I’m going to be 100 percent honest. I took this work-life balance test on CNN.com and failed. Miserably. Turns out, my life is a little too much work and not enough, well, living. But that’s OK. Now that I’m aware, I’m making more of an effort to find a work-life balance. Here’s how you can, too.
I know the idea of scheduling downtime seems counter intuitive but the physical act of blocking off time for yourself in your calendar is a great first step to finding a work-life balance. Personally, it helps me as I’m scheduling things like projects and client meetings because I make a conscious effort not to “double book” myself at those times. Start small by setting aside an hour each week to do something for you that’s not work related.
Drop Bad Habits
If you’re serious about finding a work-life balance, dropping some activities is an undeniable fact. You don’t have to be on the board of every charitable organization that you support. If you find yourself pulled in too many different directions, sit down and make a priority list. Which of your activities take the most time and produce the least results? Drop one or two of them.
Ask for Help
Seems simple enough, right? For local business owners, asking for help with daily errands and administrative duties tends to be one of the hardest things to do. Consider hiring an assistant to help with day-to-day business tasks or try really hard to divvy up household chores. You don’t have to do everything yourself! Giving up some control can do wonders for finding a work-life balance.
Exercising is good for us all around. Getting up and active can be just the thing to restore your work-life balance. Set aside at least 30 minutes each day to hit the gym or your yoga mat. Take 5 or 10-minute breaks every so often throughout the day to swim a lap or walk around the block – whatever it takes to feel refreshed.
Staying up into the wee hours of the night to finish a project is something every local business owner does at one point or another. But finding a work-life balance means you need to make time for rest. Don’t make late nights a regular routine. Get the recommended amount of sleep and keep to regular business hours as much as possible.
Still think working 24/7 trumps work-life balance? Consider this: When you allow yourself the time to step away from work – no matter if it’s grabbing dinner with friends or relaxing with a great book – you’re essentially recharging your batteries. You’ll come back to work feeling refreshed, focused, and ready to tackle your next project head-on! So, get out there (or stay in!) and enjoy that downtime. You’ve earned it!
Image courtesy of Flickr by Relaxing Music