A Great Work/Life Integration
In every business, it’s all about presentation. How can we present ourselves and our business well if we don’t look after ourselves? How can we be a great leader to our staff; warm and welcoming to our clients, and strong negotiators with our suppliers – if we don’t practice self-care? These are major factors in the foundation of a successful business and one that many of us overlook and don’t nurture.
When we run businesses, we must accept that the work will never be done, there is always more work to do tomorrow. When work life balance is out of sync, generally so are our stress levels, and when these are heightened your energy is taken looking for ways to survive rather than thrive.
There is a strong link between a healthy work life balance and a healthy bottom line. So, to gain a successful balance, here a few tools we can develop to take care of these
What is ‘Your’ Balance?
Everyone’s work life balance is different depending on where they are in their life and career. There is no perfect 50/50 solution that works for all, so firstly, it is important to consider what your balance looks like. Create a vision by assessing:
• Your Spouse / Partner: If you are in a relationship, what do you want so our personal needs are fulfilled?
• Friends and Family – Who is important in your life? How much time do you want to have with them?
• Health: How much sleep do you need? What diet works for you and is there a time commitment? Do you want to go to the gym, if so, how often and when?
• Career: What do you want your working week to look like … a standard 9 to 5pm, Monday to Friday or an extended or cut down version? Working from home or working in the office environment?
• Hobbies: What energises you? What hobbies you enjoy doing or perhaps have stopped doing because of work commitments? How much time would you ideally want to restart or maintain these?
Once you have a vision, you can start making some decisions. Consider from your list what your top priorities are and why. Use those priorities to determine how much time is appropriate to spend at work, and how much time you want to set aside for yourself.
Finding a workflow that fits your schedule and energy needs increases the amount of activities you can complete in the same amount of time. You can do more in less time by determining how your time and energy can best be used.
It’s the higher-energy work, also known as “deep work,” where we create more, have increased productivity, and get the results we desire in our business. When we are engaged in deep work, our creative and analytical abilities are pushed to their limit and we produce our best work
The problem is that many of us focus too much of our time doing low-energy work. Responding to email and filing papers may feel productive, but it probably isn’t helping you reach your business goals.
Since deep work requires our full focus and energy, it’s important we schedule these tasks when we have the most energy in the day. For example, deep work in the mornings when you’re fresh and energetic, low-energy work after lunch, and administrative work in the late afternoons.
As suggested, you can now create a plan to take control of your days and serve the areas that are most important to you both at work and home.
Place them in your diary just as you would schedule and show up for a dentist appointment, ie time with your family, time to focus on priority work. These are set times where you show up fully present without phones, social media or other distraction.
Daily, set yourself a finish time, Parkinson’s Law states that work expands to fill the amount of time given to it, which means that if you never set your own boundaries, you’ll literally ALWAYS be working. That not only wears you down, it wears other people in your life down, too.
Productivity can be enhanced by following a simple morning routine. Getting up as soon as the alarm goes without pressing snooze! You never feel any better for it and science shows it puts you back into a sleep cycle that can take up to four hours to break. You don’t wake in a bad mood, you set your own tone. By giving yourself just 10 minutes to plan before you let the world in through your phones and media, will reap huge dividends. Keep your phone away from the bedroom, and don’t check it until you have given yourself that time. Use a journal to note how you are feeling, what you are grateful for and importantly identify one bite size project that you will achieve in the day. To do lists are never finalised so just chose one thing that is important to you.
Finally, surround yourself with positive, like-minded people who have shared values and beliefs and will help support you in your life. Don’t be frightened of walking away froeople that don’t serve you and bring a negative aura.
Work-life balance isn’t something that just happens, we are responsible to make it happen. If we don’t make it a priority, we can’t expect anyone else to do it for us. It is about having a willingness to do it and being proactive in creating a plan, establishing priorities and making sacrifices. It needs discipline and it will be tough at times but by sticking to our vision, it will become less uncomfortable and the new norm.
I can support you through this process with these and many other tools to help you achieve the perfect work/life balance for you. Please don’t hesitate to give me a call or drop me a line – 07768 844228, firstname.lastname@example.org.