The terms work and life often don’t play well together. We all want to achieve a healthy work-life balance, but we’re often connected 24 hours a day, making the separation between work and home impossible.
With the advent of the internet and the hardware and technology that came along, entrepreneurs have found smartphones, tablets and computers a blessing and a curse. Thanks to these devices, anyone can work from anywhere. Although that is a blessing, there is no stopping a person from working at all hours to sheer exhaustion.
A work-life balance isn’t about building a difficult to achieve wall between personal and professional commitments. It’s about integrating the two to find balance.
So what can busy entrepreneurs and employees do to achieve a satisfying balance between private and professional responsibilities? Here are five steps to managing a business-life balance:
Step 1. Recognize how you’ve been using your time
Take the time to recognize and note how your days go. How much time do you spend answering emails or on social media or unnecessary meetings and tasks? How much time do you allow yourself for lunch? Do you ever take a small break to recharge before the next big task?
Once you can recognize where the hours of your days go, you can start streamlining your schedule and selecting which activities can be outsourced, avoided or minimized to free up time for more important things.
Step 2. Set boundaries
Once you recognize the use of your time, decide on what activities and responsibilities are most important for you to achieve a healthy life-work balance. A calendar can be helpful in organizing your life.
Create two calendars: one for work and one for family. A calendar will remind you and keep you on task with both parts of your life. Use your calendar to schedule and plan your days. Be conscious that there are as many important personal activities scheduled as there are business-related tasks.
Step 3. Stick to a daily routine
A daily routine will help keep you on track to achieve the balance you want. Some good routines to incorporate into your life include sleeping eight hours each night, having breakfast with the family in the morning, exercising at sunrise, or avoiding emails until after 9 am.
Step 4. Make time for yourself
Simple moments like a 15 minute break between meetings give you the opportunity to recharge. Take a walk, be conscious of your breathing or have a snack. Small blocks of time for yourself give you the opportunity to momentarily disconnect, relax and refocus.
Once small breaks become part of your routine, add bigger breaks in order to care for yourself. Exercise, a weekly massage or sports activities with friends are vital to life balance.
Step 5. Avoid multitasking
Be present and consistent in all you do. When you’re multitasking, you’re not fully involved in the moment. This can slow down the pace of the activities you’re working on in the work world. And in personal relationships, multitasking keeps you from connecting with loved ones and friends. Choose to do one thing at a time as best you can to remain present and be the best person you can be.