Achieving the elusive “work life balance” that so many of us strive for can be a real struggle for most entrepreneurs and business owners. And with access to technology so ever-present and home offices becoming more and more prevalent, the line between work and personal life is becoming increasingly blurry. So, here are a few easy tips to help you try and achieve more balance between your work life and personal life:
(1) Plan Ahead
If you’re familiar with me at all, you know that I’m a huge advocate of planning and preparing. This is absolutely imperative if you want to achieve any kind of balance in your life. As an entrepreneur or business owner, you’ve got so many tasks that you are responsible for and without taking the time to write it all down, it can really magnify in your own mind, causing all kinds of unnecessary stress. It also makes your time usage less efficient, as you might work on tasks that aren’t a true priority, causing more frequent all-nighters or extra weekend work. Taking a bit of prep time at the beginning of each week to completely plan out your schedule (including your time off, family time, errands, breaks, etc.) will really reduce your stress levels and make sure that you are taking enough time for R & R, too.
(2) Focus, Then Unplug
With iPads and SmartPhones, work is constantly with us, long past the traditional “end of the work day”. The days of leaving work at the office are seemingly long gone, since we all have constant access to tech and more of us are working from a home office; the temptation to check emails or social media accounts is often too hard to resist. The problem is that this can quickly cause burnout (and irritated family and friends). So, I recommend scheduling specific time periods everyday for checking tech and commit to unplugging once the set time period has ended. This will force you to focus on the important tasks at hand and prevent getting sucked into the internet black hole, allowing for a real, concrete distinction between work and personal life. I even take it a step further by giving myself a few full weeks a year where I completely unplug, so that I can keep more balance in my life.
(3) Value Yourself
There’s no faster way to burn out than to under-value yourself. Your time and work are very valuable, so make sure that you are charging enough money to make working worth your while. Especially when you are starting out, there is a tendency to take on any work that comes your way. However, this can cause a lot of extra stress and takes away your ability to focus on clients and customers that are willing to pay you what you are worth. When you aren’t being adequately compensated for your work, it can cause you to stress out about things that normally wouldn’t bother you. And when you are being adequately compensated for your work, you won’t have to work as much, freeing up more of your personal time, leading to more balance overall.
These are just a few easy tips to help achieve more balance between your work life and personal life. What other tips do you have? Please share them below.
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is currently an on-air contributor for the national cable television station CNBC, the pre-eminent name in business news, and the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country. Carol multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics.
Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011 &2012) and has her own action figure.
I think #3 is the one curveball that few can catch in the work-life merge. There's a consistent desire to compete and to get ahead. That desire - leads us to take on too much as you mentioned - and thwarts our efforts to be productive and present on the immediate task at hand. When we de-value ourselves, we take the value of our work down a notch along with it. We've got to trust on an instinctual level that we're worth the downtime necessary off the grid to be productive in the way that works for us - not to bow to the way others handle their work-life experience. It's an individual journey - and when we own that - our unique brilliant voice can make an impact - in its OWN time. @JudyMartin8