WORK LIFE BALANCE: those three magic words that we hear all the time, but does it actually exist? I’m here to give you a cold, hard, honest truth: NO, some fairytale ratio between work and family life and how they both intermingle magically does not exist. The truth of the matter is to be an entrepreneur, and a person, and a mother is hard work! There’s nothing easy to it, there are late nights, countless hours in the trenches, and endless tears poured into your business. All of this aside from the time your family needs you, and a lot of behind the scenes work that goes unrewarded and quite honestly, sometimes unappreciated. But, I can tell you a few tricks to help you find whatever work life balance means for you, and what I mean by that is how to make sure that the buckets in your life for filled, including your business and your family. It may not be pretty but it’s life.
1. Identify your peak work hours! For me, my most productive time is between 9 PM and 12 AM and sometimes even after 12 AM. That is when my creative juice start flowing and when I am able to get pen to paper, and get my ideas from my head and onto the computer screen. Does this mean that I get to go to bed with my husband in time to watch the nightly news? No. Does this mean that I’m not not tired the next morning? NO. But this is my reality for being a work at home mother.
2. Automating routine tasks, whether that be every night you put a load of laundry in the washer and every morning you transfer it to the dryer, and fold while you’re doing homework with your kids (which is my system). Or every morning while you’re drinking your cup of coffee, you check your emails and knock that out for the day. Identify what your daily tasks are that need to be done around the house and around your business. Set a time limit and set aside time to do these recurring items, that way you know what’s up next and prepare your day accordingly.
3. Give yourself time blocks. I know for me, the amount of time that I need to check my email in the morning is 30 minutes, and if I’m taking longer than 30 minutes, that means that I am not focused and not working efficiently. I set up my work week so that one day a week I write blog posts, one day a week I write Instagram captions, one day a week I edit photo shoots, and one day a week I put together marketing materials. These items are blocked out each of those days with an allotted amount of time; that way I don’t have a daunting to-do list in front of me that seems to never get accomplished and I can schedule things to make sure that I’m batch working and being as efficient and productive as possible.
4. Turn off distractions! If Facebook is open on my browser screen I will flip to it in between every sentence of a blog post. I let my mind wander and in that I hop on Facebook and quickly two seconds of scrolling can turn to 30 minutes before I even realize it. To make sure that I stay productive and I don’t fall down the social media vortex, I turn off Facebook, and I put my phone facedown. That way notifications aren’t distracting me on Instagram, and I can make sure to get the task at the moment fully completed. Once that’s done, I give myself a five minute window to scroll and engage on social media. I set an alarm to check myself before I fall down the rabbit hole!
5. Set aside time that is 100% dedicated to your family and 100% non-negotiable. From the hours of 3:30 to 8 PM when my kids are home from school I am not working. The computer does not open, my email does not open, and my phone does not ring. These hours are dedicated to my kids and my husband solely. Whether that means I’m doing homework, I am in the kitchen making dinner, or we are out for an evening walk before bedtime, I make sure that while my kids are home and with me, and that I am filling that bucket before everything else.
These were five simple tasks, so you can make work life balance slightly more attainable. This isn’t going to give you the perfect life, nor will it find you time to take care of yourself and your health and your fitness. In this time know that it all depends on you implementing the steps and then further evaluating the best way to move forward for you and your family and your business. But these are five easy and doable actions you can take this week, to get yourself moving in the right direction.
Bye friends, see you next time!