Work-life balance can be a challenge for the work-at-home entrepreneur. However, balancing your work with your life is very important for your health and the health of your business.
NOTE: To help me get back into the routine of blogging, I’m accepting guest posts. Here is one I arranged for before the accident. Good stuff!
5 work-life balance tips for busy women
By Jennifer Scott
For women, finding the ideal work-life balance seems like pursuing a moving target. With obligations at the office, at home and elsewhere, it can feel like an endless juggling act, with every obligation getting less attention than it deserves. The good news is achieving work-life balance is within reach. These tips will help you get there.
Take care of your physical and mental health
The need to take care of your physical and emotional health through getting enough sleep; eating a healthy, balanced diet; and finding ways to manage stress may seem like it’s merely one more thing on your plate that demands your time and attention. But the truth is that your stress level, emotional well-being, and physical health actually play major roles in work-life balance.
When your physical or emotional health is suffering, you’ll find it more difficult to focus on the tasks at hand at work and find yourself getting stressed out more easily. In fact, many symptoms of stress include dissatisfaction with your job, low morale and other problems such as sleep disorders, which only compound the issue over time. Make your health and well-being a priority, and you’ll feel more balanced in all areas of your life.
Carma’s Note: Many women overlook this. We often put others’ needs before our own. But realize this: If you don’t keep yourself healthy, you won’t have the energy to help others. I like to think of it as putting on my oxygen mask before aiding others’ with theirs.
Visualize your best possible self
Take just 15 minutes every day to visualize your ideal life. Get detailed about every aspect: your family, relationships, career, education, health and even hobbies and other recreational activities. The idea is not to get hung up on barriers that have hindered your ability to achieve specific goals (the time constraints and other issues that create a poor work-life balance), but simply to imagine what your ideal life would look like in every aspect if those barriers did not exist.
Write it out, detail for detail, as you visualize what it would look like and feel like to truly realize every achievement you desire for your life. There’s power in visualizing success, and visualization and meditation are great stress-busters, too. The more you practice this exercise the easier you’ll find it to overcome barriers and make those dreams a reality.
Carma’s Note: What you focus on expands … so why not focus on what you want your life to be?
Schedule downtime as you schedule work, school and other commitments
Many women find that scheduling downtime is an effective way to ensure that you’re getting a good balance between work and play. For instance, scheduling two hours every Saturday for taking a walk with a friend or some retail therapy, or planning an hour each day to focus on you can help you stick to your commitments outside of your demanding career.
Carma’s Note: And stick to that schedule! It is easy to have something on your calendar and then when the time comes, brush it off as frivolous in light of pressing concerns. Honor your commitments to yourself.
Find creative ways to save time
Women who achieve work-life balance do so because they get creative about cutting down on time commitments. Find ways to reduce the time you spend on various tasks, such as using an app for coupons instead of paging through the Sunday newspaper each week.
Meetings and emails are another common time suck. Try conference calls to get everyone on the same page at the same time. Use a conference call service that allows you to record so that you can revisit later for important details you may have missed.
Pursue a flexible schedule
Talk to your boss or your HR department about flexible work options. If you tend to be more productive in the evening, for instance, negotiate a later start time and spend a few hours in the morning taking care of tasks at home. Staying later in the evening will help you take advantage of that evening energy to get more done at the office.
No matter how demanding your work obligations, there are ways to regain balance between your family and career. Sometimes it takes a bit of creativity to find the tricks and adjustments that work for you, but over time you’ll develop your own personal skill set (work-life balance hacks, if you will) that give you the balance you’ve been striving for.
About Jennifer Scott
Jennifer Scott is a lifelong sufferer of anxiety and depression. She created her website, SpiritFinder.org, as a platform for advocacy on opening up about mental health. Through the site, she hopes to share the types of steps and success stories that can help others realize their own power. When she isn’t working on her website, she enjoys traveling, working with animals, and seeking out new friendships and adventures.