Work. Life. Balance?
Work-life balance. It's something that we hear about frequently. However, whether you're the owner of your business, are passionate about your industry, or truly love the company you work for, turning off and having "you time" can be challenging. Too often, the line between work and personal time is a blurry one.
So what can you do to relax, switch off, and benefit yourself, your family, and your mental health in the long run? Here's a few easy routines that will have a positive impact when you begin to feel overwhelmed by your to-do list, or find yourself responding to work emails at 11pm on a Friday night.
1. One hour per day = you time. Whether that be a yoga class, bubble bath, bike ride, or reading a good book, schedule one hour every day where you do something that makes you happy. Put this in your calendar. Set an alarm if you can't remember to do it. It's only 4% of your day, and will help you reset and feel refreshed.
2. Boundaries. This is one that I personally struggle with. HOW do you turn off when you love what you do? After trialing this against my will, I realized how much more productive I was after setting some boundaries and sticking to them. Giving your brain a chance to power down and not think about work makes you feel so much more clear-headed when you start again the next day. I found myself coming up with solutions to projects that seemed almost too big to think about at the end of the previous day.
So how do you do this one? Easy. Turn off push notifications from your emails after you finish for the day. Put up an out of office message if it makes you feel better. Advise coworkers and clients that you are available during certain hours and stick to that. Do you feel like this is literally an impossible task that you could never successfully do? Consider hiring a virtual assistant to handle clients and employees after you clock off for the day.
3. Vacation days. This one goes hand in hand with the previous bullet point but it's worth mentioning. Take your vacation days! We have them for a reason.
4. Energy management > Time management. Are you super pumped in the morning and ready to take on all the tasks? Then, by 2pm are you crashing, burning, and basically napping in your own lap? Or maybe you're a night owl who does their best brainstorming after the rest of the world has gone to bed. Think about the time of day where you usually feel most energized and plan to tackle your big projects then.
5. Time audit. These are something I do frequently. They're great for a bit of self-reflection and to look at what you spend most of your day doing. Keep a detailed log of what you do each day for a few days. Often looking at this on paper can help you work out where you could and should be focusing more of your time and energy.