Posted 5 years ago
Work can have the ability to creep into our personal lives and cross boundaries interfering with family and life outside of the office. However, achieving a work/life balance might be more attainable than we think. By making just a few simple adjustments to how we work, we can cut down on stress and other issues that can have a negative impact. With this week’s story on Platinum Rules for Success, Anne Bachrach writes about 14 different tips to improve your work/life balance.
14 Tips for Maintaining Work Life Balance
by Anne Bachrach
Maintaining balance when the demands of work and life are pulling you in different directions can be a bit challenging at times. What’s at the heart of finding balance in your life? Peace, happiness, rest, health? The definition of balance is different for everyone: What may be balance to me may not be balance to you; which is why it’s important to get to the heart of what’s uniquely important in your life. Here are 14 tips for maintaining work/life balance.
1. Identify Your Core Values (what is truly important to you in life) Above all, honoring your core values is vital to maintaining a sense of balance because it directly affects your quality of life. Identify your core values and make the necessary life/work changes that honor them so you can enjoy the kind of life you truly want and deserve. To help you identify your core values, you will find an effective exercise in the No Excuses Program (located in the Store at http://www.AccountabilityCoach.com).
2. Know Your Priorities – and Schedule Them If it’s really important, it must be scheduled. As I often say, honor thy calendar. Work and family are not the only important priorities, so be sure to schedule “you” time where you can to refuel, rejuvenate and tend to your own health and well-being. I believe that in order to stay focused on your high payoff activities and achieve your goals you must schedule everything on your calendar.
3. Establish a Home Office If you struggle with traveling to and from an office away from home, save time and get even more done by establishing a home office. Word of caution: it can be easy to get distracted by personal matters and family members when working from home, so set clear “office hours” where you can focus on work and will not be disturbed. Certainly, working virtually is much more common today than it used to be.
4. Work Remotely 1-2 Days per Week If you work best outdoors or in your favorite peaceful environment, schedule “remote” days where you can head to your favorite destination to brainstorm new business ideas or boost production.
5. Reduce Your Expenses It’s easy to get caught up in all the “doing” of life, only to lose track of how much you have to do to keep up with all the “having.” Look around you and ask, “Do I really want or need that _________?” If it’s a financial burden, and provides little or no fulfillment or return, it’s time to dump or downsize. When you don’t have to keep up with all the “having,” you can reduce the “doing” time and be even more profitable.
6. Raise Your Prices As an entrepreneur, raising your prices is one of the easiest and fastest ways to find more life/work balance. It’s pretty simple; when you’re generating more revenue, you have more of an opportunity to work less. Always make sure the value you provide exceeds the price you are charging (perceived value can be different for different people). Increasing value doesn’t mean adding more work time. There are many ways to increase value without adding your time to the equation.
7. Request a Salary Increase As a small business owner, you can always give yourself a raise, assuming there is enough profit in the business. Do the math and make sure the numbers work and give yourself that well-deserved salary increase.
8. Outsource Domestic Chores If domestic chores aren’t your cup of tea – consider delegating them. Unless household chores bring you a sense of pleasure or satisfaction, there is simply no reason to spend your valuable time tending to them. Remember, the name of the game is finding life and work balance. Hiring domestic help is an easy solution to finding more balance. Typically this is a good investment in your life.
9. Hire Personal or Professional Support Success requires assertiveness, and as a successful professional you’re likely to be effective at getting things done. But are you trying to do it all? Are you still doing too much of the low payoff activities yourself? Hiring a personal or professional support person can help you regain balance but picking up some of the slack – even if it’s only a few hours per week. You should be doing what only you can do and delegating the rest. Successful people are excellent delegators.
10. Reduce Travel Time Are you constantly racing from one client meeting to another? Reduce travel time by “chunking” client meetings together either by area or days of the week. Better yet, have them come to you, if at all possible!
11. Offer Virtual/Remote Services It may not be necessary to always meet face-to-face with clients and business partners. Explore virtual or remote services that can still be effective in order to relieve the stress and expense of travel/commute time. There are several web conferencing services available – all you need is a computer and internet connection. A few examples you may want to review are gotomeeting.com, freeconferencesharing.com, skype, and mikogo.com.
12. Integrate the Weisure Lifestyle In 2009, a CNN article, “Welcome to the Weisure Lifestyle,” highlighted a growing trend among entrepreneurs that blurred the lines between work and lifestyle. Today, that trend continues as more professionals and entrepreneurs find enjoyable ways to (and locations) to combine business and leisure. This might be something you should consider exploring. You can find this source information at: http://articles.cnn.com/2009-05-11/living/weisure_1_creative-class-richard-florida-leisure-time?_s=PM:LIVING
13. Know When to Say YES Struggling to find balance may be the result of saying yes to the wrong things. Your time is valuable, so only say yes to the things that are in alignment with your core values and help put you in the highest probability of achieving your goals. The things that are not important or are done out of obligation are better to be delegated or deleted from your task list.
14. Know When to Say NO It can be difficult to say no, but it is absolutely vital to maintaining life/work balance. We often carry an irrational thoughts and emotions when it comes to saying no. Whether it’s a fear of rejection or criticism, we often say yes when we really want to say no. If you are not willing to honor your own well-being and happiness, how can you effectively do it for anyone else? It’s up to you to say no to the things that cause havoc on your life balance. Saying ‘no’ now doesn’t mean ‘no’ forever. You can always say ‘yes’ later when it fits better into your life. We all need to make a living – and there are a myriad of ways to generate revenue in enjoyable and productive ways, other than traditional means. Opportunities to integrate the “weisure” lifestyle are vast, which creates more time to honor the perfect work/life balance that works for you. Get creative. Think outside the box. Brainstorm innovative ideas. It’s your life; create it the way that it works best for you!
Anne M. Bachrach is known as The Accountability Coach™. She has 23 years of experience training and coaching. Business owners and entrepreneurs who utilize Anne’s proven systems and processes work less, make more money, and have a more balanced and successful life. Anne is the author of the books, Excuses Don’t Count; Results Rule!, and Live Life with No Regrets; How the Choices We Make Impact Our Lives, No Excuses!, and The Work Life Balance Emergency Kit. Join the FREE Silver Inner Circle Membership today and receive 10% off on all products and services, in addition to having access to assessments and high-value resources to help you achieve your goals so you can experience a more balanced and successful life (http://www.accountabilitycoach.com/coaching-store/inner-circle-store/). Get Your Free High-Content Book from Amazon today: 10 Power Tips for Getting Focused, Organized, and Achieving Your Goals Now, by going to https://www.amazon.com/Power-Getting-Focused-Organized-Achieving-ebook/dp/B01GIL5WJ8/