What’s Work-Life Balance? My Top 4 Tips to Reclaim Yours Now
Sarah Mae (SMae) |
When you’ve started asking yourself, “what’s work-life balance anyway?”, you’re probably not living it.
See, the early days of starting a business are full of excitement, optimism, and long-ass days. You have a vision, and the motivation to achieve it. Only, you’re just one person and the more you do the more there is to be done. So it isn’t long before you realize that you’re juggling way too many things, you’re exhausted, and you haven’t been taking care of yourself.
Your work and your life are completely out of balance.
Well, you’re in luck because today I am sharing my top 4 tips for reclaiming work-life balance for yourself.
Table of Contents
What’s Work-Life Balance?
Is it a myth? Or is it the pinnacle of entrepreneurial success?
What if it’s neither?
It is easy to see why some people think of work-life balance as a myth. On the surface, the words imply that your energy can be divided like a pie and clearly, as an entrepreneur, you can’t compartmentalize your biz from your personal life. However, I promise that it is NOT a myth.
Likewise, work-life balance, while often seen as the epitome of success with all these influencers posting their beachside office photos, is not an achievement. It is not a far-off distant goal that you set for yourself when you’re earning 8 figures.
So what is it?
Work-life balance is feeling happy and fulfilled in all areas. It doesn’t mean you divide your time equally, it means you have found a structured rhythm that fulfills all areas of your life, work included.
Top 4 Tips for Better Work-Life Balance
Now that you know what work-life balance actually is, let’s reclaim yours.
1) Build Lifestyle into Your Brand
No, I don’t mean posting on Instagram in front of beaches and rainbows.
I mean creating your brand and business around the kind of lifestyle you want.
I love hiking, so I built it into my brand. I’m going to be a FURmum one of these days, and I will build that into my brand as well.
What lifestyle do you want to be living? Maybe you love to travel, want to live in a van, or love sailing, or just want to spend as much time as you can with your dog (I can’t wait till that’s me). Incorporate that into your business and you’ll be able to do more of it while still “working”. What’s work-life balance without some fun?!
🖊️ What lifestyle do you want and how can you build it into your brand?
2) Let Go Of Fear
Ever feel like your business is going to fail if you’re not working every minute you could possibly work?
You’re not alone. Today’s hustle culture makes many entrepreneurs believe they need to work longer hours in order to get more done and succeed.
Yet, working all the time is unproductive. A Stanford research paper found that people who worked 70 hours per week didn’t actually get more work done than their peers who worked fewer hours.
It is also dangerous. In Japan, dying from overworking (known as karoshi) is recognized as an official cause of death!
Failure is a good thing. You cannot grow and succeed without it. Letting go of the fear of failure, and trusting that if something does not work you’ll learn and try again, will help you be more gracious with your downtime.
🖊️ What fears are driving your work habits and how can you reframe them?
3) Plan Ahead – Realistically
I know you’ve got tons of plans with to-do lists upon to-do lists for your biz. But what about all the other areas of your life, do you plan those too?
My husband and I plan our weekly date night ahead of time and schedule in our calendars. When we don’t do this it does not happen.
I suggest that my clients make a list of everything they want to do at the start of the week, in all areas of their life, and schedule them. Then review the schedule at the start of every day, making updates as needed.
You need to be realistic with your scheduling though. Otherwise, things will inevitably take you a lot longer than planned and then you’ll end up pulling very late nights or all-nighters to get something finished on time (i.e. not in balance).
The most important thing to prevent this is to underpromise and overdeliver with yourself. If you think it will take an hour, schedule an hour and a half. Once you get used to doing this you will get better at estimating your time.
🖊️ What will your plan for next week look like? Is it realistic?
4) Set Boundaries
While you can’t really compartmentalize your biz from your personal life, you can set work hours for yourself and stick to them.
Other ways to create boundaries may be that you won’t check your email before you’ve finished your coffee. Or that you will only take client calls Monday-Wednesday. If you make yourself available at all hours you set a dangerous precedent!
The reverse can also be helpful if you set up boundaries around personal life. As an example, Friday night is date night, so I do not do any work after 4 pm on Fridays, non-negotiable.
🖊️ What boundaries are you going to start setting for yourself? How will you keep yourself accountable for sticking to them?
The Bottom Line
As an entrepreneur, you have more freedom and control over your schedule, where and when you work… but there just isn’t much work-life separation.
What’s work-life balance? It doesn’t mean you divide your time equally. It is not a myth, and it is not a goal to work towards. Work-life balance means you’ve found a structured rhythm that fulfills all areas of your life, work included.
If you’re ready to dive in deeper and Master Time like the BOSS you are, download your free Time Mastery Guidebook here!
P.S. Are we connected on Instagram? No? Well new friend, let’s fix that now! Come hang out on my favourite social media platform. Follow for inspiration and send me a DM to let me know we’re connected.