10 Rules to Work/Life Balance …
We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in our work, instead of the quality of time we put in.
~ Arianna Huffington, Author
So, as some of you read this post title you’re probably thinking “Nah … not fricken possible.” And I know this as there’s been lots of Facebook lives, other bloggers chatting and marketing campaigns from other entrepreneurs saying the exact opposite. I’m not here today to tell you they are wrong, I’m just here to explain how this work life balance CAN be possible. But to get started, the power must be within you, and you must want it in order to get it.
Work-life balance is a concept that describes the ideal of splitting one’s time and energy between the office and other important aspects of one’s life.
One: Your mistakes are NOT fatal.
Unless of course you’re a surgeon. But for most of us, mistakes happen. We learn from them (hopefully) and move on. And when there are consequences – and in most cases there are – all one can do is work on overcoming them, growing from the situation and move on. And yes, it’s really as simple as that! We’re only human. We all make mistakes. (Key word there is “all”.) So, don’t dwell on things and make your life a living H-E-double hockey sticks!
We all make mistakes, have struggles and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles and you are here NOW with the power to share your day and your future. ~ Steve Maraboli, Writer
Two: No business (or job) is worth risking your health for.
Please trust me on this one as been there, done that! If you’re feeling stressed that means you’re not eating properly (or at all), you’re not sleeping properly or maybe even having nightmares or night sweats, your grumpy for no reason or maybe worse! And when you’re stressed, sick and miserable, you’re not performing as your best. Which makes you even more stressed, more sick and yes, more miserable! This is not a nature human cycle that will help you reach your business or career goals. So, please, take CARE of YOURSELF. You should always come first!
Three: Learn to UNPLUG.
Easier said than done sometimes, especially when we live in a tech dominated world. Scrolling through social media, reading on your Kindle, cruising through websites and playing games on your smartphone often they feel like routine. Breaking these habits unfortunately cannot be done overnight, nor should it be taken lightly.
The key part of the whole “unplugging” experience is not that social media and technology are bad. They’re just convenient tools to keep you in the loop and make things easier. Unplugging should be done in baby steps just like breaking any other habit or routine. The “cold turkey” method won’t work here. One trick that I started doing for myself a few months ago is managing those damn notifications. The less it rings and buzzes, the less often you think about it. So, at a certain hour every evening – long before bed – I turn my smartphone notifications off and just enjoy whatever activities I have set out for myself. Same thing goes for my morning routine. Grabbing my phone isn’t the very first thing I do after I open my eyes. And I certainly don’t turn my ringer on until close to 9a.m. This gives me room to breathe and just be. Give it a whirl! But for some reason, if my little trick doesn’t work for you then perhaps it’s time for things to get drastic … and go completely off the grid!
Four: Don’t think outside the box … REMOVE THE BOX.
Yes, we all love to live inside that warm, cozy and comforting box some days. It’s safe. And making yourself do things that are new or that are outside your comfort zone can be super fricken scary. It is way easier to just keep plunking along, doing what you know and improving at things you already feel familiar with. But here’s the kicker … What happens if the thing or job you’re really good at is eliminated? Or what if you find out that you need new skills in order to move forward? This is why it’s super important (and healthy) to branch out and become talented at new and different things, even if you don’t plan to use them right at this very second. So, instead of staying all comfy cozy in your onesie inside your box, only to peak out once n’ awhile making yourself think, “that’s out of the box enough for me” … Just get rid of the box entirely!
Five: Overcome your networking dread.
Meeting new people in your field, or potential clients, or even following influential people on social media, is one of the most important things you can do for your long-term business/career health. You just never know when the right opportunity might come knocking on your front door. Or when new information learned from these connections will come in handy. Plus, it’s nice to have a support network (#YourTribe), whether it’s personal or professional or both. Think of these experiences as your professional garden; sometimes it can be tedious to water, weed and fertilize your plants, but if you stick with it you will grow something truly amazing that you can continue to appreciate and enjoy for days (or years) to come.
Six: Failing is NOT the END of you.
I know it certainly doesn’t feel great to fall short of your own expectations (or of others’), but sometimes failure is what you need to either in order to learn a valuable lesson about how you’re doing things or simply just to help you realize that you should be doing something else. Even some of the most successful people out there have failed. So, rather than let that define your business (or career), take a look at the lesson and move forward. No matter the circumstances, there is always something to be learned in failure, which you can then apply toward being more successful in your career.
Seven: Stop it with the S.O.S.
As an entrepreneur trying to juggle so many different responsibilities and possibilities, you will likely find that any illness will seriously set you back temporarily while you recover. But there’s one specifically that may have powerful, lasting effects on your business — and extend far beyond a simple day or two of absence. And it’s called Shiny Object Syndrome (S.O.S. for short).
As entrepreneurs, we constantly crave new technology and usually aren’t afraid to sign-up and dive right on in (or get our team to do so on our behalf). Sometimes this can be a great characteristic, but when S.O.S. sets in, it tends to force one to chase platform after platform. Or project after project and change after change, all the while never settling with one option. It is called “Shiny Object Syndrome” because it’s the entrepreneurial equivalent of a small child chasing after shiny objects. Once they get there and see what the object is or does, they immediately lose interest and start chasing the next thing. This can put your business is danger and stump growth because you’re never really getting anywhere.
And trust me, I’ve experienced this with some of my Virtually Untangled clients. Instead of letting me “untangle” them … we spent more time switching platforms or projects as opposed to actually getting anything done. So, once you realize you have these tendencies (or one of your team members lets you know that things are kind of getting out of hand), you can start to correct your choices and compensate for them. Thus, ultimately forging a more consistent, reliable path forward for you and your business.
Eight: Make automation is your new BFF.
Sometimes as entrepreneurs we can live inside a tech bubble. I am right now actually, due to the nature of my business. But with the right systems, you can maximize not only your time (which is what we’re trying to create through balance; more time), but also the efficiency in which you run things as well as your profits. Because truthfully, we all know that too often, repetition, waste and unnecessary bureaucracy can slow your business down.
So, find those missed automation opportunities through the repetition of tasks and or projects (social media posting being one of them), implement some A.I., make certain tasks simpler and perhaps consider hiring a nuclear team of virtual ninja’s! Remember, you’re supposed to be working ON your business, not in it!
Almost all quality improvement comes via simplification of design, manufacturing, layout, processes and procedures.
~ Tom Peters, Writer
Nine: You and ONLY YOU control your destiny.
This thought goes back to the blog I shared with you all last week about waiting for permission. NO ONE is going to make your life change for you. It’s all up to you. You have the power and the strength to make your dreams come true. You and you alone. If you just drift along, letting everyone else define your career, you can end up in a spot where you’re extremely unhappy with your business (or job) and perhaps even regretful of all those chances you didn’t take. So, make sure you are setting goals that will make YOU feel fulfilled, and do everything you can to meet those milestones along your journey. And learn from my mistake (which you can read about in that post) and don’t wait. Just get out there and create your own destiny TODAY!
And one of the most important rules of all …
Ten: Your happiness should not be put last.
Yes, I know having a reliable pay day in order to have a roof over one’s head and life’s basic necessities might seem more important than those funds rolling into your bank account. But otherwise, life is way too fricken short to stay somewhere that makes you totally miserable. If you feel uncomfortable in your current work situation (whether in entrepreneurship or corporate) that’s a major red flag that you should be doing something else.
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” ~ Albert Schweitzer, Theologian
So, as you can see … with these 10 simple rules, work-life balance IS POSSIBLE!
Have any “rules” you’d like to add?
Please drop them in the comments so others can benefit. The more the merrier!
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