Does work-life balance really exist? Or is it like a mythical unicorn, much desired but never found? Is it possible to have balance in your life and still get everything done and pay the bills all at the same time? Can some kind of balance between work and personal life be achieved? Is it possible?
I might be overly optimistic, but I say yes, absolutely. You can have a work-life balance that fits your lifestyle.
So, where do you start? The first thing to determine is your personal definition of work-life balance. Everyone has a different philosophy about this because everyone has different goals, obligations, and lifestyles.
For me, being a virtual assistant is the key to my work-life balance. I have tried a lot of other options, but this one is how I can find balance between my work life and my personal life. I enjoy what I do, I have time for my family—including my perfect grandbabies—and my home is organized and clean 90% of the time. We’ve struck a balance with our health as well, planning meals two weeks at a time which simplifies grocery shopping and cooking. And let’s face it, who doesn’t hate having to decide what is for dinner every night; this solves that dilemma.
For me, my work-life balance means that I am at peace with my daily life and routine. It means that I am meeting all of my obligations while still living the life I want to live and enjoy.
Finding Work-life Balance
Are you unsure where to begin? How do you begin to prioritize? Where does it start?
Start with you. I recommend that you begin with a little self-care. Give yourself your undivided attention. Prioritize yourself first so you can begin to gain perspective on the entire situation. How?
Set time aside for a walk every other day. Start with 30 minutes. You don’t need to spend hours and hours on yourself to see the benefits (although hours and hours would be great, wouldn’t they?). By setting aside a half hour a few times a week, you’re giving yourself time to process the million things that happen in a day. You’re setting yourself up to be proactive about your day instead of reactive.
I have no doubt that you’ll discover that personal time is like a breath of fresh air, chasing away the staleness of all the things you have left to do. Walk away the stress.
It’s the Little Things
Continue your new self-care mindset by taking a look at your meals and sleep. Are you prioritizing breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Are you snacking throughout the day? Are you getting a full 8 hours of sleep? If the answer to any of those is no, then it’s time to change that.
Set aside a couple of hours one day a week to go to the grocery store and meal prep. Figure out what you’d like to have that week and then buy the appropriate items. Make sure to remember snacks such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, berries, and a little bit of dark chocolate if you’re interested. Choose items that are full of protein, good fats, and low in sugar. Use the dark chocolate as a reward for a job well done.
To perform at your best, you have to be energized. Whether you work on a construction site or behind a desk, your body needs sleep to function properly. Your brain must be ready to work, and that can’t happen without sleep.
Instead of completing that one last thing before you go to bed, just go to bed. You’ll be far more productive once you’ve had the proper amount of sleep. That thing that took you two hours to complete last night would only take you an hour today because you are well-rested.
How in the world is water related to work-life balance? Hydration is key to the performance of your brain. Staying sharp is important to being efficient and proficient. And staying sharp means staying hydrated. If you’re struggling to focus, your head in pounding, and you can feel yourself growing more and more frustrated, take a break and go get a drink of water. Drink plenty of water throughout your day.
Are you a coffee drinker? Coffee and tea both do not contribute to hydration. So, make sure you are still drinking water in addition to any coffee or tea.
Self-care is a great place to start. It’s simple and free and won’t take up a lot of your time. It’s so important to prioritize yourself. Prioritizing yourself creates great habits that will serve you well in both your personal and professional life.
As you continue to think about work-life balance, remember the things you enjoy most. Is it taking your kids to the zoo? Do you prefer an evening unplugged, with no electronic devices as you read a book? Is it the work you do in your business that originally got you started on this path? Whatever it is, take note. Write it down. Make it a priority.
Free up your time where you can. This is the top priority. You can’t sleep 8 hours a night or go for a walk if your business is eating all of your time. You also can’t be profitable like this long-term. Eventually you’ll burn out. Consider outsourcing the tasks you don’t particularly enjoy.
Not sure what you could possibly delegate to someone else? Make a list of everything you do on a daily basis. Once you’ve made your list, think about each task carefully. Which tasks require a skill set that only you possess? And which tasks require your personal touch because that’s what your customers are paying for? Which tasks are more behind-the-scenes? Can you delegate those tasks after explaining your needs once?
Working with a virtual assistant means you have to take time to setup an information-sharing system with your virtual assistant, but you won’t have to train a qualified virtual assistant. Imagine if you only had to meet with someone for a couple of hours, and then follow-up a few minutes every day or week, and then that person took over tasks that take you hours every week? How freeing!
If you haven’t considered outsourcing yet, now might be the perfect time. I would be glad to help you.
Signature Virtual Assistance is a full-service virtual assistance firm, helping businesses like yours with virtually every need. Business owners and entrepreneurs choose Signature Virtual Assistance to free up their time, reduce their stress, and accelerate their business growth. Contact Lorie today.