Working on Work-Life Balance

work-life-balance

It’s Sunday afternoon, my husband is out of town, I have the house to myself. I could be anywhere doing anything and where am I? I am in front of my computer writing a blog on “Work/Life Balance.” Ironic, huh? Actually, that’s not quite accurate.  The truth is, I am sitting in front of my computer and happily writing a blog on work-life balance.

I love to write but as I don’t do it for a living, I consider it to be something that needs to be done outside of work hours, in my “free time.”  Notice the quotes around “free time.” Like many of you, I am married, have a home, children, grandchildren, friends, church and a business that all require things to be done sometime during the week. Figuring out when to do what has always been a little bit of a challenge, especially when the kids were younger and in school. At that point, midnight to dawn seemed to be my only free time!

Finding work/life balance
Photo via Dreamstime.

I used to believe I juggled all these things because I had to. The truth is, all of these obligations were, and still are, self-imposed. I became involved with all the things in my life by choice. Recognizing that the ball is in my court that helped me find a way to better manage my work life, my personal life, and my home life.  In my presentation, “Change Your Life in an Instant,” I talk about determining your overall life/business goal and then I offer some tips to help keep you in control of your calendar and your life. Here are a few. I hope you find them helpful.

Tip #1 – Get Control of Your Calendar

At Work: Part of the reason so many of us end up with a 10-to-12-hour workday, is that we don’t control our calendars or schedules. We go into our office and allow chaos to take over. Instead of letting the day run you, schedule your day/week to handle your work. Reserve certain times for meetings, administration, emails, sales or whatever you do and then stick with it. Don’t allow distractions to throw you off schedule.

Outside Work:  Set specific starting and ending times for work and keep to them. Reserve time for your family and friends.   As an example, my Sundays are either family days or my day, depending on whether or not family is in town. Sundays have always been family days in our house. Working on Sunday is a very, very rare occasion for me. Don’t forget to reserve your holidays and vacations. They should be the first thing you schedule on a new calendar.

Tip #2 Learn to Say No!

I am a recovering “volunteer” junkie.  If something needed to be done, all you had to do is ask, and I would say ‘yes.’ It took a while for me to recognize that I didn’t have any free time because I kept giving it away to others.

Hearing “I need your help…”  or “You’re the best person for the job…” can put a lot of pressure on us to accept additional time and energy-zapping responsibilities that we really don’t want. When you are faced with something like this, you need to consider if the opportunity will help or hinder you in reaching your overall goal and if you can truly afford to add it to your life at this time. What will you have to give up in order to do this? Is it worth it?

Saying “No, thank you…” might be difficult but it’s a perfectly legitimate answer.

Tip #3 Learn to Delegate

This is a tough one for a lot of us. There are certain things that only we can do and there are certain things we do that someone else can do but we don’t let them! We tend not to turn things over because of time, money, energy or control. What we don’t realize is that these things really eat up our resources–time, money, energy or control.

Whether at home or at work, we continue to do time-consuming tasks because we feel we have to. Years ago when the kids were as involved in as many things as I was, our house was not getting as much attention as I felt it should. I found myself spending my weekends cleaning and never having any free time. Somewhere along the line, I reluctantly agreed to bring in a housecleaning service. Very quickly I realized that not only was the house clean but my weekends were now free to spend with my family. Mark that off the guilt list.

Where are you spending your time doing things that someone else can do?  What is it costing you to continue doing it?  What could you be doing instead that would be more beneficial to your company and/or yourself?  It may be tough to bite the bullet if you have to hire someone to take it over but think of the long term benefit it will bring you.

Tip #4 – Take time to Disconnect

Unlike 15 or 20 years ago, the electronic age keeps us connected.  It’s tough to leave work behind when we are constantly being reminded by the beeps on our smartphones, smartwatches, etc.   We have to train ourselves and our associates when we’re at work and when we’re not. If we are constantly at the beckon call of our gadgets, it’s difficult to find the serenity that we all need at some point in our day. Remember that your cell phone is not the only thing in your life that needs to be recharged every night!

Everyone’s life is a little different.  I hope you find these suggestions are helpful and bring you some insight on how to create more work-life balance. If you would like few other tips, feel free to contact me at via email.  I would be more than happy to share some additional ideas that have been helpful to both my clients and myself.

Rock photo via FreeImages.com

Linda Minnick

Linda Minnick is a specialist in transformational thinking. She is a coach, PSYCH-K® facilitator, author and speaker. Recognizing that a major part of success is in your head, Linda helps her clients get very clear on what it is they really want to create and provides them with support and tools to change the beliefs that are stopping them from getting there.

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