Remember work-life balance – that thing people argue doesn’t exist? To some work-life balance is just an overused buzzword that holds very little weight in the grand scheme of everyday life. To me, work-life balance it’s a lifestyle that involves using your time and energy wisely to prioritize work and personal/lifestyle activities.
Will you ever find the perfect balance? Probably not, but that shouldn’t be your end goal because perfection doesn’t exist. If you’re looking to maintain a realistic work-life balance that you can feel comfortable with, consider these 6 tips.
1. Get on a Schedule
Whether you consider yourself a type A person or not, getting on a regular schedule has many benefits. Planning out your day allows you to prioritize and figure out exactly what you need to do each day.
Simply staying organized can help you avoid getting overwhelmed or overbooking yourself. Be sure to schedule in time for work and lifestyle activities. Schedule in time to go to the gym, spend time with friends, and to make appointments.
Consider getting up a little earlier or doing some extra prep at night to help make your schedule stick.
2. Set Boundaries With Work
Do you ever feel like your work follows you around wherever you go? That’s your fault. It’s important to set firm boundaries with work if you want to have a better work-life balance. Since I work from home on my laptop, I could literally work the entire day if I don’t use my discipline to call it quits at a certain time.
If you’re self-employed and struggle with this as well, set specific work hours for yourself then be unavailable once you “clock out”. Set expectations with clients, customers and your team about your work hours and disconnect and avoid checking email when you’re not supposed to be working. Also, get more comfortable with saying no to things you don’t want to do or don’t have time to do.
3. Set Boundaries With Friends and Family
After setting boundaries with work, you also want to do the same thing with family and friends as well. You know that your entire life can’t be all about fun and relaxation. You have professional goals to reach and happen to manage a business that you love and enjoy.
When you work for yourself, it’s easy for friends and family to misunderstand what you do or judge what your free time must look like. You may receive extra requests from loved ones asking for favors. This used to happen to me a lot and while I wanted to help out, I also didn’t want to fall behind on my schedule and task list for the day either.
This is why you have to have a talk with friends and family regarding your schedule and free time. Coordinate time to indulge with loved ones and be conveniently unavailable when it’s time to crank out work.
4. Practice Self Care
Prioritizing self-care is crucial if you want to have a better work-life balance. You must take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally before you do anything else. Practicing self-care is not about putting a bandaid on larger issues either.
For example, if you’re suffering from burn out, taking an afternoon off to binge watch Netflix and work your way through a tub of ice cream isn’t really an ideal way of practicing self-care. Instead, you should focus on addressing the root issue – which is probably the fact that you’re taking on more work than you can handle.
5. Outsource What You Don’t Enjoy
If you don’t enjoy doing something, as an entrepreneur, you have the power to outsource it to someone else. Outsourcing can do wonders for your work-life balance. It’s impossible to try to do everything yourself.
When you hand off tasks that you don’t like or aren’t good at, you free up more time and energy to do other things.
6. Redefine What Success Means To You
Finally, you’ll want to rethink what success means to you. As I said earlier, there is no such thing as the perfect balance. Those Instagram photos in your feed are overrated and don’t reveal the full picture of someone’s life.
If your definition of success means being busy 24/7 and striving for perfection at all times, you’re not going to be happy or have a really good balance.
Instead, look at your professional and personal goals. Break them down into more attainable chunks, then prioritize them and focus on what’s most important first. You’ll feel more accomplished, less overwhelmed, and will be well on your way to creating a better work-life balance overall.
What are your thoughts on work-life balance? Do you ever do any of these things?
Choncé Maddox is a professional writer who recently left her job in the web design industry to produce killer content and manage her own writing business full time. She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs be more productive and create a life they love by doing fulfilling work. On the side, she runs a podcast and blogs about getting out of debt at MyDebtEpiphany.com.