By: Tommy Beyer
In today’s 24/7 work cycle, is there still such a thing as balance, or is it more important to find ways to seamlessly blend work and life together?
I would argue that blending is not the right direction to head in from a personal and professional perspective. To illustrate why this is especially the case for the fabulous word of hospitality, I’ve articulated my argument through three key tips so one can actually achieve a sense of balance.
Balance Tip #1: Just Say No
Early in my career, I was given some advice that stuck with me – that I was bad at saying no to people. Without a backbone, it’s easy to become overworked and totally stressed out. The first life-changing step is to learn that there are times when it is perfectly acceptable to tell a superior that you can’t do something for them.
For hospitality purposes, I am not suggesting at all that you tell a guest who walks up and asks for a toothbrush, “No sir/ma’am, I’m too busy to assist you. Come back when I have less check-ins to take care of.” However, you can tell your supervisor that you are too busy to take care of the assigned task and will find time to get it done at an agreed-upon date in the future.
Building on this concept, you also have to say no to meeting invites from time to time. You can’t fill your calendar with meetings and expect to get anything else done with the attention to detail that such tasks require. Think about each invite then decide if it’s a meeting that you can add value to or if you have something else that is more time sensitive.
Balance Tip #2: Take Time for Yourself
When was the last time you took some serious me time? So infrequent this is nowadays that many people wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if they actually had a few hours to themselves.
For mindful balance, you should make sure you are investing in yourself on a routine basis. Due to your harried schedule, it may not be possible to have personal time on a daily basis, but it is nonetheless critical. Preferably you should spend this time doing something positive and that helps you personally. Regular exercise is one such fundamental hobby with numerous benefits beyond just health.
But how do you execute this change when you’re the dedicated manager-on-duty and are getting calls at all hours of the night? The answer is to share the load with your other department heads. You should never be the one who is on-call seven days a week. Knowing that you are unlikely to be woken up in the middle of the night or during a weekend will let you mentally relax to truly enjoy your personal time.
Balance Tip #3: Manage Your Time Wisely
I often find that people who don’t have a good work-life balance are simply not good at managing their time. Admittedly, I have fallen short at this more times than I care to discuss, but that in itself has ensured that I understand why it is so valuable.
If you have a deadline for a report, take the time to begin working on it well in advance of that due date. Otherwise, you will find yourself scrambling at the last minute to turn it in and the end result will never be the best reflection of your intellect. Plan out each day with dedicated blackout chunks of time where you will not let yourself be distracted so you can focus on those tasks that require concentration.
Alas, even with these three tips fully understood, the hospitality industry isn’t for the faint of heart. You may find yourself working long hours regardless of planning or drive. It is certainly a rewarding industry, though, as you will come to provide your guests and team with an enjoyable experience and work environment on a daily basis. Take caution as should you not focus on how to balance your life and your work then something will inevitably fall short.
Tommy Beyer has a degree in Hospitality Management from the University of South Carolina. He has also completed the PDP Program at Cornell and is a Certified Hospitality Administrator from AH&LEF. For over a decade, he’s been a vital component of Newport Hospitality Group’s success, progressing from Front Desk Associate to General Manager and finally to his current role as Vice President of Regional Operations. Tommy’s keen understanding of the financial intricacies of each property have helped him to not only drive asset value for the properties he manages but also to win many prestigious awards including the Top 30 Under 30 by Hotel Management, the Stevan Porter Emerging Hospitality Leader of the Year by AH&LA and Georgia GM of the Year.