For many of us, particularly small business owners, finding a balance between your work life and your personal life can often prove difficult. Although running your business is important, life outside of work is just as important; spending time doing the things you love.
Here’s how you can make your first steps to ensure a healthy balance between the two:
1. Develop your self-awareness
Self-awareness is the conscious knowledge of one’s own character, emotions and desires. Becoming more self-aware will allow you to understand what you want to achieve and what is stopping you from doing this. Here are some ways to help you:
Get your own mentor or coach - someone to ask you direct and awkward questions that you may not have thought of yourself. They will help you to notice your own filters, lenses, assumptions and limiting beliefs.
Look out for ‘jolts’- moments when you feel any kind of negative emotions. Think about your thoughts in these moments because they’ll highlight what’s stopping you. For example, putting other’s needs and wants before your own can be a limiting belief and you may need to let go of this thought in order to create a better work-life blend.
Determine your definition of success - what are your main goals and objectives in life? What do you really want to achieve? What would your ideal life look like? Picture this and write it down- it will make you more motivated and you will get a better understanding on how to achieve your goals.
Journaling and reflection - spend 5-10 minutes every day to consciously reflect and journal to yourself:
- Record the ‘jolts’ you notice each day- once you have 10-20 jolts, see if there is a recurring theme, for example a pattern of behaving or a regular assumption or belief. Then think to yourself ‘how is this affecting me?’
- Reflect on the extent to which you’ve kept your work-life promises. If you have, acknowledge yourself. If you haven’t, what got in your way and how could you overcome the obstacle next time?
2. Promise yourself
Make a promise to have some vital time to ‘do nothing’ each day- make sure you are resting and relaxing. Take responsibility- understand that it is only you who can create what you want for yourself and stop making excuses.
3. Move forward step by step
Creating a work-life blend won’t happen instantly- it’s a process which will take time. You’ll need to stay focused on your promise to yourself, then move forward step-by-step.
- Develop a ‘go-to’ phrase to guide you and prioritise what is most important for you.
- Learn to say ‘no’ and stop doing things that you don’t want to
- Schedule your priorities
- Use ‘dead time’- for example, next time you are waiting for the train, don’t automatically check your emails, instead use the time to do something useful related to your promise, for example reading.
- Be 100% present to the moment you’re in: you’ll enjoy your work and non-work time more if your thoughts aren’t worrying about what will happen tomorrow.