Work-Life BalanceLet’s set this up: it’s the end of a long year. The holiday season (and related stress) is upon us. And you’re juggling a million things as you run your company or agency. And if you haven’t achieved work-life balance, you’re probably running out of steam right now, right?

How do I know that? Because I’m in the middle of all of the above (and then some). AND I make a point to include work-life balance in my daily (or weekly) routines.

And even I’m starting to run out of steam!

The Importance of Work-Life Balance

Here’s a number that might shock you. The average person, working 40 hour per week, will clock roughly 90,000 hours by age sixty. Ninety thousand hours! And that’s with a 40 hour work week! I know, we’re all laughing right now, right? Most business owners and entrepreneurs can’t remember the last time they worked a 40 hour week.

If you’re teetering toward burnout territory, it’s affecting your personal relationships, ability to sleep, and stress levels. And of course, we all know, stress kills.

In today’s “always on,” hyperconnected world, some people say work-life balance is an impossible to achieve, archaic term. But I’m not talking about some zen-like altered state where everything is rainbows and unicorns. I’m simply talking about—at a base level—self care. Because if you aren’t taking care of yourself, everything around you can, and ultimately will, suffer.

And when thinking about work-life balance, don’t forget your employees. You really are their model. If they see you working yourself to death, they will feel that’s expected of them as well.

So, set a good example and make sure they know work-life balance is important to you, and to the overall success of your business. Here’s how:

Five Ways to Achieve Work-Life Balance

1. JUST DO IT!! Get started. Try making small changes to your routines, and stick with them. You’re not looking for perfection, and you have to be realistic about what you can and can’t take on. The most important thing is to switch your mindset. And value work-life balance the same as you would a business commitment.

2. Get healthy! I’m pretty vocal about how I keep myself sane during the work week, and one of the most important things I do is exercise. I take Pilates classes a few times a week, and will often combine phone calls with a walk in the fresh air. I also try not to stress eat. And yes, that’s a tough one! 🙂 Bottom line, make some time for yourself daily to clear your head.

3. Prioritize your day. First thing in the morning, have a look at what’s on your plate. Then rank everything on an importance scale. This helps reduce stress and helps you feel less overwhelmed with the day ahead. And include exercise on that list!

4. Consider hiring a business coach. Hiring a coach is a great way to force yourself to make changes.  A business coach will hold you accountable, and also give you tips and advice on making your business more efficient. An unbiased look at you and your company helps define strengths and weaknesses, and drill down on gaps and opportunities.

5. Use technology. There are myriad applications and platforms out there to help your work life run smoother. We use Slack for internal messaging and document sharing, and for staff meetings. Consider video-calling instead of wasting hours commuting to client meetings, or use a time-tracking program to help determine where you can be more efficient.

Work-Life Balance IS Possible

There are a million things you can do to achieve better work-life balance. Which ones you choose will depend on personal AND business considerations. The goal is to dive in, and get started. And start slow if you need to, but start. You’ll be surprised at how much better you and your team will feel in the long run.

Have you made changes in your day to day life in order to have more work-life balance? What were they?  And how do you feel? I would love to hear your thoughts below!