Work-life balance seems to be a common struggle for entrepreneurs and business workers, alike. In fact, according to a Harvard Business School survey, “94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week.” And according to Forbes.com,”nearly 20% of today’s workforce is a family caregiver during “off-work” hours.” Stress from an almost never-ending workday is damaging to your health, family, relationships, and overall happiness. And on top of that, it actually decreases your productivity.
Balancing work and your family life means something different to every individual, but there are ways to find the harmony between the two. Here are a few of our tips to help you harmonize both aspects of your life so that everyone is healthy and happy.
Kevin Kurse, Forbes.com contributor, wrote an article entitled, “Work-Life Balance: Tips From 24 Entrepreneurs Boiled Down To 1,” where he interviewed 24 leaders of start-ups and entrepreneurs, asking about their work and life balance. Out of all the tips and tricks, the most mentioned piece of advice was keeping a schedule. If you schedule time for work projects, shouldn’t you do that same for family and other areas of your life?
Kurse also says to schedule but don’t make a to-do list. Instead, put all your to-dos on your calendar. “If you want to have an amazing life, you have to be intentional about it. Your calendar is the plan for your time. And time equals life,” said Kurse.
Think about your top priorities and create block times on your calendar to accommodate them. Dinner with the family, going for a jog, date night with your significant other…treat all of these as you would a doctor appointment. You decide what means balance for you and create the life you want for yourself.
Let’s face it. We are all glued to our phones. Whether for business or pleasure, your smartphone is as big of a distraction as it is a helpful tool. However, when it comes to working, it has also created expectations of constant accessibility. The workday never seems to end as co-workers and clients can have constant contact with you.
Instead, make quality time true quality time and turn your phone off. This act of self-control can actually make you a stronger person, as well as more present in your own life. According to Robert Brooks, a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and co-author of The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence and Personal Strength in Your Life, “Resilient people feel a greater sense of control over their lives,” says Brooks. Inturn, reactive people have less control and are more prone to stress. If you have scheduled a time to hang out with your family, then be with your family, wholeheartedly.
You are no use to your company or your family if you are burnt out. Not only will you be tired, but your creativity will be greatly stunted, affecting your job performance.
Slow down. Stop striving for perfectionism and start aim for excellence instead.
Self-care is the kind of activity that yields big positive benefits from just a few simple acts. A bit of self-care each day boosts your physical and mental health, and your work performance, as well.
Make sure you are getting your basic needs:
- At least seven hours of sleep a night
- Eat healthy food and avoid junk food and excessive eating or drinking.
Among these basics, schedule in time to meditate. Short, meditative exercises like deep breathing or grounding your senses in your present surroundings, are great places to start. “The more you do these, the more you activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which calms everything down, (and) not just in the moment,” says Psychotherapist Bryan Robinson, author of the book Chained to the Desk.
Although self-care isn’t complex, it can be difficult to practice. It may feel selfish at times, but you won’t be able to help those around you if you don’t care for yourself first. Whatever you do to care for yourself will maintain your positive energy and capacity to juggle work and family caregiving.
Comment below and let us know how you stay balanced!