There are many downsides to not achieving that perfect work-life balance. Stress, burnout, lack of a personal life, and even a lack of success are all some consequences of not maintaining some sort of balance in your life.
As an entrepreneur for 15 years, I always struggled to obtain the right amount of energy for growing my businesses, and also the right amount of energy for being a great father.
It took me a while, but I have finally come to a point in my life where I truly feel I have a bit of balance between work and home. This was no easy feat as I have grown Gigasavvy, along with the other co-founders, into a thriving and successful agency over the past six years, while simultaneously becoming a husband and raising kids.
There are several key things I worked on to master it and it can’t be put into some “5 Steps” or guaranteed solution. It’s different for everyone. However, I did find that focusing on these key areas were essential to finding the balance that worked.
Get Rid of Wasted Relationships
The first thing to do is get rid of wasted relationships and relationships that are not a positive influence in your life. Once I did this, I freed up a lot of lost time and energy. Getting myself into a healthy relationship and getting married also helped bring me an inner peace that allowed me to be more focused at work (rather than thinking about what kind of drama I was going to come home to that night). Getting rid of toxic relationships and welcoming healthy relationships is the number one life changer you can do.
Make Vacation a Priority
Vacation. Yep, this is number two. Make it an absolute priority. I make it a goal to take the family out of town every 6 weeks. This may seem like a lot but this could be a simple weekend trip to the desert for some motorcycle riding, a camping trip to Yosemite, or a weeklong adventure. It doesn’t have to be something elaborate, but I strongly recommend some sort of activity where your family is going to have your undivided attention without iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks. Give your family at least 48 hours of your time and you will be amazed with the results.
Prioritize Family First
Always make sure that your family and the people you love are the number one priority in your life. If your 3 year old has a preschool performance, put it on your calendar. If your husband or wife has an important event, schedule time to attend. No client is worth the joy and memories you get from being a part of the little things in your kids’ or loved ones’ lives. Be a little league coach like I was, or soccer, or team mom or dad. Show your children that you are the boss of your life, and if you need to take time away from work to support them, that you will.
Have a Hobby
Join a running club or fun sports league. Take up knitting or DIY crafting. Learn photography. Surf and snowboard. Whatever floats your boat — don’t just do it or say you will do it, actually commit to having a certain amount of hobby time each month. Not only does this help your brainpower, it also boosts your mood, gets you living in the present moment, and makes you an all-around better person to hang out with.
Sleep Well and Eat Right
Try your best to get eight hours of sleep per night. If you do this consistently, you will be more efficient and productive during waking hours, you will be healthier, feel better, and have a ton more energy. While you’re at it, kick the junk food habit and stick to a healthy diet as much as possible. While no one is perfect with his or her diet (and no one should be so strict), I find it is best to stick to the 80/20 rule with food. That means 80% of the time you are eating right and the other 20% of the time is kept for fancy dinners out, cheat days, and that bucket of wings while watching football.
Master the Art of Scheduling
For years I struggled to maintain a daily schedule that would allow me time to research, study, and continue my never-ending quest for knowledge, while also being efficient at work and available at home. Make sure to schedule in time to improve and grow (personally and professionally), time to work, time for your friends and family, and finally time to yourself. Master your schedule and you can master anything.
Separate Work from Home
Don’t bring work home with you. When you leave the office, leave work there as well. While there will always be occasional instances where you have to work late, if you are constantly working late nights, you may want rethink your work load. On the same note, try not to work from home unless it is an emergency. It is difficult to separate the two if they are both done in the same physical space. If you work for yourself, then create a separate area that is designated for work only, find a co-working place near you, or simply work at a local coffee shop.
I continue to try and find new ways to improve my life and maintain a successful company and happy home. This is a learning process through life that one never truly masters. If you have any life hacks or tips for conquering the work/life battlefield that you swear by, share them in the comments below!