Some days it can feel like it is all or nothing workwise, I know I can occasionally arrive at the end of the week feeling like I have done nothing but go to work, come home, go to bed, get up and go to work again.
I feel like when my work / life balance starts to slip things can start spiralling, housework doesn’t get done, eating well starts to become less of a priority and working out just doesn’t happen. I also feel that I start to feel more overtired and burnt out if I let the scales slide too far into the work zone.
I work hard to keep my work life and my personal life in check, having a healthy dose of both each day inspires me to get the best out of myself in all aspects. It is incredibly important that we put focus on ourselves and I know that being a Boss Girl can sometimes mean that there are certain work priorities that need to be maintained but you should never allow that to overtake your life.
Below are a few rules I try to stick to in order to keep my work life and personal life as balanced as possible, these are just guidelines that I use to set up each day, however, there are days where everything goes out the window and I have to react on the fly but for most of my days I try to stay true to these rules.
Understand what you want to accomplish each day
When I wake up in the morning, I normally take say a minute or so just to imagine how I would like my day to run. I think about the tasks that I need to get done both at home and at work and imagine the best possible scenario taking place. Taking a few minutes to take stock of what is required for the day gives me a guide that I can hold myself accountable for throughout the day.
The smell of coffee in the morning starts my wake up so I find I always let my brain run a little wild with plans for the day when I am drinking my first cup.
Plan your day
It will be no surprise here for all my regular readers but the first thing I do once I am all showered and ready is to see what I have planned for the day. I keep a weekly diary which includes personal appointments and daily to do’s, I check in each morning to see what I have scheduled or what I need to plan my day around.
The minute I get into the office I start planning my day, I take a few moments to get prepared for the day ahead and start noting down the tasks that I want to accomplish. If I have a personal appointment that day, say a doctors appointment at 2pm I will plan what I need to have completed before that time and what can be outsourced or left till tomorrow.
Stick to your plan
I like to give myself deadlines for tasks and work-related items, there is no point in planning your day out if you don’t follow through with the plan. Giving myself deadlines means that I know I will have something completed by a certain date or time and I can then plan further related work.
Stay focused and in the moment
This can be challenging with work if I have a million different tasks and a million different people asking for my time or needing me to chase something for them but I try to stay focused and complete the task at hand. If there are other things that need to accomplish I will write them down and schedule them after I have completed what I am doing that way I am not continuously starting different projects, not completing the majority of them and then getting held up at work.
Leave work at work
This can be a hard one for many Boss Girls, especially when you work from home but when clock off time arrives it is important to switch your brain off work mode and slip into home mode. I can struggle immensely with this, especially as I am always on call but I try to only answer phone calls that are urgent and stay off my work email outside of work hours. Do not turn your computer on when you finish work, if it’s not finished by cut off time it can be the first job accomplished the next morning!
View family time as a non-negotiable
From the hours of 5:30pm till 7pm I am uncontactable, this is family time when we go for our evening walk, have play time, cook and eat dinner, then its Levi’s shower time and reading in bed. I think of this time as I would any other important meeting, I am unavailable, there is nothing in the world that is more important to me than spending quality time with my family, I think it is vital to book in times outside of work for family the way we would book a meeting with our boss, there is no skirting around this meeting, there is nothing that could be more important than this meeting and you need to be fully present at that time.
Don’t waste free time
After family time I like to get down to business, I think running a household involves organisation and precision. Each night of the week will involve a few small cleaning requirements, that way things are always getting done and I don’t feel that housework is getting on top of me.
We follow a cleaning schedule that is quick and easy, my husband knows what is required each night so there are no surprises and if there is a night where we just don’t have the time or neither are feeling well it is the one area thing that we know we can let slide a little.
There is alway’s room for Me Time
Before bedtime is always Me Time, this is the most important aspect when keeping a good work life / personal life balance. I need to make sure that at the end of the day I take whatever time I have available even if it is only 10 minutes and treated myself to something relaxing. This often takes the form of relaxing in the shower for 20 minutes listening to an audiobook or sitting alone in our bedroom and meditating for 10 minutes. I have also been all about a husband made hot chocolate (they taste better when he makes them) and 1/2 hour reading my monthly book club book in bed!
Spending this time on myself I often feel slightly spoilt that I have this luxury but then I remind that I make time to treat myself and if I don’t feel completely present and comfortable in my own skin then I am really not doing myself any real justice.
Set a bedtime
I am the type of person that thrives on 8 hours of sleep, I know that if I want the best out of the day I need to be well refreshed so I stick to my bedtime. If I have tasks to get done in the morning and I want to wake up early at 5am to get a jump start on that date then I am in bed with my phones switched on sleep mode by 9pm.
I use sleep mode on my iPhone with my morning wake up alarm preset, that way any calls will go straight to voice mail and I fall asleep knowing that I won’t be bothered.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
Don’t forget that sometimes life just happens and things are out of our control. If you have a bad day, week or month where it seems like your balance is completely off, take some time to relax, readjust your schedule and plan then start again!
No one is perfect, as long as you are living in the moment as much as practical you should be fine.
By ensuring you that you look after yourself and try to best balance both work and personal responsibilities you are more likely to develop healthy and positive practices.
Do you struggle with your work and personal life balance?
What do you do to help separate your time?