Tips to find­ing work-life bal­ance

Lesotho Times - - Jobs & Tenders -

BE­ING an en­tre­pre­neur or suc­cess­ful leader in busi­ness takes a lot of work. There’s no way around it. For­tu­nately, many peo­ple are able to find a lot of ful­fil­ment in their work -- whether that comes from the cus­tomers they serve or the col­leagues they en­joy work­ing with.

How­ever, it’s still true that “all work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” You need work-life bal­ance. Here are 12 habits you can use to cre­ate it: 1. Un­der­stand what “bal­ance” means.

Stand straight up with your feet a lit­tle ways apart. Now, lean over sig­nif­i­cantly to the right. Are you still stand­ing? I hope so! You haven’t lost your bal­ance -- even though your right foot is tak­ing sig­nif­i­cantly more weight.

This just goes to show that “bal­ance” doesn’t mean “equal.” Some­times, ei­ther work or your per­sonal life takes more weight, depend­ing on what’s go­ing on at the mo­ment -- and that’s OK. 2. Let go of fear.

To de­velop a healthy bal­ance be­tween work and life, you have to first let go of the fear that, if you’re not work­ing, your com­pany will fail. When you’ve done a day’s work, let it go, rest and try again to­mor­row. The sky will not fall on you -- even if you’ve left sev­eral items unchecked on your to-do list. 3. Sched­ule im­por­tant per­sonal ac­tiv­i­ties.

Things such as ex­er­cise, date nights with a spouse and more can quickly fall by the way­side if they aren’t pur­pose­fully sched­uled. Block out your cal­en­dar for im­por­tant per­sonal events, and you’ll find they hap­pen as they should. It can be tough to re­mem­ber in the mid­dle of a stress­ful busi­ness mo­ment, but they’re just as im­por­tant as any meet­ing. 4. Set bound­aries.

If cus­tomers or col­leagues think it’s OK to call you at 11p.m. if they need some­thing, they will. Set firm bound­aries around when you are, and aren’t, avail­able. Do­ing so will help you re­lax when you’re off the clock and avoid burnout, while also help­ing oth­ers avoid un­met ex­pec­ta­tions.

If you’ve pre­vi­ously kept an open door pol­icy at all hours of the day, shift­ing to a more lim­ited avail­abil­ity can be frus­trat­ing to peo­ple who are used to hav­ing con­tin­u­ous ac­cess to you. No­tify them of your sched­ule changes in a pro­fes­sional man­ner and re­it­er­ate that lim­it­ing your avail­abil­ity will im­prove your abil­ity to meet their needs more ef­fec­tively when you are “on the clock.” 5. Think care­fully about where you live.

War­ren Buf­fett told MBA stu­dents a few years ago that the rea­son he chose to live in Omaha -- rather than New York or other cities closer to the fi­nan­cial scene -- was be­cause Omaha helped him main­tain a more bal­anced life. Even if you can’t choose your city, you can choose your neigh­bour­hood. Do so with your ideal work-life bal­ance in mind. 6. Turn off tech­nol­ogy.

With smart­phones and in­creas­ing de­mands on work­ers, we now live in an “al­ways on” cul­ture. How­ever, you have power over your de­vices. Be in­ten­tional about turn­ing them off (not just on silent) and tak­ing tech­nol­ogy breaks. It will help you tremen­dously by keep­ing you more fo­cused dur­ing your pro­duc­tive pe­ri­ods. 7. Man­age your energy, not your time.

Ev­ery hu­man be­ing has nat­u­ral energy cy­cles through­out the day. If you think care­fully about your own cy­cles, you’ll prob­a­bly be able to pin­point times when you usu­ally feel more fo­cused and pro­duc­tive, as well as times where you’d rather crawl into bed than spend another minute at the com­puter.

In­stead of try­ing to sched­ule ev­ery minute of your time and push through your low-energy cy­cles, sched­ule your tasks ac­cord­ing to your energy. Do lower-energy ad­min­is­tra­tive tasks when you’re in a lull, and more im­por­tant work when you’re en­er­gized. 8. Sched­ule va­ca­tion time.

I know that you’re busy and that your busi­ness is de­mand­ing, but if big cor­po­ra­tions can make va­ca­tion time hap­pen, then so can you. Re­mem­ber, va­ca­tion time doesn’t have to in­volve a week-long trop­i­cal get­away (although if you can af­ford the ex­pense and the time away from the of­fice, that’s a great way to recharge). Even a day away from the of­fice can be enough to leave you feel­ing re-fo­cused and re­freshed.

If you’re so in­volved in your busi­ness you feel you re­ally can’t be gone, even for a day, it’s time to learn to del­e­gate. Con­trary to what you might be­lieve, you aren’t the only 9. Join so­cial groups. If you find it hard to so­cial­ize be­cause you’re al­ways work­ing, con­sider join­ing a so­cial-only group. You can check out Meetup.com for groups in your area, or join a non-busi­ness re­lated sports team or bowl­ing league. Fo­cus on us­ing these op­por­tu­ni­ties to meet new friends, not on talk­ing shop. 10. Del­e­gate house­hold tasks.

If you have the abil­ity and ex­tra cash to do so, con­sider hir­ing out or del­e­gat­ing house­hold tasks. For ex­am­ple, a house­keeper who comes once a week can help you tackle the clean­ing projects that al­ways seem to pile up, while a lawn ser­vice can save you the hours that you’d oth­er­wise spend mow­ing your grass or main­tain­ing your land­scap­ing.

By look­ing for and tak­ing ad­van­tage of op­por­tu­ni­ties such as these, you’ll be able to spend your per­sonal time with friends and fam­ily, in­stead of do­ing chores. Or, if your spouse or older chil­dren can han­dle some of the more mun­dane tasks while you work, you can all en­joy hav­ing fun to­gether af­ter­ward. 11. Use cal­en­dar blocks for laser fo­cus.

You have a cal­en­dar, so use it. Sched­ule spe­cific blocks of un­in­ter­rupted time for your most im­por­tant tasks. If you work in an of­fice, make sure your fel­low work­ers know to leave you alone dur­ing this time. Shut the door to your of­fice, turn down your phone’s ringer and turn off the email and text no­ti­fi­ca­tions that are con­stantly in­ter­rupt­ing your work. Use your sched­uled blocks for work that’s laser fo­cused on the tasks and projects that mat­ter most for your busi­ness.

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