It sounds clear and actually quite simple - balancing work life and personal life should be something everyone is capable of doing, right? In reality, the work-life balance is an intense and personal process, one that each business owner must define in their own life.
Even when considering the personal nature of the work-life balance, there are some general tips everyone can employ when seeking the illustrious state of balance.
The process begins by setting boundaries. Determine the time you will leave the office each day; then stick with it, regardless of what arises throughout the day. Set your outgoing message on the weekends so your clients know you will not be taking calls or answering emails until Monday morning. You can also note a time each evening in which you will no longer be available.
The key to these boundaries is they must be realistic. The goal here is longevity in both business and life; and in order to keep yourself motivated and committed - your boundaries should be built into your daily routine seamlessly, reducing stress, not introducing more.
Next, you must understand your own expectations. More specifically, you may need to lower your expectations! You cannot and will never be able to do it all; once you realise this, you can move forward successfully.
Utilise calendars and colour coding for work, family and personal time – this will provide a clear view of where you are spending the majority of your time and then you can organise your schedule according to your priorities. Create daily, weekly and monthly to-do lists to accompany the calendars and keep you on track.
Remember to schedule breaks and actually take them - short breaks during the day as well as time on the weekends dedicated solely to family and personal time. Always take your holidays!
Build flexibility into your plans. Studies show those who are given the freedom to work when and where they need to will be more productive. Even the best to-do lists and schedules can be turned upside down by unpredictability. To stay balanced, you need flexibility.
Lastly, create your personal version of success. By listing the things you want to achieve both at work and in your personal life you can be successful in both places. List your desires, define why you want them, and then determine how to achieve them.
Monitor these goals regularly to find out where you might be lacking the focus needed, and then you can redirect your time and energy toward success.
Work-life balance isn't about finding a way of completely separating the two – it is about allowing them to intertwine and complement one another. Discovering what will work for you personally will increase productivity and reduce stress, both at home and at work.