Are you struggling to find a work-life balance?
You’re not alone. A recent study found that only half of small business owners feel they have a good work-life balance and 80% feel like they work too much. If you’re looking for tips to help you find some balance, you’ve come to the right place.
In this post, we’ll share 15 strategies for achieving work-life balance. Read on to learn how you can create a more balanced life!
What’s work-life balance?
Work-life balance is the term used to describe the perfect balance between work and personal life.
Everyone has different ideas of what this balance looks like, but achieving it is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Work-life balance involves setting boundaries between work and home life and making time for both. It’s important to have time for yourself, your family, and your friends outside of work.
Why work-life balance is important
Working too much can lead to burnout, and not having enough time for leisure activities can lead to stress and anxiety.
Work-life balance benefits
Finding the right work-life balance can be difficult, but it’s worth it to maintain your physical and mental health. It will also help you make better decisions and have better relationships with family and friends. It’s a win-win for you and your family.
But how do you actually find work-life balance?
Here are 15 strategies for work life balance for entrepreneurs.
Let’s get started.
1 Find what works for you
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to work-life balance. What may work for one person may not work for another. Find what works best for you and your lifestyle and stick to it.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to follow a certain plan like you must get up at 4 am to be successful, because that could be a recipe for disaster and make you feel even worse. I can tell you I would be a mess if I woke up at 4 am each day, I’ve tried it, and it doesn’t work for me. Find what works for you, a balance (ah-ha) of getting things done and having fun off work time.
2 Set boundaries
One of the most important things you can do for your work-life balance is to set boundaries. Whether it’s setting office hours or taking vacation days, make sure you respect your own time and energy levels.
When Sean worked nights, I answered emails and calls into the late evening, but once he stopped with the night shift and my family grew, I reaccessed my boundaries to work for my new situation. Don’t be afraid to set new boundaries as needed.
3 Don’t be a martyr
Falling into the trap of “only you” can do things can and will blow up in your face. If you have a difficult time with this, start slow and release things little by little. I think you will be surprised at how freeing it can be for you.
4 Make time for yourself
In the midst of a hectic work schedule, it’s important to make time for yourself. Whether it’s taking a yoga class or going for a walk, find activities that help you relax and rejuvenate.
We schedule our gym time before we schedule anything else so that it becomes a non-negotiable for us. Figure out what taking time to take care of your looks like and schedule it before anything else.
5 Structure your day
One way to maintain a healthy work-life balance is to structure your day. By planning out your time, you can make sure you’re making the most of your day and not letting work consume your entire life.
This can include those all-important boundaries like no meetings before noon or no calls after 5. And again, remember it’s okay to change this up to what works for you right now. For example, our summer schedule is a little different than our schooltime schedule.
6 Don’t bring work home with you
Once you leave the office, try to leave work at the office. This can be difficult if you work from home, but it’s important to try to separate your work life from your home life.
Yeah, this one is a difficult one for us, and though I understand the importance, it is not easy, especially since I like my work, love my clients, and want to reach as many people as possible. But I am cognizant of my time with my kids and I let that be our time without thoughts of work or even taking work calls. It can all wait.
7 Set priorities
When you’re trying to balance your work and personal life, it’s important to set priorities. Determine what’s most important to you and make sure you allocate your time accordingly.
Look at the Pareto Principle for setting your priorities, that is that 80% of your results come from 20% of your activities. How can you prioritize that 80%?
8 Take breaks
In order to maintain a healthy work-life balance, it’s important to take breaks during the day. Step away from your desk for a few minutes and take a walk or grab a coffee.
It also helps to not eat at your desk, have lunch be a time to break free from work, and let your mind rest. A rested mind will give you better results when you come back.
9 Schedule downtime
In addition to taking breaks during the day, it’s also important to schedule downtime into your week. This can be difficult if you have a busy schedule, but it’s important to make time for yourself.
If you have a difficult time with this, literally schedule things that you can’t get out of, like a paid event or plans with someone else. You are less likely to skip out of those events.
10 Don’t work late
If you can help it, try not to work late into the evening. This can be tough if you have deadlines to meet, but it’s important to respect your own time and energy levels.
I had to learn this one the hard way; after countless sleepless nights, I figured out that if I work late, I can’t get work off my mind, and sleep is near impossible. I need a nighttime routine that includes hours of no work before my mind will relax and allow me to rest.
11 Unplug after hours
Once you finish work for the day, make sure you unplug from electronics and work-related tasks. This will help you relax and rejuvenate after a long day.
Many years ago, we stopped taking our phones, not just in our rooms but not even bringing them upstairs. We have no devices upstairs for anyone. No phones, no tablets, and no computers go in our bedrooms. That way, there is no chance of getting sucked in. Everyone needs to unplug.
12 Get enough sleep
In order to maintain a healthy work-life balance, it’s important to get enough sleep. Most people need between 7-8 hours of sleep per night in order to function at their best.
Jack Ma said explained the importance of sleep this way: “If I don’t sleep well, the problem will still be there. If I sleep, I have a better chance to fight it.”
Many of us may have no idea how much we actually sleep, and I had no idea until I got my Fitbit. Possibly, one of my favorite features is the sleep tracker. I can see how much I slept – minus the tossing and turning and any awake time, and how much deep sleep I got. And I can tell you just because I was in bed for 8 hours does not mean I got anywhere near 8 hours of sleep. We usually assume time in bed is time slept, but it really isn’t.
If you feel tired or run down during the day, try out a sleep monitor and see how much and how good your sleep actually is; that way, you can adjust and fix your sleep habits to feel better during the day.
13 Eat healthy
What you eat can have a big impact on your energy levels and how you feel. When you’re trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance, make sure you’re eating healthy foods that will give you the energy you need.
This includes staying hydrated as well. If you don’t get enough water throughout the day, try one of these large water bottles and make sure you drink one of them each day, or try something like 75 Hard, where you set a 75-day goal of hydrating, exercising, and some other tasks.
Exercise is important for both your physical and mental health. When you’re trying to balance your work and personal life, make sure you schedule time for exercise in your week.
This is another one that putting your money down helps to set it as a priority. Pay for a trainer or a class so that you stick to it. You can also work out with friends and make it a planned event.
15 Take vacations
One of the best things you can do for your work-life balance is to take vacations. This can be difficult when you’re a business owner, but it’s important to make time for yourself. Vacations allow you to relax, rejuvenate, and come back to work feeling refreshed.
Strategies For Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is key to maintaining your sanity, productivity, and overall well-being. While it may seem impossible to achieve with a million things on your plate, these 15 tips should help you get started.
Implementing just a few of these suggestions can make all the difference in helping you find the work-life balance you need and deserve. What are you waiting for? Get started today!