It is generally believed that people working from home have a healthier work-life balance than people who have typical 9-5 jobs. The truth is that people’s hyper-connectedness via technology has made it harder to unplug/switch off and setting clear boundaries between work and home life has become a present-day challenge.
Most small business owners are working an average of 80 hours a week. Parents who run a business are still doing these hours, often late into the night or up crazy early in the mornings just to get things done.
But why is it so important to try to balance both work and personal time? We take a look at the benefits and the importance of work life balance in general then we’ll look at ‘how’ to get it.
Working towards a healthy work-life balance has a lot of key benefits including :
From a business point of view companies also benefit from people achieving a good work-life balance. For example:
Think of this like ‘Taco Tuesdays’ On Tuesday nights, you don’t need to think about what’s for dinner because everyone knows it’s Tacos. You can do the same for your business… Whether it’s ‘Marketing Monday’ where you focus the start of your day on planning the week ahead social media posts, blog, responding the lead enquiries, roughly plan out the coming month or quarter for marketing themes.
You could have ‘Finance Friday’ where you focus the start of the day to create and/or reconcile invoices, pay your bills, look at your cashflow and budgets, follow up on anything owing to you. Any meetings you need to have with your accountant or bookkeeper, you would always make for a Friday morning for example.
If you adopt this strategy, you’ll find more is getting done because it has an allocated time attached to it. It’s regular so you don’t have to think about when you are going to do it, creating more headspace for you.
Give it a try for a month and let me know how you find it.
Switching off from work and being mentally present with your partner/spouse and kids is so important for you and for them. If we lose connection with them because we are still mentally connected to our workday while we are physically sitting in front of them, we create a disconnect in our family… the opposite of what we all want, right? There’s a saying I love and that’sWherever you are, be there’.
A few practical tips:
leave your laptop in a drawer or at the office.
Put your phone on airplane mode when you walk in the front door
Have 30mins with your kids individually, weekly or everyday, your choice. It’s their time to choose what they want to do with you. They may want to play a game, read a book, kick a ball outside, just say yes to their ideas and watch their eyes open, heart feel full and amazingly I find kids are always better behaved after quality one on one time with a parent… And that de-stresses everyone!
Don’t set work meetings around dinnertime, if someone wants a 5:30 or 6pm meeting with you, it’s ok to say no. Offer another time that suits you. Be protective of your time with your family. Realistically, you’re at work 8-10 hours and it’s only 2-3 hours a day you see your family.
Look your partner in the eye and give them a kind ‘hello’ each time you come home. Everyone feels more loved when they feel seen and acknowledged. When you give it, it will come back to you.
‘You never regret a workout’! was written for sometime on the wall of my old gym. It’s still a mantra I say to myself today. Whoever said a healthy body is a healthy mind was right. There is plenty of evidence out there to suggest this, such as from Harvard University.
Exercising regularly does two things, it stimulates endorphins for your body, you digest better, get stronger, feel better and think clearer for longer. And secondly you are prioritising your own physical and mental health, you are having ‘me time’. Same as before, set a day, time to do something you love, take a walk, go for a run, a surf or swim. If self motivation is harder for you on this front consider joining an adult sports team like soccer, footy or netball.
A friend of ours does sport when their kids do. So when his son is in swimming lessons for 30mins, he jumps in an end lane and swims some laps. Find what works for you and build it into your habit… you won’t regret it 🙂
Our connections with family, friends, and loved ones drive our need to succeed. They’re a source of inspiration and satisfaction. So, never let your professional pursuits get in the way of these relationships. Plan in time for your loved ones — you’ll be happier and do better at work when you’re inspired.
Having some time off to look forward to is known to be a great for your mental health, it eases overwhelm. My clients have always loved it when their homework for the week is to chat with their family on what they want to do and book a holiday. These days you can do budget or lavish, a weekend or a month, it doesn’t matter. Booking time with paying ahead means you are always looking forward to quality time and a mental break from work. I know someone who loves the anticipation of a holiday so much before one finishes, they book the next one somewhere different.
It’s easy to get lost in all the deadlines and private functions you need to attend. Take some time off to breathe and just enjoy your own company. Exercise, relax, pencil in some time for enjoying what makes you happy. Indulge in some of your hobbies, pick up that musical instrument you love, do things you love or spend time doing nothing – be that couch potato that few people aspire to for a few hours.
Most of us in our adult life have many balls in the air at one time, we carry a lot of different responsibilities and the reality is that on a daily basis balls get dropped. Not everything gets done, not all needs were met. And as a coach can I just say when this happens, it’s ok! It’s called life. And it’s called living life to the full and then pushing the boundaries some more!
There are some ways to manage those balls better though. A great analogy I once heard on this topic was to imagine that all the balls in the air are either made of rubber or glass. When the rubber balls get dropped, they bounce. When the glass balls get dropped, they shatter! So which balls are what? Let me help, there are only 2 glass balls…
Health – Physical and Mental. If your health declines, everything stops.
Family – At the end of the day, we are working to build a better life for them. If they don’t see us, they disconnect from us. If when they do see us we are grumpy, tired and not engaging… they still disconnect.
Every other ball is made of rubber. If you let a client down, they’ll bounce. If you miss a payment on something, it’ll bounce. For a balanced and healthier you, focus on keeping the glass balls in the air and you’ll find less rubber ones drop.
If you find that despite all our tips from above, you are overwhelmed at work and cannot get balance right, do not feel like you need to suffer in silence. Try as we all may, achieving a perfect work-life balance is not an applied science.
Feel free to seek professional help to improve your work life balance and consider working with a business coach such as Alison. She can help you plan effective work-life balance strategies and act as a mentor to steering you to becoming further proficient in management of time.
Each person will be on a separate journey to lead a healthy balanced life and must find his or her own way of encompassing a career, relationships as well as personal time as a whole.
As we leave you to implement these work life balance strategies we leave you with a little inspiration from these great work life balance quotes:
Quote 1 :
The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot. – — Michael Altshuler, motivational speaker and sales consultant.
Quote 2 :
Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.” — Thomas Edison, inventor
Quote 3 :
Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” — Dolly Parton, singer
(c) Copyright 2021 The Milestone Academy
Enter your email below and you will receive a link to a free sample of Profitable Finances!