There’s a growing number of people struggling with their work-life balance. A large percentage of working people that I know of or have spoken to across Europe, Asia, America and Australia feel their job demands that they should be available 24/7 since they can check their work emails and other things from anywhere using their smartphone. This type of constant availability takes a toll on both a person’s mental and physical health.
And with Working-From-Home arrangements increasing – not only because of the pandemic – many feel that the demands of being available 24/7 have become more common than the need to eat and sleep. I know, this sounds a bit exaggerated. It’s the way many people feel nowadays.
It is a given that humans need to socialize, relax, and care for themselves to stay happy and healthy. So, time for work and time for socialising, relaxing and caring for oneself need to be in some kind of balance. That is what we call work-life balance.
With the ever increasing – even perceived increased – demands of being available and ready to roll for work, our minds are getting busier. We are thinking about work related ‘stuff’ outside of work hours. The ratio of working and ‘living’ can become out of balance. This could have detrimental effects of strained relationships with loved ones, poor performance at work due to burn-outs, and many more. Let us think about ways to get back to a more healthy balance of work and life.
How to improve your work-life balance
Here are just four simple no-nonsense ways to improve your work-life balance:
It’s easier said than done, we know, but avoid checking your phone for work matters after hours. This constant checking may have become a habit you wish you’d never started. And if you are honest, practically all work-related matters can wait until the next day. It’s key to unplug from work when you get home each evening and on the weekends. Turn off notifications on your phone when you are off work.
Also, let your coworkers know you won’t be returning emails, calls, or texts regarding work after hours. This way, they can prepare for this change.
As a small business owner this might not be workable for 100% of the time. Please keep in mind, you also need some time off from your business. For you, we can work on a plan of ‘Unplugged Time Slots’ that we can implement together. Those Unplugged Time Slots should be monitored on a regular basis, e.g. when you speak with your personal Accountability Partner.
If you can’t seem to get all of your work done within the allotted 38 to 40 hours, you aren’t alone. An alarming number of project managers for example work more than 50 hours a week. A more alarming number of small business owners work more than 60 hours a week, every week. As a ‘worker’, before you go to your boss to ask for a reduction in your workload, take a careful look at how you are spending your time.
As a business owner, you obviously cannot ask your boss; I would suggest the same review together with your business coach or Accountability Partner. Download our tool “Expose Your Hidden Time Wasters” as a guide.
Track it for a week and see what’s causing you to stay late each night and come in early each morning. You will no doubt be surprised by the ways you can change or eliminate distractions and other time-wasters.
Take a Stay-Cation
Another vital way to get your work-life balance in order is to make use of all of your vacation days. A large number of workers lose essential time with their family or with themselves. The reason is, they don’t take all of their vacation days, or in worst cases, don’t have any vacation days at all. If you feel uncomfortable about using all your holiday in one long vacation, schedule the occasional day off here and there to enjoy “stay-cations.”
And this also applies to you as a small business owner. A Business and Work-Life Balance Coach would recommend small stay-cations to recharge your energy. Your business expects you to be switched-on all the time. When you have not taken any leave, did not have a good rest, have worked through for months and months, 7 days a week, how much of energy do you think will you have left in your body?
Stress and overwhelm will mount up and lead most likely to the wrong decisions that could derail your current projects and perhaps your business.
Breaking it up into a few long weekends and staycations (you may spend with your loved ones, kids, etc.) will give you the mental health days you need while ensuring you don’t come back to an overwhelming mountain of work.
Train Your People
Many of us grew up hearing, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” Unfortunately, this gets ingrained to the point where we feel we can’t delegate any tasks lest they end up back in our laps in worse shape than before. If you have employees you manage or freelancers you outsource to, take the time to train them well. Make sure they know exactly how to do things. Of course, this will take time upfront. But, once they understand your requirements, you’ll be able to hand off more work and give yourself some slack.
One word of caution may be allowed here: when you hire people to do a job or deliver projects, make sure they know how to do their job in the context of your business. That is what is meant by training your people. There is no need to hire someone who does not know how to do a job required – expect that person is an apprentice or is hired to learn certain skills.
Either way, my motto for hiring and managing people is: “You hire someone for their skills and cultural fit. When they start, you train them about the specifics of your organisation / business and the project / job ahead. The most important step then is to get out of their way and let them do their job.” Don’t micro-manage! You delegated that job and therefore, have trust in the talent you hired.
Your Next Step
Contact us to discuss how we can help you to
- Plan your successful work-life balance
- Implement strategies to achieve more by doing less
- Learn how to reboot your business for greater success
- Eliminate time wasters and
- Get more tips for your Personal Development Journey.
Why don’t you take our Productive Time Management Course, where we will learn how to work yourself extremely smart to make a success of your life. This course will use a toolkit promoting to be more effective with the time everyone has. This way they can make a successful balance act between their priorities at work and in their personal lives.
As a bonus we would like you to take action and download our free Action Plan Workbook for achieving a successful Work-Life Balance. It’s free and gives you the competitive advantage over others who seem to struggle each and every day by being busy and not achieving, by working long hours and missing out on life. With the right goals and action plan, you will become that superstar! Your journey starts with this action plan.