You struggle with work-life balance. I know you do because just about every entrepreneur does. I know I used to. In my opinion, trying to find the perfect balance between work and life is a pipe dream—an unattainable goal.
I don’t want to rub anyone the wrong way, so just hear me out. As entrepreneurs, there is immense pressure to be successful, whatever that means, and it can really weigh on us. We’re expected to build successful businesses, while being exemplary parents, have an exciting personal life, volunteer in our communities, and take wonderful care of our bodies, spirits, and minds. Believe me, I tried to be that superwomen, but I ended up fatigued and feeling unbalanced.
What if it’s not about being balanced at all, but to create a well-rounded work-life experience? Somedays, it’s all about business. Other days, it’s an outing with the family – minus your cell phone. Or finally making time to schedule that date! There may be times when we take really good care of ourselves, and other times when that slips a bit; times where we devote a lot of attention to our family, and other times when there is less energy and time to focus on them.
Different priorities take precedence at different times. And that’s OK; allow yourself that space.
Here are five tips to help you achieve a well-rounded work-life experience:
- Take “quality” out of quality time. Any time you get to spend with your family is quality time. Our families just want our time – uninterrupted. My son and I have “bad movie” night on Fridays when I am available. It’s just the two of us laughing and talking watching horrible movies. We love it. Choosing an activity doesn’t have to be stressful. Go for a bike ride, or have fun baking (and eating), go for walk or a hike, or take a long drive.
- Utilize your calendar. For me, if it’s not on my calendar, it will not get done. That includes non-work things like “bad movie” Friday. Once you enter an activity in your calendar, you’ll become committed to it and you’ll be more likely to follow through.
- Start saying “NO.” This is the most powerful word when you are building a business. Your time is money. I know it’s hard; this is something that I still struggle with too. Saying “Yes” makes others happy, but it takes us away from things that really matter.
- You are not alone. If developing a well-rounded work-life experience is proving difficult, consider finding a life coach. To have someone on the outside help you navigate through decision-making can help you make better choices.
- Lose your mind. That’s right, take time for activities that rejuvenate you. This “mindless” time is critical to restoring your mental sharpness, as well as your physical stamina. It also creates space for creativity and problem solving. Don’t force it – the aim is to relax and enjoy your “you time.”
If the quest for balance has you off balance, decide to create a well-rounded work-life experience. Its purpose is to reduce your stress not add to it.