How to achieve work life balance! Some people believe work-life balance doesn’t exist because they can’t possibly “balance” everything, so they have to choose one or two areas of their life to focus on.
Work-life balance can feel stressful. Even the thought of trying to balance your hours at home and at work – while paying the bills, being happy, being healthy, and more can make anyone’s head explode.
The goal of work-life balance is to remove your stress so you can focus on prioritizing those activities that make you happy.
Here are a few bullets on how to achieve work life balance:
- Don’t shy away from taking some personal time off.
- Always take your breaks.
- Exercise is always a good option.
- Going on holiday is a great idea.
- Spend time with friends and family.
- Don’t take work calls from home.
- Get some real sleep.
- Maintain a proper diet.
Work-life balance is not dictated by what friends, family, or society says you should be doing with your time. It’s an individual process that allows you to focus on your personal values.
20 helpful tips for how to achieve work life balance
Play to your strengths
Don’t try and be all things to all people. Focus on your strengths and outsource the others. If you’re not a whiz at accounts or graphic design, outsource them instead of wasting time.
Prioritise your time
You may have a to-do list with 50 tasks on it, so you need to prioritize those tasks into four categories.
- Urgent and important
- Important but not urgent
- Urgent but not important
- Neither urgent nor important.
Know your peaks and troughs
Are you a morning person?
If you are, assign tough, high-concentration tasks to the mornings. Don’t leave the tough tasks until night time and vice versa.
Plot some personal time
When personal issues arise, it can be tempting to bury yourself in your work. Don’t do it If you don’t make time for your personal life – your “me” time, including your family and your health – you won’t have a business to go back to
Have set work hours – and stick to them
Set work hours for yourself and do everything in your power to stick to them. Otherwise, before you know it, you’ll be working until midnight every night.
Find time for your finances
Whether you work for yourself or not, it’s important to feel confident about your finances. In order to do this, you need to get some accounting software in place and use it from day one.
Cash flow is one of the biggest challenges facing small businesses. You should start using accounting tools early on so you know what’s going on, financially, from day dot.
Manage your time, long term
Create a timeline of your activities. Specific computer programs can help with this, or you can customize your own Excel spreadsheet or Word table.
Put dates across the top and activities down the side. Break each task into components.
Include family commitments – such as holidays, birthday parties, etc. – so you don’t forget that you are unavailable for work on those days.
Make your workspace work for you
Working for yourself does tend to require long hours and not much downtime, so invest in equipment that will support you.
That includes getting a comfortable chair, an ergonomic keyboard, a support stand for your laptop, etc.
An ergonomic assessment of your workspace is worth every cent.
Tap into technology
Instead of driving to a meeting, use Skype or conferencing technologies like GoToMeeting. But remember to switch them off.
Make exercise a must-do, not a should-do
It’s easy to cancel the gym, the evening run or the yoga class because a client wants something done yesterday.
Instead, ensure exercise is given as much priority as your clients and making money. A healthy body means a fresh mind, which means you will function better and complete tasks in less time.
Take time to make time
Invest in time-tracking tools. There are plenty of tools you can use to track everything from the frequency and duration of meetings, to chasing and converting leads.
Time-tracking software allows you to quickly build an understanding of how long a particular task takes.
That way, you can effectively estimate how long your next work task will take.
Know and nurture your network
Prioritise growing your network and have a structured lead/conversion system in place so you can track the time/cost involved in growing your network.
Set the benchmarks early on and learn the lessons early.
Do what you love
Make time for something you love – other than work – and give it the time it deserves. It will energise and refresh you, and enable you to nurture the creative thought that is essential to every business owner.
At the end of each working day, perform a little self-analysis. Ask yourself what worked today, what didn’t, what went wrong and how the issue can be fixed.
Remember there are thousands of businesses just like yours learning the same lessons every day. Don’t forget to tap into the valuable resources around you – your peers – for help.
Working for yourself can get lonely, so schedule some phone calls or coffee time with like-minded business owners to discuss ideas and offer each other support.
Get a business coach
Find the cash for a business coach. That way, you can find out sooner rather than later how to get rid of bad habits and implement good ones.
Meet clients halfway – literally
Don’t always agree to meet a client at their office. Instead, meet halfway, perhaps at a café or restaurant. This will save you time and energy, not to mention money spent on travel.
Manage your mind
When fear or self-doubt or anxiety creeps in, do some work on your mental health such as meditation or reading a business book.
Alternatively, spend time with someone who will lift you up and support you.
Take a break
Remember to take time out throughout your day.
Some tasks are easier than others, so if you find yourself with an hour up your sleeve, be realistic about whether you can “afford” to rest or not.
You might not have time every day to simply sit and “be”, but do your best to give yourself a lunch break.
Also, make a point of getting up and stretching every 15 minutes. It will help you become clearer, more focused and more productive.
Have that holiday
Make time for a holiday and book breaks, at least quarterly. Even a long weekend every quarter is better than nothing.
But remember to advise your clients and customers as far in advance as possible.