Tackling Work-Life Imbalance

As a business owner or entrepreneur, you may have the freedom to control your work schedule, but that doesn’t make it easier to achieve work-life balance. In fact, a study conducted by Melissa Milkie and her colleagues at the University of Toronto found that people who set their own working hours and work over 50 hours a week tend to have more, not fewer, work-life conflicts.

If it seems the work will never end, making changes in how you work can reduce your workload, free up time for your nonwork life, and prevent burnout. Here are three ways to better manage your work hours.

  • Delegate

If you’re just starting out, you may not be in a position yet to delegate a lot of what you’re doing to get your business off the ground. But experts say that three years in, you shouldn’t still be putting in 70 hours a week. Hiring right, and training well, will keep you from doing the job of two people.

  • Be Productive

There are so many distractions to draw us away from the task at hand, and I don’t mean the obvious ones like social media. You can get sidetracked from pursuing your most important goals by day-to-day emails and calls. If you’re not achieving what you set out to do each week, take a close look at how you are spending your time at work and consider trying a different time management system.

  • Segment Smarter

Achieving work-life balance doesn’t mean sticking to traditional working hours of Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, and not working the rest of the week. You might find mixing work and nonwork segments throughout your week is more effective for your schedule and workflow. For example, managing email in the evening when there are fewer distractions might help you get through your inbox faster, and work more efficiently the following day, opening up time for a nonwork activity. 

For some people, stress and stress-related health issues are signs that their work-life balance is off. Focusing on how you spend your nonworking hours can help you get the most benefit from the time away work. In a previous blogpost, I recommended three ways to make changes in your personal life that help can help improve your health and mindset.

Work-Life Balance: How to Get It

With working professionals having technology accessible 24/7, fearing job loss, and ultimately working 50+ hours each week, it’s clear that stress is common.  But it can also be damaging.   A work-life balance might mean something different to everyone, but it means everything to your health and happiness.  Here are some tips to help balance them: 1 – Detach yourself from your electronics!  Spend some quality time playing a board game with your kids at night. Sit down for half an hour with a book in your hand.  Turn your phone off.  Put your tablet away.  Get rid of the text and email distractions because most of the time they’re work related.  Just unplug for a short time each day! 2 – Exercise!  It’s important to make time in your calendar daily to pump feel-good endorphins through your body.  It helps to lift your mood and tackle your day without feeling sluggish.  Even if you just take a walk on your lunch break (without your cell phone) or go for a walk with your family at night (without your cell phone).  Just make time for some daily 30-minute movement (even Yoga counts).  3 – Stop being an overachiever!  Life is complicated.  As adults, we have more responsibilities.  Often we strive to be perfectionists in out-of-reach situations.  Don’t push yourself so hard.  We are all human.  Work hard, but let your overachieving attitude go. Don’t demand so much of yourself.  It just creates more unwanted stress.  Goals are good. Perfectionism is not. PJ's New Pic (smaller) ActionCoach-logo
If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079.
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