Without balance, life becomes chaotic - you have too many things to do, and don’t seem to have enough time or energy.
And because there are so many different areas to work and life, it can be hard to separate them. You may feel like a fog is in your brain and that you have less enjoyment and focus.
However, when you are in balance with your life, things seem to flow effortlessly. You get tasks done at work, plenty of sleep, manage to spend some time with family and friends, and have time for hobbies to boot!
But how do you achieve this Nirvana?!
Simple! You focus on limited areas at a time, and you only do the activity (and nothing else) when you do it.
So when you are working, just work.
When you are playing, just play.
When you are resting, just rest.
That is all there is to the work-life balance act.
By trying to multi-task, you sap your mental energy and cause yourself anguish! It can be hard to not think of anything but the task at hand, but doing so is the first step to balance.
The next step is to assess what is important to you, and what it means to you to be balanced. There are general areas where our attention is needed, but for some people one area consumes them more than any other.
Thinking about the following areas; what is most important? What is least important?
Health (mental and physical), Work (career or business), Social (Time with family and friends), Fun (hobbies and activities like movies etc)
By thinking about the areas of life that you most want to focus on, you can see where you currently are and where you want to be and develop the actions for how to be successful in those areas. Ensuring your activities align with your goals will develop balance.
Especially, when working - work life balance can come from the team you are in. The importance of team work within a corporate culture is that without it, the balance of the business will be out.
This is because the corporate culture will define how you and others balance and manage work and life. Part of effective communication - which assists in work life balance - is understanding how to motivate your team and knowing what is leadership, and how to be a leader - including delegating tasks.
Here are some tips and tricks to maintaining a work-life balance:
Prioritize your activities - Use your calendar and block out time in chunks of 45 minutes to around 1 hour (or try the Pomodoro Technique) to be able to get all the A tasks done first then if you have time Bs then Cs
Start small - your brain finds it easier to cope with tasks if you start small.
Review how you went and complete the process again for the next day
Stop and celebrate for completing your tasks
Using the quadrant below, label your work activities as urgent and important, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, or not urgent and not important.
A. Urgent and important: A tasks are things that were once Bs and may have changed to As because the urgency has been moved up and they must be done today!
B. Important but not urgent: B tasks are activities that can be planned and are done after As.
C. Urgent but not important: C tasks tend to be interruptions like phone calls or emails.
D. Not urgent and not important: D tasks are ones that should be delegated or deleted from your list.
Limit the amount of tasks per day to a manageable amount - around 9 is good.
If your task would take longer than three hours, break it up into smaller chunks.
Remember the principles of management for tasks- ensure that you always get all your As done before Bs, and make a note if you don’t and why.
And most importantly, if you don’t stop and celebrate your accomplishments, you aren’t being balanced! Celebrating your work by doing things that bring you joy, is the last step to getting into balance.
In conclusion, by being balanced in your work and life, things will go smoother. Keeping the lines of communication open and delegating tasks will allow your brain the time to process situations better. By focusing on just once activity at a time, whatever it is, you get the most from it.
Being able to just do one task at a time is the first step toward balancing work and life, the next is to assess what is important to you, and the last step is to set goals around those areas and work toward them, one at a time celebrating your accomplishments.
One more thing before you go.
Although we do love spreadsheets, we know that approach won't keep you afloat for long. In this day and age, using a customer relationship management tool (CRM) effectively can be instrumental in helping your business grow. Download our free ebook: Beginner's guide to CRM.