“Life is all about balance. You don’t always need to be getting stuff done. Sometimes it’s perfectly okay, and absolutely necessary, to shut down, kick back, and do nothing.”- Lori Deschene
Being a 25 year old millennial woman, the typical mindset for someone like me is ‘hustle, hustle, hustle’. It’s something that has become popular within the last couple of years, just like unicorn sweatshirts and avocado toast. It can be very difficult to set boundaries and create a work-life balance.
The more and more I’m reading, however, the more I’m seeing that the hustle is turning into something that isn’t all that good for us.
Because, just like with everything else in life, there needs to be balance.
We need moments where we can take a break, and actually relax. Not sitting on our phones as a distraction from our lives. We need to be completely present in our lives, every day.
I’ve reached this point since starting my blog and business of needing a work-life balance. I’ve been up at 7am and working until I go to bed around 10pm, and this is SO not healthy. My back hates me. It’s dangerous to be at that point because it’s so easy to feel defined by your business. It’s easy to believe that we need to overwork at the beginning of a business to achieve or deserve any sort of success.
And, while you do have to put in work with anything you want out of life, there is also a limit to how much you should be working. If you are only working and focusing on your job, there’s no room left for relationships or girl’s night or relaxing watching Netflix with the pups.
A little tip: you will see far more success with a work-life balance than you will working 24/7.
Things take time, and success takes time. It will not happen in one day, even though it may seem that’s how it happened for other people. Your job is only part of your life. There are other things that should be moved up much higher on your list, and above your job. Because genuine relationships and breaks away from what you ‘should be doing’ will help you recharge and be back to your badass self so much quicker.
Why Work-Life Balance Is Important
Work-life balance means you will have lower stress levels, increased productivity, and improved overall health. Sounds like a win, right?
If you don’t have a balance, the scale gets tipped too far on either side. When you are just staying at home all day not doing anything, something is off there too. A balance for anything is the healthiest way you can be.
The same goes for eating healthy and trying to be in good shape. Most of the time, your diet should consist of healthy foods and exercising daily. But, what fun would it be without that little bit of chocolate at the end of the day? You appreciate that piece of chocolate so much more because you work hard for it, and feel it’s deserved. And it helps balance out this feeling of being too hard on yourself.
The same goes for working. It’s fine to work your ass off, but you need those moments where you take a break. You totally deserve that! Even if you don’t think you do, it’s easier to take a break once you put in a good days worth.
Set A Limit Of Hours You Work A Day
This is tricky, because some people think 8 hours a day is enough, and others won’t stop until they’ve reached 12 hours. 8 hours is a good gauge to go off because that’s the regulated amount that businesses allow before paying overtime. And if you are more comfortable with a 4 hour work day, more power to you!
As for the entrepreneurs who struggle to separate their work and home life because their office is in their home, you need to be more diligent. I’ve struggled with this myself. Knowing when to completely shut off from work (including any sort of researching on your phone) is tough.
With anything in life, it takes developing a new habit and adding it into your daily routine. So focus on setting an end time every day, and if it’s 6 pm, stick to it. Work on setting your boundaries to completely shut off by that time. Even if that’s the first thing you do for your business, it will start to help you focus on the important things to get done that day.
When you set a deadline for yourself, it’s easier to focus on the tasks and make sure you finish on time. That way, you will have a more organized schedule during the day and you will feel better about shutting off once the time comes.
Make Plans With People You Care About
Success isn’t everything. An abundant life is more about having the right people in your life, and nurturing those relationships. Make it a point to get in touch with your friends and family weekly, and set dates during the month to hang out.
I have five brothers and sisters that I am really close to, and sometimes it’s hard to get caught up with them with our different schedules. That’s why it’s easier to ask a week or so in advanced to have dinner or go on a hike.
If you can make this a priority, you will have already have a strong work-life balance. Trust me, it’s so easy to get stuck in a routine. You wake up at 5am, get ready for work, get off of work and head straight to the sofa. These are comforting things, but it doesn’t create a healthy balance for yourself.
If you rely on those nights where you can just recharge and be alone, plan around that. You can have most of the days in the week be like that, but make one night your night to hang out with fun people. This will boost your happiness, and it can help you deal with stress by staying connected to people and talking through things.
Don’t Take Work Home With You
I’ve been guilty of this, multiple times. It’s difficult when you are at a job for 40+ hours a week. It kinda becomes your second home, and sometimes you see the people at work more than you see the people you actually wanna hang out with.
The fight for keeping work at work is tough. If you have a work phone with constant emails being sent to it, or work from home, the challenge for separating yourself from work gets harder.
This will take some elbow grease on your part. You need to set boundaries with your work phone, and shut it off after a certain time every day. And if you work from home, set a designated space for your office, then shut things down and don’t come back until the next day.
These are just some simple tips for separating yourself from your job. When you work at a place that you aren’t very fond of, that can be really hard to let go of.
And if you work at a place that is just draining your soul, it can be very hard to let that go after hours. I used to think about work constantly. I’d always count down the minutes until I was off work, and then obsess about how little time I had before I needed to be back at work. It sucked. But in order to keep your sanity, you need to work hard at leaving work at the door to your office.
I usually work on my mindset and take a lot of deep breaths throughout the night. If you can focus on being present in the moment, it’s easier to ignore work. Because you are paying attention to being in the moment and enjoying the time that you do have to be off of work.
Creating a balance for yourself can be easy, if you are persistent with it. Saying ‘I’ll work on this later!’ won’t get you very far.
It’s good to just set some strong boundaries, and get into the habit of your balance. Trust me, you will be a much better friend and partner when you know how to separate yourself from work. The healthiest people know when to stop thinking about work and be present with the people they love.
It creates strong relationships, and makes you a much happier person!
What are some ways you create your own work-life balance?