Editor’s Note: Today it is my pleasure to have Jessy, a stay-at-home mompreneur share her insights on work life balance.
Work has become a major strain on every day life. People work longer hours than ever, costs are rising, and stress in the home is common. Entrepreneurs have a special kind of struggle as they try to manage their own business in an uncertain economy. It isn’t easy making it work in today’s age, or getting through it all without developing an ulcer.
One thing you might have noticed in all of this hassle is that your home and work lives seem to have entered into a struggle. Both demand your time, finances, energy and attention. Both take up a lot of the resources you have at your disposal, and it might be driving you a little batty. Or, at least, making you really feel the pressure building up.
Don’t let it explode! Instead, take some time (valuable as it is) to generate some balance between the two factions of your life. These tips can help you get started.
Tip # 1 – Just Let Go!
You want control. This is part of any business owner’s general personality, and so it is probably your instinct to personally monitor every tiny bit of your company at all times during the day. Nothing is too small for your complete attention and focus, andÂ nothing can draw you away.
The truth is, doing everything yourself is not a positive, and it is a quick way to make mistakes. It is also unnecessary. Sometimes you just have to let go and let certain things run themselves. If you encounter a problem, fix it. But don’t spend so much time preemptively controlling each eventuality that it keeps you unable to adequately deal with things now.
Tip #2 – Take A Breather
Do you eat at your desk while answering client emails, listening to voicemails from contractors and doing your taxes? Have you forgotten what it is like to actually taste what you are eating because you have to hoover it down so quickly it barely touches your tongue? Welcome to the standard small business luncheon.
You might be someone who prefers not to take real breaks – and watching a cat video on Youtube doesn’t count as one. But having a real lunch break and frequent breaks between work are completely necessary. There is a reason employers are forced by law to make sure their employees take them.
Think of yourself as an employee, and take a 15 minute breather every few hours, and an hour for lunch. You will be more productive, and feel less frazzled when the day is through.
Tip #3 – Make “You” Time a Priority
Work is now over. You have to go get the kids from soccer practice, pick up the dry cleaning, stop by the grocery store, get dinner prepared, sit down with the family, help your son with his homework, call about a doctor’s appointment next week – yes, yes, you get it. You are busy, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
But that doesn’t matter, you still need some time for yourself. Whether it is a run in the early morning, a book and a glass of wine during a long bath or a television show you love to watch, “me” time should be a part of everyone’s schedule. Plan some, stick to it and watch your stress level immediately go down.
Tip #4 – Organize Everything In One Place, Work & Home
I am always surprised by how many people keep two date planners, whether files in mobile apps or actual, physical diaries. While it might not seem like a big deal, this is actually an easy to way to get out of sync with your daily life. It forces you to keep track of more, check more and you might easily miss something important. Or even just small, but which created an inconvenience.
Keep one calendar that has everything you need for both home and work. It will make it all so much easier just to balance out your day.
Tip #5 – Don’t Be Afraid To Admit You Need Help
Delegate! You are the manager of your company and your life, and managers have to delegate things to others so they are free to do the things only they are able to do. You have to take a similar approach, admitting to yourself that sometimes you can’t do everything.
Do what Tip #1 said and let go, then find someone else to help you out. Maybe you ask a spouse to pick up the groceries, or hire a freelancer to handle some of your business needs. It will have a huge impact.
Tip #6 – When Work Is Over It is OVER!
Set a schedule and stick to it. Don’t let your working life meld in with your home life, or vice versa. Doing so is a fast way to throw off that balance and make you feel tired, long footed and even irritable.
Once the day has ended, that is it. You are not to continue doing work when you should be relaxing or spending time with loved ones. Whatever it is can wait until the next morning without ruining you.
Finding and maintaining balance isn’t difficult, and once you begin it will become second nature. Just take time to separate the two and make them both a priority, and you will be fine.
image courtesy of Klein Fahey