Work-life balance is when you have the areas of your life in alignment. Not just work, commute, eat, sleep, repeat, only to be worn out and unable to enjoy any free time you have. Work-life balance is when you are happy and enjoy a wide variety of areas that give your life balance and meaning. Work-life balance is sometimes referred to as work-life integration or work-life harmony.
Do you have work-life balance? Many people don’t like the term ‘work-life balance’ for multiple reasons.
- It is difficult to create a work-life balance when working, commuting and having a family.
- Balance in all areas of life is difficult when the focus is often on one or two main areas.
- It is difficult to have a work-life balance when more and more paperwork for work is required to be completed online at home or even training in your free time.
For me, work-life balance is like a seesaw sometimes up, sometimes down. It is also like a wheel with each spoke representing a different area in my life. Family, work this is as an employee, business owner or entrepreneur, health, relationships, financial, personal growth, fun and leisure.
When you may need to implement work-life balance strategies.
Suppose you are a small business owner or an entrepreneur. In that case, it is important to implement the 5 strategies for work-life balance as all too often, you are so passionate about your business that you neglect other areas of your life.
For my husband, Carsten, golf is his passion outside of his work. He enjoys his work and shares his skills with many people through an educational YouTube channel.
If you are an unhappy employee, you need to have a past-time you enjoy. You never know if this past-time could one day lead to a business or a second income. As employee hours get reduced in many industries, a lot of people are turning to creating a business of their passion for bringing in another stream of income.
Related post: Balancing work life and blogging.
Life has many ups and downs. It can be a bumpy ride. There are days you will be feeling like you have a work-life balance, other days, the road will be a little bumpy when the tyre is flat on one side. When the tyre is flat, you may be feeling down due to ill health, your relationships, lack of finances, lack of fun time or your business being overwhelming. During these times, refer to the 5 strategies for work-life balance to bring balance back into your life.
Related post: How to write down your goals for a more balanced life.
With the term work-life balance, you need to look at the big picture. Overall if you focus on different areas of your life you will get balance. Sometimes you may feel your wheel is small, with small achievements in many of life’s areas. As you put strategies in place, your life wheel will develop and become evener. To start with, just be aware. Awareness of creating a work-life balance by focusing on specific areas of your life is a plus.
The quote ‘Never gets so busy making a living that you forget to make a life’ outlines the importance of work-life balance.
5 strategies for work-life balance
Plan your week on a Sunday
Have a schedule and plan. Update this plan weekly. Put in work shifts, meetings, business calls for your own business, community volunteering, sport, your time and also meal times. A clear plan helps the family know the whereabouts of each other.
I like to plan the meals for the week, check my work shifts, plan business calls and plan training calls. In short, I update my calendar on a Sunday and write the shopping list for the meals. The shopping I sometimes delegate as I have a shared app with the family wunderlist which I write the shopping on and the whole family can check it, update it and do the shopping.
Related post: Productive Sundays lead to a productive week.
Schedule some ‘Me time’
With so much to do daily, work, business, family, kids, community, sport, banking, and shopping there is little time left for ‘you’. You need to schedule ‘me’ time. To have it all, you need to look after yourself. Schedule 30 minutes at least a day of ‘me’ time. It is your time, private time for you and the activities you would like to do during that time.
In an emergency on an aeroplane, the flight attendants always ask you to put your own mask on first before fitting your children or helping others nearby. Why? Because you need to save yourself first, in order to help your family and other passengers.
Below are some suggestions on how to spend some quality me time and nurture yourself.
- Relax with no phone, no social media.
- Go for a beautiful relaxed walk in nature
- Chat with a friend
- Read a book
- Soak in the bath
- Have a massage
Related post: Goals for self love.
Nurture your family and relationships
Relationships with your family and friends need nurturing. Good relationships don’t just happen. To form great relationships, spend quality time together. It is quality over quantity. Communicate in person, over the phone if long distance. Share ideas, life’s lessons, and fun times. Support each other in difficult times. When with each other, it is important to turn off phones, turn off the tv and be with each other.
We eat as a family every evening, share our day and find time to share activities together, cook together, go on walks, have days outs, and go away together.
If you don’t nurture your family and relationships, your work-life balance may suffer in more areas than just family and relationships as all areas of life are interconnected.
Create a daily morning routine
Start the day with a morning routine. A morning routine can add a lot of value to your life. Consequently, starting your day by doing something for yourself by getting up earlier than your children is valuable. This may be exercise, meditation, reading, or a healthy breakfast.
I start my day with S.A.V.E.R.S. S.A.V.E.R.S are from the book ‘The Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod. What I learned from the book is that if I start my day with personal development for my mind, health and body, I can transform areas of my life and start my day with clarity. Check out the book by clicking on the image below to find out how you can start your day with Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading and Scribing.
Related post: Win the day with a productive morning routine.
Establish work-life boundaries
Today technology means you are available 24/7. Although you do not need to be. On the contrary, it is important to establish work-life boundaries so that you can balance your life wheel.
As passionate entrepreneurs and business owners, you never shut down, yet it is important for health to set a boundary between work and other areas of your life. When work is finished, turn off the computer, stop notifications on your email, and messages and spend time nurturing yourself. As an employee too, learn to say NO, put boundaries in place, spend time at home with family when you say you will, enjoy ‘me’ time and rejuvenate. Choose to create a more balanced life.