At some point in everybody’s lives they take a step back and realise that their work-life balance isn’t working or during retirement they look back and wish they took more time to spend with their loved ones rather than sitting behind their desk day in and day out. Here are seven ways to improve your work – life balance today:
1) Accept Accountability & Responsibility
There is a direct correlation between the feeling of being happy and in control. Your work-life balance is of your own making; it is a direct reflection of the choices you have made and how you have spent your time. Sadly, there is no magic fix, it is down to you to accept fully responsibility and commit to taking the necessary steps to move forward.
2) Live your life by design
Take the time to map out clearly what you want and commit it to paper. Very carefully consider the following;
- Your Sense of purpose/job/role satisfaction
- Your family and other key relationships
- Your health
- Your income and net worth
- Your life goals (career, personally, bucket list)
Accept that you can create a great life for yourself but you will also have to compromise. Time Vs. Money has been a conundrum for time immemorial. Moving forward, plan to invest in your relationship, and home life as much as you do in your career. Don’t fall into the financial services traditional ‘pot of gold at the end of the rainbow’ delayed gratification life plan myth. The journey needs to be as enjoyable as the destination
3) A little investment goes a long way
Achieving a successful work- life balance takes discipline and improving this balance often involves making short – term sacrifices. For example the initial process of delegating a task is significantly harder than just doing the job yourself. But the outcome and net benefit can be truly remarkable. Find and invest five extra hours to systemise and delegate a function that normally takes up hours of your time each week, and in the course of the next year, you have gained back more than 100 hours. You are in control.
4) Time is a currency, learn to value it and spend it wisely
Think about the highest value use of your time and your hourly rate?
Use your time efficiently as making time to build systems and improve your business can be transformational.
The biggest work –life balance issue is having too much to do which can result in poor performance. The solution is, do less and do it better.
Focus on the highest value or most important areas and delegate the lower value areas. Both inside and outside of work, compartmentalize your time and focus 100% on the thing you are doing.
Be disciplined and book in quality time with your children and partner and be conscious to remove the distraction of smartphones and laptops. If you do need to bring work home, work in one room in the house. Get it done and then close the door on it.
5) Seek to control what you can.
There are inevitable ups and downs as your journey unfolds: you cannot control every throw of the dice. Priorities will change with your age and your stage of life. A typical adult suffers some form of major challenge in their life on average once every quarter. If you are a business owner then you have a wealth of people who depend on you and who you depend on, so the number of challenges you face are higher than normal.
It is important to accept there are some things that you cannot control. Focus your energy on the aspects of your life that you can influence and try not to worry about those you cannot.
6) Look after yourself
It is no good prioritising your business goals to the detriment of your body and well being. Your mental well being is also as equally important as your physical one in this regard. Make sure you are selective with what you dwell on and surround yourself with positive people. Success and drive are infectious, you will spur each other on to greater things whereas pessimistic people will equally drag you down to their glass is half empty attitude.
7) Create a new routine and work at it until it forms a habit.
It is easy enough to get fired up and excited about the prospect of improving your life but the hard part is sticking with it. Old patterns die hard and new ones are tricky to form, in order to succeed you need to approach this whole heartedly. Read your list of goals and key immediate tasks every morning to keep you on track throughout the day. Keep a copy in your phone and read it again at lunchtime and at the end of the day. Continuously reviewing your performance is important as it shows what tasks you have succeeded in achieving and what the next steps should be.
Good Luck in improving your Work-Life Balance! To read more ‘Thinking like a Rockstar’ Articles. Start here with Why Learning to Let Go is Essential to Achieving your Goals.