The Trick to Achieving Work-Life Balance

Even when you love your work, the goal is not to have it consume your entire life. To ensure it doesn’t takes a concerted effort.

Interested in Business?

Get Business articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Business + Get Alerts

Every business owner wishes for more hours in the day — for more time to grow their business and to get things done, but also for more time to relax, enjoy the entrepreneurial life, and spend time with family.

Finding enough time to cross everything off your to-do list is hard and achieving actual work-life balance can seem impossible. While you can’t produce any more hours in your day, you can still make smart decisions that put balance within reach.

Is “Balance” the Right Word?

First, a paradigm shift might be helpful. You’re probably not going to have many days of true equilibrium between work and personal stuff. That’s just not how life works. Straining for perfect balance is foolhardy. What you should expect is some give and take — days where you need to spend a few more hours at the office, and days where you need to focus on your family or on your personal health. 

Boundaries are Essential

To help you regulate that give and take, it’s important to give yourself some boundaries. This can happen in different ways:

  • Schedule days off or even hour-long breaks to go to the gym or have lunch with your family. Put these times on your calendar and treat them like client appointments. In other words, don’t blow them off.
  • Create limits on access. For instance, refrain from sending or checking work emails when you’re at home. Consider a work phone that you can turn off on weekends or on days off.
  • Put boundaries on physical space, too. Make sure you leave all your work stuff at the office. There’s no need to bring home company financial statements or balance sheets to review at the kitchen table.

Take Social Commitments Seriously

As you’re invited to nonwork events — family dinners, birthday parties, anniversary celebrations — make sure you enter them into your calendar. Again, treat them like you would appointments with a client or a colleague. Don’t neglect them just because things come up at the office.

Make Time for Personal Health

Work-life balance isn’t only about spending time with your family. It’s also about making time for yourself. You need to exercise. You need to blow off steam. You need to get fresh air. You need to have fun. Take some time to be by yourself and attend to your physical, mental, and emotional health on a regular basis.

Trust People

You’ll never achieve anything even close to equilibrium if you don’t learn to delegate and to outsource. As the business owner, it falls to you to create the vision and the strategy, and to handle some of the big-picture stuff. But there’s no reason why you should have to handle every little administrative task that comes up. Learn to entrust other people with some of these simple, repeatable tasks.

Embrace the Give and Take

You may not find that every day is perfectly balanced between work and home, but with these tips, you can ensure that, in the big picture, you’re giving plenty of attention to both.

About the Author

Amanda E. Clark is the president and editor-in-chief of Grammar Chic, a full-service professional writing company. She is a published ghostwriter and editor, and she's currently under contract with literary agencies in Malibu, California and Dublin.

Since founding Grammar Chic in 2008, Clark, along with her team of skilled professional writers, has offered expertise to clients in the creative, business and academic fields. The company accepts a wide range of projects; often engages in content and social media marketing; and drafts resumes, press releases, web content, marketing materials and ghostwritten creative pieces. Contact Clark at www.grammarchic.net.



Discussion

Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.