Establishing and maintaining a work-life balance can be a HUGE challenge for many of us....especially if you are working independently or building your own business. However, it also applies to you badass execs and young professionals who clock crazy hours in order to get it all done.
We completely applaud you for being passionate about the work you do. But don't let this become your only passion. You will burn out about as quick as those Diptyque candles you spent $100 on.
In a competitive job market, it can be hard to separate business and pleasure. Don't get blindsided or make excuses that allow you to neglect your other passions. It's easy to let business become all-consuming, which might be sustainable for a little while, but soon enough you'll find yourself stuck in a serious rut.
Here are a handful of tips and tricks that'll help you stay on point while keeping your cool:
MAKE TO-DO LISTS
Decide at the beginning of the week what your primary goals are. Write them down in a notebook, and keep that as your "work bible". Sunday night is a good time to do this, before the madness sets in! I also recommend making daily do-to lists, but keeping that primary one as your "table of contents", if you will, so you can avoid getting sidetracked. AND CROSS OFF YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS! There's no better feeling scratching that line through a completed task.
GET ON A SCHEDULE AND STICK TO IT
For those of you who work in an office, it's a bit easer to maintain reasonable structure. But don't be the last one leaving the office each day, just as the building manager is shutting off the lights.
If you work remotely, this one is ma-jor. Your house might be your office, but if you also want it to be your HOME, so setting boundaries is crucial. Working around the clock is a dangerous and easy trap to fall into under these circumstances. Set your alarm for the same time each morning and wrap up the "work day" around sundown, if you can. Having the ability to set your own schedule is a serious perk to being your own boss. It doesn't have to perfectly align with that of a corporate job, but try and stick to 40-50 hours a week, max so there's still room for "you" time.
For example, I happen to love working on Sundays because I accomplish so much more in fewer hours. But to balance that, I try and shave off a few hours at the end of the day on Thursdays and Fridays.
Make sure you take at least one full day to yourself each week. Go to the park, see a movie, ride your bike, whatever! Just do something that brings you joy and removes your mind from work-related madness.
THERE IS LIFE BEYOND YOUR INBOX
Set rules for yourself (i.e. I will not turn off my alarm only to check and reply to all my emails before setting my phone down and getting out of bed in the AM). Wake up 20 minutes earlier so you can sit down, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, read the paper for a hot minute, and then get ready without going into freakout mode because you overslept.
Make plans with friends and do your best to stick to them. When they talk to you about their lives, listen. Social interaction is important, and so are your people. Enjoy being in the presence of others, set your phone to silent so you aren't distracted. Unless you're Meredith Grey, pretty sure nobody is going to die if you miss a call.
There is no better time than the present to start implementing these small changes. With Q4 coming to a wrap and the New Year just around the corner, set some goals that allow you to stay on top of your stuff, while still preserving your sanity. You've got this!