5 Tips For A Better Work-Life Balance
If you’re anything like me, you left your typical 9-5 job because you craved a better work-life balance. In my case, I wanted a career that gave me the flexibility to work around my kids’ schedules. I wanted to volunteer in their classrooms, go on their field trips, take them to appointments, watch their mid-day Christmas concerts, and anything else that might have come up.
My previous career in childcare would never have accommodated that. So, I left. And I haven’t looked back since. But that’s not to say that things are all sunshine and rainbows. Sure, as an entrepreneur, I could choose my hours and had a ton of flexibility, but I felt like I was working allllll the time.
Wake up before the kids, work.
Get the kids to daycare and school, then work.
Pick the kids up, dinner, bed, then back to work.
There was NO work-life balance.
And in a time where technology is so easily accessible when I wasn’t “working,” I was still working.
“I’ll respond to that message real quick.”
“I’ll make that edit real quick.”
“I’ll get that sent out real quick.”
Visiting with friends, family dinners, and birthday parties – I was constantly checking my phone. I was always working.
Then, burnout hit.
…and then I started to lose my passion for my work.
And that’s when I knew things HAD to change. I had to do something, ANYTHING, to find a better, more sustainable work-life balance. After all, that’s why I started this.
Slowly and surely, I started implementing strategies to help find that balance. Of course, it’s always a work in progress, and I often have to remind myself to put these strategies in place, but here are five things I have found helpful in gaining a better work-life balance for me:
I have to admit, this is one I STRUGGLE with. My husband is always telling me to get off my phone, shut off my computer, and finish work for the day. But it’s tough for me. The people-pleaser in me always wants to help. I know it’s for the best, and I need to improve at setting boundaries. As I said, I’m working on it.
I make a list of priorities, professionally and personally, and focus on the most important tasks. The other tasks I try to delegate. Sometimes it’s asking family for help. Other times, it’s requesting a longer turnaround time.
This one is HUGE for me. I notice a big difference in my mood and sleep when I can disconnect during my personal time. It also allows me to be present with my family and actually enjoy the time I spend with them instead of being distracted by work.
This is key to achieving a better work-life balance. Communicating expectations with a client sets us on the right foot for developing a respectful relationship. Communicating with friends and family about my schedule and commitments helps them understand my priorities too.
Practicing self-care allows me to take time for myself – where I’m not “mom” or “wife” or “Kim,” I’m just me. It allows me to relax, reset, and recharge mentally, physically, and emotionally. But, again, this is one I struggle with. There’s never enough time in the day to make sure I take care of ME. I know you can’t pour from an empty cup, so I’m trying to be better at this one too.
My goal is to achieve a better work-life balance. But I know it’s a work in progress too. Sometimes things come up like unexpected events, deadlines, or quicker-than-normal-turnaround times, so being flexible is key. I constantly remind myself that it’s more than finding a perfect balance. It’s about making small changes over time to improve the overall quality of life. To ensure happiness is achieved because happiness is the ultimate goal.
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