I have a bit of a crazy life. It’s not horrible and I’m sure there are worse cases of too busy momma’s out there. Mad props to the moms that do it all. It’s ok though to ask how to balance work and life.
I work 34-36 hours a week at my job. I run, design, and ship from my Etsy shop. I am a momma to a 2 year old. Finally, I’m building this blog. Outside of my most important jobs listed, I also clean, cook, run errands, and do any other small tasks that mothers do.
My husband started his own blog and business. He also runs an Etsy shop, creates t-shirt designs, and tries his damndest to keep me sane. All this while being an awesome and active daddy in our child’s life.
So to say we lead busy lives is a bit of an understatement at times and finding balance between work and life has been difficult. Sometimes it doesn’t feel so much like balancing and more like crashing.
What is Work/Life Balance?
Work/Life Balance is a term used to describe having a both productive work life and while being able to enjoy other areas of your life. Often times when people think of this term they imagine someone who is successful at work and still enjoys life with family and friends. Achieving this type of balance can be extremely difficult depending on your situation.
Why having work/life balance is important to me?
It became clear to me that I wanted a well balanced life after spending a summer and fall working 60 hour weeks. Two jobs and trying to find time for family is difficult. Trying to add in personal time is even worse.
I left one of my jobs, a job I loved mind you, for the job that was closer to home. Less travel time meant more time spent with my fiance and son. It also meant more time I could dedicate to the business I badly wanted to start.
Sure I’m still technically working two jobs but one of my jobs is for me. It’s my own personal passion. The success of my business means the success of my family, less time out of the home, and more time to live the life I actually want.
Why having a work/life balance is important for you?
Whether or not you work outside of the home, in the home, or currently both it’s important for you to have some sort of balance.
When you spend all your time working you aren’t giving your mind the creative break it deserves. By taking time for yourself, designating family time, or even going out with friends you are giving your brain a chance to rest from the pressures of business.
This means, less eye strain, headaches, tension, and upper back pain for one. There are a lot of physical benefits to having time off is huge.
How to Balance Work and Life
Let’s get into all my tried and true tactics to finding this balance, shall we? Finding this balance can be difficult at first especially if you are already feeling overwhelmed with work. It can be difficult to step away from business and work or you may find your mind is having a hard time not thinking about work or all the tasks you have to accomplish.
Keep a schedule
I find that keeping a regular schedule helps drastically in staying productive. I personally love using a bullet journal to schedule everything. When I knew I needed to start scheduling my tasks both business and personal I started using a Bullet Journal and now I swear it’s the only reason I stay organized.
A schedule will help you to stick to your goals and stay on track. Your schedule will keep you on solid ground while you are trying to find balance between work and life.
Make sure that your schedule is adjustable though. Plans are always changing, if one thing changes make sure you match that plan with something similar. If friends cancel still spend that time relaxing, don’t fill it with work.
Allow for off days
There will be days where you will wake up and just feel like not working all day. It’s ok to take a day off and enjoy life.
If you wake up and it is beautiful outside and you just want to spend the entire day at the zoo just do it. If you wake up and your brain is screaming at you spend the day binge watching your favorite TV show. It’s ok. Your business will not fail if you only respond on messages briefly and spend the day eating ice cream in your pajamas watching Grey’s Anatomy.
If you fail to do anything creative for a few days it’s also ok. It’s ok that all you have time for is preparing items to ship, running errands, and answering messages. As long as your customers get a response they will be ok.
Sometimes it is more important for you to do the bare minimum and allow yourself some time to relax. Your brain deserves to recharge. It’s ok to be lazy every once in a while.
Check out my post How To Say No To Favor Asking Family.
Schedule in some Life Time
Making time for family, friends, and yourself also means you are building bonds. Scheduling the hour after school to sit down and help your kids with their homework gives your brain a break. Plus studies show that children with a parent or both parents who work with them on their school work do better overall and have higher grades.
Scheduling a girls night or guys night to go out with friends can be an important part of business success. It means building connections, networking, and meeting new people. Even if it doesn’t offer any of those things, it at least means you are stepping away from work. These types of events can relieve stress and make memories.
Scheduling time with your husband or wife also allows for you to build a bond. Trust me nothing can strain a relationship more than never taking time for each other. It’s especially difficult with a toddler in the house, a full time job, and two businesses.
Even if it’s 30 minutes to watch your favorite show cuddled up on the couch. Scheduling time for just the two of you helps to restore and build a bond. This also helps to show your significant other how important they are to you and vis versa.
Finally scheduling alone time. You need time to take care of yourself and no, sleep is not enough. You need time to pamper yourself, binge watch your favorite show, or just sit quietly and read. When you fail to take care of your needs you are depriving yourself and that can do some major damage to yourself, your family, and your business.
Whatever you are doing DO IT
If you are spending time with family or friends, spend time with them. When you have scheduled time to work, work. Do not try to work while also spending time with family and friends. Likewise, stay off social media during working hours.
The biggest killer to having balance between work and life is working when you’re supposed to be relaxing or spending time with family and friends. Likewise, if you are playing on facebook, texting a friend, talking on the phone to a friend while you are working, you aren’t really working.
These actions can kill productivity, lead to mistakes that will need to be fixed, or alienate your friends and family from interacting with you. Do not do this. Whatever you are supposed to be doing is everything you need to focus on, so silence your phone, don’t check notifications, and keep doing what you are supposed to be doing.
You can do it
Finally having work/life balance is a wonderful thing. It means you are one step closer to having the successful business, work life, social life, and family life. It gets easier as you continue to practice the scheduling technique. Keep reminding yourself to focus on what’s scheduled and you will be just fine.
Finding balance in work and life is difficult at first but once you get it handled it becomes easier. Keep working at it, stick to your schedule, and make sure you take some time for fun.
Share your tips for finding a work/life balance in the comments. Follow me on Pinterest and pin this post so you can come back to it.