Is spending every possible minute on your work the best thing for your business? Is it the best thing for your life? What about worklife balance? It seems logical that the more you put into work, the more you will get out of it, right? If you work 80 hrs a week, you will surely make more money and be more successful.
That may be true for a certain amount of time. However, eventually, we all know that this leads to burn out, and can actually have a negative effect on your business and even worse, your life and those around you. Working every minute of the day completely kills your worklife balance.
10 Tips for Worklife Balance
Here are a few tips to help prevent work from taking over your life.
1. Limit your work time
Many freelancers, entrepreneurs, and self employed workers consider themselves to always be on. This is an easy way to get completely burnt out. Ryan Carson from Carsonified thinks work weeks should be limited to four days. He feels that as long as you work smart for four days, you can accomplish just as much as many others do in a five-days work week. There are some pro’s and con’s of a four day work week, but it is worth considering.
2. Make time for others
Work when you can’t be with others. If others who are close to you work certain times, schedule your days in such a way that you can have free time together when you both are not working. My wife is a hair stylist and works on Saturdays. Before we had our daughter, I used to get as much work done as I could then so that we could spend other time together when we were both free.
3. Only work in your office
It’s too easy to pull out the laptop while sitting and watching TV in the living room to get a few things done. This can turn the entire house into your office and can easily lead to the feeling of “well maybe I should be working now”. Instead, remember that it’s a rule not to work anywhere but the office.
4. Turn off the phone
If you are having dinner with your spouse, spending time with your kids or with friends, turn off the phone and give the people that are most important in your life the time and focus they deserve.
5. Have fun hobbies
I recently purchased a small, older sailboat to learn sailing with my dad and brother. It’s been a great excuse to get out of work mode and spend time with family. Now we have an excuse to get together on a regular basis. Nothing is more refreshing then getting fresh air, relaxing, and spending time with family.
6. Don’t feel guilty
It’s OK to not work. Not working is actually beneficial. It gives you the ability to recharge and clear your mind. When you start to feel that guilt, immediately remind yourself that you need to separate from work and recharge so that you’re ready to go when you get back to work the next day. By taking time away from work, you are actually being productive.
7. Make time to accomplish non-work related goals
This does not happen by accident. It takes planning and commitment to fulfill your goals in life. If you don’t have goals outside of work, now is a great time to think of a few. Start with one or two things that you can accomplish in a reasonable time frame and start planning your next step for that goal. These goals could include health goals, family goals, or maybe something related to your community.
8. Don’t think about work when you are not working
Just because you are not typing at your computer or on your phone with a client, doesn’t mean that you are not working. Be in the present. Keep your mind on what you are currently doing. If you are driving your family somewhere, playing a round of golf with friends, or at dinner with family, stay focused on that. Worry about work when at work.
9. Do something for others
- Help out with a charity event
- Contribute to your community
- Help out a friend or neighbor when they ask.
- Find a way to use your skill set to help those in need.
10. Start now
When the clock strikes 5:00 pm today, stop working! Spend the entire evening not thinking about work, checking the phone for emails, or brainstorming for your next project. Leave that for tomorrow. You will do a better job of it in the morning.
It’s scary to think that we could let weeks, months, or years slip by and look back to only see work accomplishments. Work is important. It pays the bills and can help provide us the ability to accomplish our goals in life. However, it becomes dangerous when work consumes our lives.
Enjoy your life and keep focus on what matters most. Hint. . . It’s usually not work.
How do you achieve a good worklife balance in your life? We’d love to hear your tips.
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this is a great reminder to think about. I do work as an entrepreneur and freelancer and stop checking my mobile is really hard. And brainstorming, that’s something I guess I can’t stop doing it. Every time I remember myself I’m usually thinking on something on how to improve a project, or how I can improve some idea.
There should be a button to “stop thinking” 🙂
Absolutely. Especially as an entrepreneur I think it’s especially hard to turn off the thinking switch. It takes definitely takes a lot of practice 🙂
Wonderful article ! Just what I was looking for.. I’m becoming kinda workoholic these days & needed some tips regarding work balance.
Glad you liked it! It’s so easy to get consumed in work. It’s a constant struggle to keep balance. I hope some of the tips help 🙂
Awesome 😉 I like it. Its exactly what I should be doing.
Great tips. I will definitely try to implement them.
Great! Thanks for reading. I hope it helps!
I am still having a problem balancing work and life. This are excellent suggestions and I recently tried two of them – working in my office only and ending my day at a certain time. I’ve done well with working in my office but find I still go back after hours to check email or jot down a few ideas. I also need to learn to get back to my hobbies and stuff I enjoy.
Totally agree. It’s a constant struggle to keep a good balance. Hobbies are a great excuse to get away from work.
I think these ideas outlined in the article are very helpful and sound like a healthy working relationship. However, I should point out that most people I know (including myself) can’t just leave at 5:00pm.
I work in NYC and people who have jobs here are often given a lot more work than can be done in a traditional 9-5 job. Oftentimes, our coworkers were laid off and we have to pick up their responsibilities. If I just left at 5:00pm today with no valid excuse (family emergency, doctor’s appointment), I would probably be pulled into a room and reprimanded.
Very true. While not all of these tips will be directly applicable to everyone, I hope that at least some of them can be helpful.
Especially, setting limits is very important.
I have a a day job and I’m building my online business too. This means that I have to spend time on the computer in the evenings as well.
What I have found to be a good thing is to set times when you work and then communicate that with your family.
It causes much less friction in your family, when they know you may not be available for them at certain hour(s).
That’s a great point! I went through this exact same thing as I was getting our company going. My wife worked Tuesday and Thursday nights and a short shift on Saturday. I would try and get all my side work done during those times so that we could spend the time that we both had off together.
agreed – work 4 days, weekend 3 days, in terms of quantity still not balanced but a start…
Some of these things are easier said than done – but will really help in the long run 😉
I work from home, which means working non-stop. I balance my day with exercise, touching base with friends and unwinding with a favorite TV show. This, of course, is incorporated into very long work days.
Great tips! Simple but effective
I will never hire someone who follows this. I am a demanding boss, who runs a startup on a tight budget, we do not have this luxury.
For the obsessive, type-A, female entrepreneur that laughingly refers to work-life balance as what she does when she is “doing a deal on her headset, while texting a request to an associate, while picking up the kids from school, while thinking which would be worse: McDonalds or Chinese…again….” – I would refer you to a book titled Am-Bitch-ous (which made me cry, in a good way). (I don’t get anything if you buy a copy — I just really liked this book). I also recommend reading through some of the rougher Penelope Trunk’s blog posts over at the Brazen Careerist.
Work-Life Balance is out there if you want it – but it’s OK if you’d rather pass.
Great article. Our strapline is “transform your work life” because we actually try and assist people with work life balance by making work a more enjoyable place to live your life! – by providing people with a great office environment. Through workplace design we hope to make a real and positive impact on peoples day to day work lives…in the office! http://www.businessinteriors.co.uk/design/ and we keep trying to do better and better. The cloud and mobile working is transforming the workplace at the moment.
you realize that worklife isn’t a word, right? The term is “work-life balance” as in, “work to life” balance. You’re not trying to balance your “worklife” with your “homelife”… you’re trying to balance your “work” and “home” lives.
Love this article. Why can’t everyone follow these tips. If everyone followed just one of these tips, our world would so much less stressful Here are other tips that may help. Enjoy. http://www.ezop.com/six-ways-to-achieve-a-better-work-life-balance/