As we dive into the new year, I've been reflecting on the ongoing challenge of managing the delicate balance between work and life that many people are trying to navigate. It’s one of the reasons I became an entrepreneur 20+ years ago. I was really struggling with taking care of two young children, working full-time, being a good spouse and doing “life” well. The lines between work and personal life can easily blur, especially since 2020, when many people found themselves working at home.
I wanted to share a few thoughts and hear your insights. Here are a few reflections from my journey of owning/managing a thriving business for 23 years while working entirely from home:
Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries for work hours and personal time. Then communicate them to your team and your family. I didn’t always execute this well, but I did the best I could, and I got better at it over the years.
Prioritize Self-Care: Remember, taking care of yourself is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. That’s one of the reasons I have had a monthly massage on the books for more than a decade. But even if it’s a 5-minute break from the computer, engage in activities that recharge your batteries.
Technology Can be a Help … or a Hindrance: When I first started my business, I had a dial-up modem, a free email account and a fax machine. Technology can help us in so many ways, but it can also intrude into our personal life, when we should be “off the clock.” With smartphones, technology is even more pervasive. Make it a habit to unplug and resist the temptation to check email, voicemail, etc. on weekends. Tell people if there’s a work emergency, that they should call (or text) you.
Delegate and Collaborate: Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks and collaborate with your team. This can be especially challenging for business owners. Once I introduced cloud-based project management into my business (a great use of technology), that immediately made it so much easier to lighten my workload.
I’d love to hear from you! What strategies have you found effective in managing your work-life balance? Any tips or insights to share?