It's no secret—managing all the things you have to do in your business and personal life is a challenge. From being the best in your business to taking care of yourself, managing relationships to trying to stay sane - we all have a lot on our plate.
However, I believe you can "have it all," but you certainly have to be able to have the right mind-set to balance everything you've got and live a happy, fulfilling life. To help you out in that pursuit, I have put together a list of tips that I practice which I believe will help you to maintain a healthy work-life balance:
1. If you’re truly going to act on your priorities, you need to dedicate time to them. I always map out my week in my outlook calendar and put down my priorities to create a “typical” week, with time dedicated to each of my priorities: meetings, exercise, work, social and goals. I always start with the most important and then focus on the least flexible responsibilities.
2. I wake up at 4 AM every morning. This gives me extra hours in the day and allows me to get my early morning run and training session in and start my first meetings by 7 AM which makes my day way more productive.
3. To make time for hobbies, passions, and relationships outside of work, I always make sure to have a short version of what I'd ideally love to do for busy weeks. I'd rather have a nice long dinner with a friend if I can, but during a busy week, catching a 45-minute coffee during the day is better than not seeing friends at all.
4. Reduce or eliminate multi-tasking. Be present!
5. Take time for YOU! It's important to remember that free time doesn't have to be available time. In other words, just because Thursday night is empty on your calendar, doesn't mean you have to say "yes" when your friend asks you to go to an event/dinner with her. It’s important to remind yourself that you can turn invitations down for no other reason than you want that time to yourself, that your free time can be just that—free.
6. When I have a good chunk of time to myself, I sometimes feel obligated to use it to get other things done, like errands or phone calls—but I’ve learned that the only way to use that time to truly reduce my stress level is to do something totally for me. A yoga class or quick burst of exercise is a good method to calm your spinning head, or enjoy a good pamper session (my favorite is a massage or facial.) You could also spend an hour taking your doggies for a walk or get stuck into a great book.
7. Even if I’m feeling busy, I remind myself that time away from work and the computer is energizing and important. Scheduling downtime requires a combination of time management (deciding when else to get the work done), working ahead when possible (so I have more time later), and keeping a to-do list (I’m a BIGGGG believer in to-do lists!!!)
8. Eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle. Anyone who knows me knows I cannot be without my exercise or green tea;) I put a huge emphasis on only eating healthy food that is as raw and organic as possible. I stay away from sugar and carbs. I always make sure I am setting a new training goal to keep me motivated. Most importantly the healthier your mind and body is, the more productive you will be in the workplace and the more confident you will be in everyday life.
9. I enjoy to look for activities that incorporate work and play so I can kill two birds with one stone, such as social and networking events
10. Set times for yourself. If you reserve an evening for plans with friends, your boyfriend or family, you'll focus more during the day.
11. Ever find yourself overworking because you feel you need to keep on doing MORE? Make reasons to leave. Join groups or sign up for exercises classes that meet after work so you have to stop working out at a reasonable hour. Make plans with friends ahead of time so you can't back out.
12. Sometimes when you feel surrounded by work, it’s because, well, you’re surrounding yourself with work. So, be deliberate about taking time before work, after work, or on your lunch break to step away from the office. Call your significant other, your mom, or your best friend, and ask what’s going on with them, avoiding the temptation to discuss anything even remotely work-related. Your business may be your focus for the rest of the day, but for a few minutes, move it to the back burner and focus on something (anything) else.
13. Carve out some time on the weekends—at least a few hours, but ideally a whole day—to stay away from screens. Put your computer and phone away and turn off the TV, then do something physical or creative that you really love. Go for a run. Read. Write. Your mind will be a little more refreshed and a little sharper by the end of it.
14. I love the feeling of being ahead on Monday morning if I work during the weekend, but I don’t like the feeling of losing all my precious weekend to work. When I have big presentations, client meetings to prep for or speaking engagements booked then I do the work I need to do to be fully prepared. I always aim to be 10 steps ahead of what needs to get done. I like to feel ahead of the game come Monday morning. Then, I keep the rest of the weekend free to have fun, be social and of course have me time.
15. Learn to delegate! I am a very hands on person but I find it extremely more efficient to delegate when necessary – this helps take a huge amount of pressure off. For example, I hired a PA to manage my diary, help with the office admin and basically make sure my life runs smoothly It has made my life a million times more productive. I don’t know what I would do without her.
Tell me! What are your best tips for work-life balance? Share them in the comments section!