How to Achieve Work-Life Balance without Trying Too Hard

Has the hustle of balancing your online business and daily life got you down? Check out these five effortless tips to get you back on track.

 

Let’s be real for a minute.

Sometimes life can be a lot to handle. Between juggling your online business and making time for your loved ones, it’s easy to set your own health aside.

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard to keep your plates spinning. Over the past few months, I’ve been traveling a lot for work, undertaking lots of fun new projects and helping friends plan for some major milestones. While I was thrilled to be part of the excitement, I wound up gaining ten pounds, missing deadlines and being downright cranky.

Side note: I’ll also admit that I’m single with no kids, so here’s a million gold stars to you parents out there – I seriously don’t know how you do it!

So in the spirit of taking care of ourselves and reclaiming our sanity, here are some tips to help achieve that mystical work-life balance, all tested and approved by yours truly.

Stop glorifying “multitasking”

It’s become quite popular for people to brag about how many things they can do at once. While this may sound impressive, take a second and ask, “How much do I actually get done by multitasking?” The human mind is wired to focus on one thing at a time, so if you’re simultaneously working on five tasks, all you’re doing is working harder, not smarter.

Instead, dedicate your full attention into accomplishing one project at a time. If it helps, block off a section of time on your calendar to dedicate to the task at hand. For example, if you need to add 50 new products for your spring line, give yourself a full hour to do so, ignoring incoming emails and phone calls.

You’ll be amazed at how much faster items are crossed off your to-do list by working this way.

Go offline, for real

In a world where we’re constantly connected to our smartphones, tablets and laptops, it’s nearly impossible to ever be alone with your thoughts. Once you find a few minutes of peace and quiet, here comes another text message to shake you from solitude.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution for this: turn everything off. Seriously. Turn off your phone, hide your laptop and lock your doors. Last weekend, I went completely offline for an entire 6 hours and caught up on all the cooking magazines stacked on my coffee table. It was glorious.

You’ll never be able to experience work-life balance if you’re endlessly attached to technology, so don’t be afraid to turn it off and get your life back.

Establish a routine

Like it or not, humans are bred to be creatures of habit. While some of us may be thrill seekers, there’s nothing better for your work-life balance than waking up and going to bed at the same time each night.

To help you get started, start and stop working at the same time every day. Even Facebook goddess Sheryl Sandburg leaves work at 5:30 every day, and you should follow suit. More than that, try to eat your meals around the same time and regularly schedule relaxation activities (mine is DVR with a scoop of ice cream at 9:30pm) so you have something to look forward to.

Exercise

I know, I know – everyone says this when they talk about work-life balance. And while it may seem counterintuitive to add another activity to help relax, it really works. Now there’s no need to go overboard here (don’t pull out your P90X unless you really want to), but a lot can be said for something as simple as taking a walk around the block or going for a quick bike ride. If you can do something outside, even better – fresh air can do wonders.

And if you need some extra incentive, extra exercise leads to losing extra inches, which means it’s time to go shopping for new clothes. And who doesn’t find that relaxing?

Take regular breaks

Does this sound familiar? You look at your to-do list, take a deep breath and dive in. Once you finish one task, you move straight to the next (and the next and the next).

Stop it.

While you work, reward yourself take a quick, 10-minute break after each accomplished item. Want to create a new board on Pinterest? Go for it. Need to catch the latest headlines? Do it.

While breaks may seem like a waste of time on the surface, they’re actually invaluable since they help recharge your mind, preparing you to fully tackle the next item on your agenda.

 

At the end of the day, achieving that work-life balance isn’t as hard as it seems, as long as you take small steps each day to make it work. I hope that these tips are helpful as you continue your quest to having it all.

As for me lately, I’ve lost three pounds, am cranking out better work and have been smiling a lot more.

Happy selling!
-Matt Winn, Social Media Manager, Volusion

About 

Matt Winn is Volusion’s Senior Brand Manager, where he helps oversee the organization’s branding and communications efforts. Matt has created hundreds of articles, videos and seminars on all things ecommerce, ranging from online marketing to web design and customer experience. Beyond being a certified nerd, Matt is an avid college football fan, enthusiastic home cook and a self-admitted reality TV junkie.

11 Responses to “How to Achieve Work-Life Balance without Trying Too Hard”

  1. Timmy Griffin

    You’re right on all accounts. I’ve tried and succeeded greatly by using these simple steps-maybe it should be called that way. Slightly different, compared to the picture you built with them. Let me figuratively explain each, how I’ve benefited from them.

    Once I attempted multitasking and found out that it wasn’t for me. I always prefer to prioritise each task and follow it up to the end.

    Few years back I was attempting to be always available and online. Eager to help, but at some point things became hectic and I couldn’t even get a decent vacation out of it. Going offline is extremely refreshing and stimulating for the brain that it’s indescribable.

    Exercise and routine should come head to head. Especially for people who are working in an office, like myself.

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  2. Robert Edwards

    The buidling of system of routins and habits makes the working process less stressful and well-arranged . I have learned to listen to my inner voice and when it is whispering that I just can’t take it any longer I go for a short break- form 2 to 5 minutes just to get distracted and I return charged with power to my working seat.
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  3. Deb

    Excellent, REALISTIC suggestions. Some of them I already know to be so very true, so it feels great to be validated … the others I am anxious to try. Thank you

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hi Deb, you’re very welcome! Let me know how they work out for you, and if you have any others you’d like to share. Thanks! -Matt

      Reply
  4. Brenda

    Thanks for the timely reminder, all good advice! Love all the great tips you provide us here and with your 2 Min Tuesdays. I appreciate the thought you put into breaking down what can be daunting tasks into simple to do’s. It really is a big help. 🙂

    Reply
    • Matt

      Thanks, Brenda! So glad you’re enjoying the articles and videos and that they’re of help to you! -Matt

      Reply
  5. Silvana

    Perfect message to read at the end of my day !! Building a business while rasing a family and a 13 month old baby can be a real challenge….. thank you so much for the words of encouragement !

    Reply
    • Matt

      Hi Silvana, keep up the great work! You’re definitely a superhero in our book. Thanks for reading! -Matt

      Reply
  6. Eric Murphy

    Congrats on the weight loss Matt!

    Reply

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