Life, Work, and Everything In-Between: Strategies for Achieving Balance
Work-life balance is a term that has been thrown around a lot in recent years but what does it really mean? In essence, it refers to the balance between one’s work and personal life, with neither side having an excessive impact on the other. Achieving work-life balance is important because it can help to reduce stress and prevent burnout.
If you’re having to handle unrealistic expectations from clients while balancing multiple roles and responsibilities at home as well as work then achieving a good work-life balance can be challenging!
In this blog, I want to share with you some of the strategies I use to achieve the balance I want in my life, work and everything else in between!
Establishing Priorities at Work and at Home
Let’s face it, there are just too many tasks for any of us to fit into a week, let alone a day! So, establishing priorities and keeping on top of those important tasks is a vital aspect of managing your workload effectively while ensuring you’re not overwhelmed with domestic tasks as soon as your workday is over!
Sometimes, finding a better work-life balance requires finding ways to save time at home as well as at work. It’s not just a case of using some time-saving hacks here and there – they do little to reduce the actual load from your shoulders.
Your first step should be to prioritise what is important to you – to your work, to your household management but also what’s important to you personally. What are your goals and ambitions for the future? What are those time-consuming tasks taking away from you in terms of the activities you’d rather be doing, or those taking you closer to your life goals?
Take some time to identify your core values and what’s most important to you and set clear, measurable goals for both your work and personal life. This will help you prioritise your time and ensure that your goals align with your values, so you remain focused and motivated at work and at home.
Set boundaries and learn to say no
Just because a task needs to be done, it doesn’t mean that it has to be done that minute does it!
I know, as a Mum, that sometimes it feels quicker or easier to do the job yourself but it’s still stealing away your time and energy from something else – you do deserve that time with a good book and a cuppa instead of having to clear up the kids (and partner’s!) mess!
Saying no can be difficult but it’s important to learn how to do it. Saying no to requests that are not essential can help you better manage your workload and prioritise your time. Remember that it’s okay to say no, or ‘not right now’. Or indeed to ask your family for help if you need it.
Setting boundaries with your family is an important step as a business owner, especially if you happen to work from home. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can take care of the home tasks and your work tasks at the same amount of time and trying to do both means you lose the focus, energy and motivation to do either!
Take some time to think about what you’re comfortable with and what you’re not comfortable with when it comes to work and personal life. This could include things like when you’re available to take work calls, how much time you spend on work-related activities outside of work hours, or what activities you want to prioritise in your personal life.
Once you’ve defined your boundaries, it’s important to communicate them clearly to your colleagues, friends, and family. Let them know what your expectations are and how you want to be treated. Technology can be a powerful tool for setting boundaries. Consider setting up an auto-reply message for work emails outside of business hours or using an app that blocks certain notifications during designated time periods.
By setting clear boundaries, you can create a work and personal life that is in balance and reflects your priorities and values. Remember that it’s important to be clear and consistent in communicating your boundaries and to be willing to make adjustments as needed.
Now it’s time to get to work managing your time and tasks effectively!
Unfortunately, you’re always going to have some work to do at home and within your business, so what are the tactics we can use to manage our time, focus and energy most effectively?
Streamlining your business processes by using auto-replies, templates and booking forms/apps for your website are all effective at cutting down your work time spent on repetitive tasks – do check out my blog on how to make the most use of your working hours rather than extending them, here.
For home-based tasks, it can be a little trickier but not impossible to better manage your time. Getting your groceries delivered at home can be a simple switch that saves a good hour or more that you would have spent shopping at the local supermarket.
Other common ‘lifestyle hacks’ include using a laundry service, hiring a cleaner, or setting your washing machine to run just before you wake in the morning so you can empty it before the school run.
One little recommended suggestion, however, is to hire a VA for lifestyle management tasks. While I can’t do your shopping, cleaning or laundry for you, I can help you save time and energy in other ways, such as:
- Making and rescheduling appointments
- Researching and booking your travel/holiday
- Non-financial household admin tasks
- Helping you to prioritise your home (and work) tasks and create a schedule that works for you
- Email and diary management
- Deadline reminders – like when you need to get that passport application sent off by!
- And so much more!
Achieving work-life balance is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being but if you’re feeling overwhelmed and struggling to know where to start, get in touch with me now for a friendly and non-judgemental chat.