With more single parents, more dual income families, more overhead costs, and more entrepreneurships than ever before, having a work/life balance is much harder than ever before to come by. For all of the above, finding quality time for family and enjoyment is a huge challenge. When we are at home or out with our family, we tend to be thinking about work. There is that project that needs to be finished. There is that meeting coming up. There is that product that just won’t sell. There is this whole social media thing that I need to get a grasp on. The work thoughts come in like a flood, even while we sit at the dinner table. No wonder we are only partially available. And that’s not to mention the after-hours phone calls. When we are at work, we are thinking of that school play that we will miss while we are on that business trip. Our sick baby that is at daycare. We think about the things we would rather be doing, like going to the beach, the park, shopping to name a few. And we can’t seem to fit it all in.
Life is an unending balancing act. For some of us more than for others. I’ve witnessed what some would call ‘workaholics’, who would spend 60-80 hours a week at work. I’m not quite sure how they keep going at that pace. I, for one, need to have my ‘down time’. There are a few things, I have concluded, can be done to help get some balance back into play.
1 – Set boundaries. Take at least one day a week, Sunday perhaps, and make it a day of rest. No work. No phone calls. I, personally, go to church and get recharged for the week ahead. And spend the rest of the day with family.
2- Make a list of priorities. Write them down. These are the things I WILL NOT miss. And then stick to that list. School plays. Doctor appointments. Youth sporting games. These are just a few possible items for the list. Believe it or not, your business will not crumble to the ground if you are not there for the hour or two these things typically take.
3 – Organize. Take some time out each day to organize. Both at home and at work. This will alleviate the feeling of missing something, or the feeling of dread at what you are going back to. You’ll have a sense of accomplishment and an overall relaxed feeling.
4 – Make to-do lists. Lists really do help. With a list, all of the errands for the day can be planned and accomplished in one trip. All your phone calls can be made one after another, just by having them all in front of you and going down the list. Same with emails.
5 – Delegate. Realize that you don’t have to be the one who does everything. Split up the chores at home. Assign tasks to co-workers or employees. Outlook has a great feature for this. Then you just need to look over the finished product. If you are the boss, hire an admin. They can do many, many tasks to free up some of your time, and are worth their weight in gold, as they say. I would suggest a virtual admin, but then, I might be biased on that.
These are just a few of the simple things we can do to. Believe it or not, as simple as they seem, some people have such a hard time with them. They get so caught up in the struggle of the balancing act, that taking a few minutes to sit back and breathe just doesn’t occur to them. And for some, finding that time is tough. So I say just go ahead and get started. MAKE time for you. Your work and family and friends and sanity will thank you.