The Elusive Work-Life Balance

Why are there no quick fixes to achieve work-life balance? Because our personal and business lives run in a continuous cycle in which circumstances and priorities evolve and change. Your child gets sick, an employee quits, a client changes a deadline, or an ageing parent needs help… you get the picture, life is unpredictable.

It is challenging to deal with the unexpected if you don’t have a routine. Schedules ensure you stay on point and focused in your business and life.

Tips for scheduling success

Are you working the right hours? A brick & mortar business with staff may not require you to be there all day. Instead, try to be at your business when your presence and decision-making abilities are most needed; this leaves you more productive and less stressed.

If you are a solo entrepreneur, group client meetings at specific times (or even days of the week). You then left with clear time slots to work on their projects without distractions.  

You feel overwhelmed if you try to squeeze in tasks such as placing orders, employee schedules, advertising, and billing. Allocate dedicated time for your administrative work.

Choose a specific day for errands. Perhaps Wednesday mornings are perfect for all the running around –  banking, picking up supplies for the office/shop and meeting the accountant, business consultant or ad rep.  

Sprinkle self-care throughout your day

Start the day with an early walk/jog, meditation, yoga stretches, or journaling. Then, drive or walk to your business listening to music, audiobook or motivational podcasts. 

Breaks: Avoid sitting and scrolling through your social media; instead stretch and move around. Replace that sugary coffee drink with an apple or treat from the health food store.

Midday: Schedule a solid break from all work tasks to rejuvenate. Meet a friend or another business person at a local restaurant or park.  

Afternoon: We all feel that afternoon slump. Take a moment to do a few stretches or walk around the block. A short walk is especially beneficial if you have a problem to think through.

Evening: Try to leave your business behind you. Fully engage with your home life – preparing dinner, connecting with family, and delegating household chores. Then after dinner, decompress in whatever way is best for you. However, being a business owner isn’t 9-5, so if something is urgent (translate going to keep you awake), deal with it or at least get a plan in place and then relax before bed.

When the unexpected does occur, taking a slow deep breath and clearing your head will help your subsequent actions. You now know what part of your routine will be affected; make alternative plans and then jump in and deal with what has come up.  

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