friend

Healthy nutrition:

  • A large salad every day
  • Two protein shakes every day to combat hunger
  • 2.5 liters of filtered water or green tea per day


  • Sports twice a week
  • 10,000 steps per day




  1. Practice mindfulness

Do you know that? You jump from appointment to appointment, from day to day and from week to week – until the moment when you wonder why time has passed so quickly. The abundance of tasks in our lives makes for a fast pace that is difficult to escape if we don’t actively do so. It is therefore all the more important that you look for conscious moments in which you do NOTHING and pay attention to yourself, your body or your environment.

Set anchors in your daily routine in which you consciously perceive the moment.

These can be, for example, the following:

  • Prepare your coffee consciously and enjoy it – see, taste and smell with full attention
  • go for a 15-minute walk in the park after lunch – sit on a bench for a while and close your eyes, feel the sun, the wind and the peace and quiet
  • set yourself a timer and interrupt your work every 60 minutes for 10 deep and conscious breaths




  1. Take care of your body

As a manager, you are usually active on a cognitive level: controlling, deciding, communicating, delegating. Our body quickly falls into oblivion. It laboriously tries to send us signals: Tiredness, back and neck pain or restlessness. If we ignore these signals, they become louder over time and can manifest themselves as chronic symptoms. The disadvantage is that these signals are constantly tapping into our mental resources, which means you have less energy available.

Anyone who feels uncomfortable in their body will sooner or later reflect this to the outside world.
Surely you know the Latin proverb:

“Mens sana in corpore sano – a healthy mind in a healthy body”.

To ensure that you shine with confidence at work and in your private life, you should therefore take care of your body at an early stage.

Therefore, follow the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO):

Do at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week.

Here are a few tips:

  • Find a personal trainer who will motivate you and take the time to plan your training for an optimal workout.
  • Find a training partner for joint sporting activities (family or friends).
  • Perhaps you will find business partners or colleagues who would like to have their next brainstorming session while jogging.
  • High-intensity interval training helps you save time and still offers an effective workout.
  • Increase your daily activity: 10,00 steps a day, take the stairs instead of the elevator, cycle to work.


Morning hour


  1. Early bird: make the most of the morning hours

(Former) presidents like Barack Obama have …
Entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg have …
Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey have…

… a morning routine.

The concept of the morning routine has been used by many successful personalities throughout history. Mark Twain already spoke out in favor of the morning hour and motivates people to fulfill the most important task of the day in the morning:

“[…] if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.”

– Mark Twain

This means that if you start each morning with the task that is most difficult for you (“eating a frog”), you can go through the day with the attitude that you have already completed the most important task and from then on you will be ready for any other task of the day.
Decide for yourself what this task can be. These can be professional challenges, such as preparing a presentation, but also personal challenges, such as sport and healthy eating. This so-called eat-that-frog technique will give you more serenity for the day. For example, you could get up before your children and do the most important task of the day. Afterwards you have the opportunity to have breakfast with your family in peace. You will then have the necessary composure and motivation for further professional challenges.





Work and private life are difficult to separate. It is much more important that you integrate your work into your life as a part of you. To do this, you first need to be sure of what is important for your life, your family and your health.

Learn to set priorities and manage your time sensibly. We are sure that you will find the right balance with these tips.

The authors

Oliver Grätsch
Michelle 550
Michelle Templin
Christian Grätsch
Matthias Beikert
Susanne Grätsch
Monika Bt 550x550
Monika Steininger
Kai Hübner
Philipp Andresen 500x550
Philipp Andresen
Anna Isabell Arendt
Dr. Claudia Schmidt
Inga Kühn
Kassandra Knebel
Claudia Lehmann
Komplettes Team

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