Achieving a work life balance Blog
Do you feel totally stressed out?
Do you feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done?
Do you feel like you are neglecting those people you love because you are so, so busy?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then today’s blog post is for you.
I have totally been there. Being a mum of 3 and owning several businesses can be tough. Sometimes I feel like I am being pulled in several direction all at once. I am working with clients and making sure my business is moving forward whilst I am helping my kids do their homework and making dinner, and trying to fit some time in there for me too.
What I have found is you can have it all, it just requires setting some rules and boundaries and sticking to them.
5 Rules for Achieving a Work life Balance
1. Make sure you build in some downtime into your day
This for me was the hardest thing I had to sort out. Generally I would get up in the morning and rush my kids off to school. As soon as I got back to my office, I would put my head down and work like crazy. I really felt like I was running a race until I had to pick the kids up from school. Then once the kids came home, I would try and fit in work whilst I was helping them do their homework and cooking dinner.
All this did was wear me out and make me incredibly stressed. That is when I started to put some down time into my day to make sure I looked after “me”. The key was planning my day out before it got away from me. At the end of each day, I spend 5-10 minutes planning what I want to achieve the next day. I plan what 3 main goals I want to achieve and plan to do the most important thing first (generally that is something that will earn me some money). Then I dedicate some time to each of these activities. After each 60 mins, I plan 10 minutes to have some downtime, drink some water, have a walk around. Then I come back and get stuck into my next task.
2. Have a finish time each day where you walk away and do not look at your business until tomorrow.
This was another thing I struggled with. I found that when I finished for the day, I would still be checking emails or answering my mobile phone. I was even getting text messages at 10pm at night and sometimes at 5am and answering them!!!
I had to set some boundaries for not only me but for my clients. If I am answering text messages at 10pm at night and on weekends, what am I teaching my clients? I am teaching them to contact me at all hours. This is where I had to set some ground rules so I could have a real break for my business.
- Put a message on your mobile phone telling your clients that you will get in touch with them tomorrow.
- Answer emails only during the hours you work or set an autoresponder to tell people you will get back to them tomorrow.
- Put your hours of work on your website to communicate to your clients when you will be available to them.
- Set a time for yourself that you finish work each day and stick to it – not even to check an email, it will be there for you tomorrow!
3. Exercise – it is not a dirty word!
I am from the fitness industry so this area of my life might be a little easier for me to do, but I do find that when I am busy, I struggle to make time for exercise. Exercise is essential for your wellbeing. It helps boost your energy and releases endorphins that make you feel positive. Exercise helps you to think clearer and helps you to stay healthy. It is also one of the best stress relievers out there.
Making time for exercise, like anything just requires a little planning. Find a time that you enjoy exercising. It might be when you wake up first thing in the morning, before the kids wake up, or it might be at night when the house is quiet. One of my favourites is going for a walk at lunchtime. It helps me to refocus and get ready to tackle my afternoon.
The important thing is you do what Nike suggests and “Just Do It”. You will be glad that you did.
4. Make some time each day to relax
Yes, I know for some of you, the idea of daily relaxation can sound a little foreign. But it really is essential for your wellbeing.
In the past, I have literally run all day until I fell in bed at night. And no, watching TV until you fall asleep is not relaxation. Now, I am taking time to be still. I am taking time to spend time reading for enjoyment. I am spending time talking to my husband about things that are not work or family related – you know, some “us” time. These things allow me to feel rejuvenated and allows my mind to be clear so I can have a good nights sleep.
5. Take time to appreciate what you have achieved each day.
I know sometimes I am flat out all day long and when I get to the end and fall into bed, I feel like I just didn’t achieve anything. That can stress you out and make you question what you are doing.
I have found something powerful that I have been doing every night. Each night when I get into bed, I get out my gratitude journal and write down 3 things that I achieved that day. It can be reaching a goal or even spending some quality time with my kids. By recognising my achievements for the day, I feel gratitude and happiness. It reinvigorates me and helps me to see that I have progressed forward. Having gratitude is a really important key to happiness.
Keeping your life balanced will allow you to keep moving forward and most importantly, enjoy the journey.
I would love to hear what you do to keep your life balanced.