So often talked about, what is work-life balance and how do you achieve it? Defining work-life balance depends on the individual but in general, it means having time set aside for work, and having time set aside for your personal life, doing the things that make the work worthwhile. For me, having work-life balance is about working enough hours to pay the bills, spending at least two days of the work week with my child, and having weekends free to spend with my partner and my kid.
But how do I achieve this? Below are my five tips for helping achieve work-life balance. It’s just the start, and with time and experience you will get better at its, as I did.
It’s fine to talk about work-life balance, but you have to stick with it and this requires strong discipline. It’s easy to talk yourself out of having the life part of the balance – the to-do list is always growing, and you feel guilty if you’re not spending your free time working. STOP. Remember, work-life balance is important to maintaining not just a healthy mental and emotional state, but also a healthy business. So teach yourself to not feel guilt, and it’s not a bad thing to take time out for yourself.
This is such a crucial part to work-life balance. Sounds simple, but it requires a lot of discipline (see the connection?). And it doesn’t have to happen overnight. Take your time to figure out what works best for you – if you’re an early riser, then take advantage of these hours and make use of them; if you’re a night owl (like me), then maximise those evening hours to your advantage.
When I’m working from home, I spend my daytime hours with my kid and doing chores; when everyone is asleep I smash out my work and because I’m not distracted or unmotivated, I can get more done in those few hours than trying to squeeze it in between washing dishes, doing laundry and singing to The Wiggles. It has become my routine now to spend at least 2-3 nights a week, which gives me my weekends with my family.
Why does it feel so good to pass on tasks to other people? Delegating is often forgotten about, and it makes a world of difference. And I don’t mean just delegating work stuff (like hiring a VA, or a social media manager), delegate life stuff too. Can’t fit cleaning into your routine? If you have the means, hire a cleaner. No time for grocery shopping? Click and collect. Sick of your kids? Well, there’s no long-term option for that (sorry). When those pesky life-admin chores are out of the way, you’d be surprised how much free time you have in your day.
Turn off the technology.
Did you know in France, you can’t email people outside work hours? While we can’t all live in France, we can avoid after-hours emails. The answer? TURN OFF YOUR PHONE/TABLET/LAPTOP. Scary, I know. But remember the time when we didn’t have access to emails and social media? When it all gets too overwhelming for me, I either switch my phone to silent and hide it in my bedroom, or I just switch it off. The world won’t end if people can’t reach you; it just means you’ll respond a bit later than usual. Try it, I dare you.
Take actual holidays.
Do you know someone who is accessible 24/7, even when they’re sipping cocktails on a beach in Croatia? Yep, that used to be me. I used to always stress about work while I was on holidays and would always check my emails to make sure everything was running smoothly. I couldn’t help it – I was convinced I’d lose my job and the world would come to an end if I wasn’t working or in control every minute of the day. I can’t pinpoint the moment when I realised this was insane, but I got there eventually. And guess what? I didn’t lose my job, and the world carried on fine. So take a holiday every now and then, even if it’s a staycation at your local (five star) hotel, and enjoy it. Don’t log in to your emails remotely, don’t message your colleagues about work and most importantly, stop talking about work!!!
Do you have any other tips to share? Drop them in the comments below!
If you are looking to delegate tasks, get in touch with me to find out how I can help with your business so you have some time to spend living your best life.