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.
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).
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.
-Matt Winn, Social Media Manager, Volusion