Getting the balance right between work and home is tricky – it’s like the Holy Grail at the moment isn’t it? There is a lot out there about work/life balance and self-care but the pressure of that in itself can be overwhelming. But by going back to basics, balance is definitely in reach. In this blog I explore the importance of balance both in business and around it. Have you got the balance right?
Swans have set us the worst example
Now, hands up who is perfecting the art of being swanlike at the moment? As in, frantically swimming underneath but on the exterior is cool, calm and collected. If this sounds like you, then rest assured you’re not alone. This year has been unpredictable and pretty intense and most people are emotionally and physically exhausted. We’ve not been able to recharge the batteries and the constant stresses and worries living in the COVID world are tiring.
Keeping your business and sanity on an even keel
Although some businesses have done fantastically well, this has still been exhausting. On the other hand we’ve seen successful businesses struggle, leaders finding it hard to define their role, employees struggling to set boundaries and the self-employed running on nervous energy, fearful to take a break. None of this is conducive to a healthy business as if the leader and owner flounders, so can the business. I’ve written in the past about having a healthy attitude to productivity and I’d urge everyone to strike that balance for your own wellbeing.
Managing the unexpected
If you throw into the mix the added element of childcare, working from home and living in front of a screen it’s been a few months that we didn’t anticipate. Then trying to slot in exercise, eating well, checking in on friends and family and having some ‘you’ time, it’s been a challenge. There have been some crazy expectations out there and remember you don’t have to do everything. It’s no wonder some people want to run and hide away and get woken up when it’s all over.
The key to a happy you is balance, it’s not easy, but not impossible. Achieving balance has to come from you. So be strict with yourself and treat yourself with the care and love you deserve. Do you think you’ve got the balance right? If you have then please share your top tips and if not, do read on to find out what might help.
Here are four tips to help you balance the scales a bit more evenly
Create a schedule
It might sound strict but it really helps, and it allows you to time block time for you – including lunch! How many times have you missed lunch, it’s now 3pm and you’ve started to chew the desk? If you write down everything you have to do that day, preferably the night before, you can make sure you stick to it and be strict with your boundaries. Your ‘you’ time is non-negotiable.
Sounds obvious but make time to get up from your desk and move – preferably outside. Loo breaks a few times a day don’t really count as exercise… You can end up feeling lethargic and mentally, but not physically, tired by the end of the day. Try a walking meeting if you can, alternatively opt for a phone call over Zoom so you can take a walk or at least break away from the screen.
Sharing is caring
Are you delegating enough? And I mean both to your team / colleagues and your family at home. Are you spending every morning emptying the dishwasher and doing the laundry while your partner solely works? You might be taking the load on for your team as an act of care for them when actually it’s impacting you. Take the time to have a look about what your tasks are and ensure they are shared equally. Getting the balance right between work and home is tricky, especially if you’re currently working with and around each other.
Setting boundaries – physical and emotional
A lot has been said about this but it’s hugely important, especially as many of us are working from home. Make sure you carve out a space for you to work and define it. Even if it’s in a communal space, how can you pack it up at the end of the day and tidy it away? Can you have a nice plant next to your laptop when you are working and when the lid goes down, replace with a lovely, scented candle? Setting these boundaries are helpful for others at home too so they know when you can’t be interrupted and when you’re free. Don’t forget the emotional boundaries too – when you a lot for everyone and everything, it’s easy to keep saying ‘yes’ and you’ll be running on empty. In the words of the late and great Aretha Franklin, think R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Getting the balance right between work and home is definitely one of the keys to success. By making sure you have it allows for wonderful things to happen. And for you to enjoy them too.