“What do you do as a means to step back from the business aspect? What does work, life, and personal balance look like?” -a MSM reader
First of all, is it possible to have balance? Yes, it is, but you’ll probably need to change what your definition of balance looks like.
Balance is not that you have everything in perfect order all the time. Balance is that when you look at your year as a whole, you have invested a significant amount of time in all areas that are your priorities. It’s not all lopsided. That’s what a healthy balance is.
I’m a work in progress, and I don’t want you to think I have it all figured out. That being said, I want to share some tactics, techniques, and suggestions that have helped me arrive at what I feel like is a pretty healthy balance.
1. Surround yourself with people who ground you.
Find people who will help you remember what is important — who will not let you fall off the deep end because you’re chasing after things that aren’t a priority right now.
Our Monday evening group of friends is that for me. Most of them are not bloggers or online marketers and entrepreneurs. I love it, because they help me keep things in perspective and remember what’s important.
I love spending time with people who truly love me and don’t care about who I am on the Internet or what my stats say.
2. Get Enough Sleep
This is going to make a huge difference! When you don’t get enough sleep, it affects every area of your life. I talk about this a lot, because it’s such an important factor when discussing balance.
3. Take Time For You
I’m an Introvert, and I crave quiet because of it. I love people, but after spending 3-4 hours with them, I need a break to be by myself.
Taking time for me and giving myself permission to be by myself makes a huge difference. I also take Sundays off and don’t blog, which helps tremendously.
Make sure that you’re not only taking time to replenish yourself, but that you’re making it a priority. You will fill burnt out if you keep pouring out and never pour back into yourself.
4. Outsource As Much As Possible
I feel that outsourcing is such a vital part of a business. If you don’t outsource, you will feel run over by trying to wear way too many hats.
Keep in mind this probably won’t be possible in the beginning stages of your business. As your business grows, though, you can slowly start outsourcing. Remember to let the business grow ahead of your expenses, but outsource as soon as you can, a little bit at a time. Fiverr is a great place to start to find people to help you do small side jobs.
I remember how difficult it was for me to make my very first hire. It felt extravagant or like a waste of money. I knew I didn’t have the graphic design skills needed for my blog, so I decided to hire my graphic designer, Joy. I discovered that she can do in 15 minutes what it takes me 4 hours to do (or more!) It is SO worth every penny paid to save that kind of time.
Maybe you can outsource something in your personal life, too! Have a babysitter come over once a week so you can spend two hours working on your business idea. Ask your husband to take over bedtime duties and send you to Starbucks to work once a week.
5. Unplug Regularly
Taking Sundays off is a big way I unplug each week. I also recently made the decision to take my main e-mail account off of my phone, so that I’m not distracted by my phone while I’m out or with people.
I’ve also been staying offline for most of the morning, as well. I’ve discovered that my brain is so much calmer when I don’t check my e-mail right away in the mornings and just spend the mornings focused on my family.
By doing these 5 things, I don’t have perfect balance, but I’m able to be in a much healthier place than when I’m trying to put out fires all day long, stressing myself out constantly.
How do you maintain a healthy balance? Let’s hear it!
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Sara Robinson says
Love these ideas- balance is often so hard to find because, like you said- we’re defining it in a way that makes it impossible to reach! I like to look at it as a puzzle, but not all pieces will fit every day or every season of life.
This is great! I definitely struggle with this one. I am trying to learn to balance the online time, especially. I haven’t taken a complete Sunday off, yet because Sunday evening seems to be a great time to get a little ahead on my blogging. My hubby and I have date night on Saturday night, but my Sunday night he usually has business work (in the home office) that he needs to do and I tend to use that time for blogging. This week, though, I am working on more focused blogging time throughout the week-hoping that means I won’t need to blog as much on Sundays.
That is the BEST definition of balance I’ve ever heard. I’ve always thought of balance as some magic formula which I would be forever striving for but never reaching. Thanks for making such a simple thing finally make sense to me!
Harmony @ CreatingMyKaleidoscope says
Following along with your advice, I often tell other moms that they can’t expect to have balance every single day. There are days that will be more about work and other that are focused more on your family. Your goal should be overall balance. That’s one of the reasons I love Laura Vanderkam’s book, 168 hours. She teaches you to focus on how you use your time over a whole week, and stop focusing on each day.
My work-life balance has really improved with working from home one day per week. I save on commute time, spend less on daycare, and get to eat lunch with my kids. My mom comes over to help on that day – she won’t watch them by herself, but she can keep them occupied so that I can work. I get a lot of work done during naptime and then make up the rest of the time over the weekend.
Such good tips! I’m still looking for no.1. But taking time to be alone is huge for me (as a fellow introvert ).
Davonne @ The Tidy Mom says
These are great tips! Another tip (that I learned from you, Crystal) is to stop people pleasing. So often, it’s easy to say yes because we don’t want to disappoint others, but doing so can cause us to allow our own lives to be thrown off balance. It’s better to deal with being a little uncomfortable when we say no than it is to allow our desire to please others to dictate our entire schedule. Good food for thought in your article!
Keelie Reason says
I’m a Fiverr success case and I’ve been drawing clients there for 2 1/2 years. I love when people decide to use that platform to hire others to help them. Just as a word of caution though, you should always start with a small project with a new seller, because you need to see what their work will be like. They might not do the job you are hoping for. You can always ask for a re-fund if they did not do a good job or they give you something that isn’t usable. Just a thought. 🙂
Jamie @ Medium Sized Family says
Thanks for these tips! I’ve been considering using Fivrr, but haven’t taken the plunge yet.