Keys to Work/Life Balance
One of the biggest challenges as women is balancing our energy and our time. Whether you work full-time outside the home, part-time, have a side hustle, or are a stay at home mom, its so hard to tackle all of the "things" that we need to accomplish during the day. And if you’re trying to build a business while working full-time, it’s so tempting to work late into the evening, answering emails or taking care of just one last thing. With phones, email, and social media at our fingertips, work-life balance has become even harder to, well balance.
My work as a lawyer, dance teacher, and health & fitness coach often require me to work non-standard hours so that working in the evenings have quickly become the norm. (And every Saturday morning, too! Where does it all end?!)
Another challenge of balancing my work and life is transitioning my mind from work to home so I’m not cross-examining my daughter or deposing my husband about his day or better yet, dreaming blog posts in my head as I’m lying in bed trying to fall asleep. Even when I’m not actively working, my mind is working if I don’t create balance and turn it off!
If you are a mom, wife, heck woman, I’m sure you can relate. How many nights have you stayed finishing laundry, cleaning the house, backing for some event at school or work, answering emails....
An unbalanced life leads to stress, health issues, overwhelm, and burnout. It can negatively affect your personal and business relationships.
News flash ladies, your time and energy are your most precious resources, and you will accomplish more with a healthy work-life balance.
Here are 10 of the best work/life balance habits to implement if you want to be a successful (and happy) woman:
1. Set Working Hours
Whether you work from home or outside the home or are building your business, it can mean working 40+ hours a week or working a non-standard schedule. Still, it’s important to set business hours. Maybe your business hours are 9 am – 9 pm on certain days, but after 9 pm consider your business closed for the night! Set an alarm on your computer or phone if you think you’ll be tempted to work past your closing time. Just know that Family comes first, so when business hours ends, they end.
2. Unplug When You’re Not Working
Step away from the computer, turn off your phone, and unplug outside your working hours. That means don’t keep your phone near your bed when you’re sleeping! That means turning off alerts for emails, tweets, Instagram, you get my drift...
3. Schedule One Admin Day Per Week
If you meet with clients, pick one day a week that you do not meet with clients and use this day to take care of administrative tasks such as catching up on emails, organizing, planning, and completing paperwork. I do this in my professional lawyer life. I schedule 2 hours a week that are just for me to do admin things. No meetings allowed.
4. Take At Least One Day Off Per Quarter
And I mean it. A day off means no calls, no email, and no work. Schedule a massage, walk around Target sans kiddos... just do whatever makes you not think of work.
5. Schedule Social & Family Time
Add time in your schedule for friends, family, and fun. If you have time blocked out on your calendar it’s easier to avoid over-scheduling yourself and making work a priority over life.
6. Schedule “Me” Time
Schedule at least 30 minutes a day for some down time. Use that 30 minutes to workout, meditate, read a book, or whatever activity relaxes and refreshes you. (Heck I don't care if its watching mindless television, you deserve it!).
7. Schedule Meal Times
Avoid working lunches and working dinners if possible. Give yourself time to eat and enjoy your meals without distraction. That means family dinners are just that. Put the phones away and the TV off.
8. Have a Dedicated Work Space
Whether you have a home office, or go to the library, or rent co-working space, have a dedicated work space. When you’re in your office, you work. When you’re in your living space, you live. Avoid working in the living room or bedroom, and avoid taking care of personal to-do’s in your office. Now, I get that its hard when you work full time outside the home. I do tend to sneak in personal things I need to do during the day. But especially if you work from home or are building a business, build that barrier that physical reminder helps make a mental reminder too.
9. Cross One Item Off Your To-do List
Make a list of all of your to-do’s activities. The first thing on your list should be "Make a List." Then cross that puppy off! Don't you feel accomplished? Truth is that little change in attitude can change your whole outlook about getting the things on your list done. And, do they all really need to be done? If you find an item that is not adding value to your life, cross that item off your to-do list.
10. Adjust & Readjust, and Adjust again.
If you slip into old patterns and your life becomes unbalanced, DO NOT WORRY! Just start fresh the next day and adjust your schedule. Take a break to restore balance and don’t be too hard on yourself. Life happens. Kids get sick, you get sick, heck some days you just do not have it in you to do it all, and that is OK! And if all else fails, my advice, turn on some music and dance it out!