As a business coach, entrepreneurs are constantly asking me how they can find a balance between their businesses and their personal lives. And I always tell them the same thing: true balance is a total myth, because it's completely unattainable.
Think about it: You can't spend 25 percent of the day at work, 25 percent of the day with your kids, 25 percent of the day with your spouse, and 25 percent of the day taking care of yourself, and still achieve your goals and make sure everyone feels taken care of. It's just not possible. So what you're really looking for is harmony. You want to figure out how you can achieve all of your goals, while still spending quality time with the people who matter most. To help you with this, here are five easy things you can do immediately to achieve a more harmonious work-life balance:
#1: Define what harmony looks like for you.
First, figure out what your perfect, harmonious day would look like. To give you a little inspiration, here's mine:
7 a.m. - 8 a.m.: Get my daughter ready and drive her to school.
8 a.m. - 3 p.m.: Work.
3 p.m. - 7 p.m.: My daughter comes home from school at 3 p.m., so I shut down the computer from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. to be with her.
8 p.m. - 10 p.m.: If I have an appointment with a client on the west coast, I come back to work for an hour or two. If not, I relax with my husband, take a bubble bath, or read a book.
In addition, harmony means giving myself permission to stray from my schedule every once in awhile. It means going to my daughter's school play at 1 p.m., even though that's technically a working hour, and taking time to exercise and eat a proper lunch if that's what my body needs at the moment.
#2: When you're away from work, be away from work.
This is one of the hardest things for entrepreneurs to do, but it's so important. When it's time to stop working, I encourage you to shut down your computer, close the office door, and step away -- both physically and mentally. That means no compulsively checking your email on your phone when you should be relaxing with your family! Make the decision to be present in the moment and enjoy your life.
#3: Stop saying "I'm too busy."
Busy is really code for "that's not important to me right now." So every time you want to say, "I'm too busy," replace it with "that's not important to me right now. Once you do that, I guarantee it'll be a lot harder for you to say no to the experiences, people, and events that contribute to a harmonious work-life balance, because you know how important they are.
#4: Write your ideas down during non-working hours.
You can't control when inspiration strikes, so if you get an amazing idea while you're relaxing with your family, quickly jot it down on a piece of paper. That way you can put it out of your mind and truly forget about work, knowing that everything you need to remember is written down in a safe place.
#5: Don't forget to take time for yourself.
A lot of my clients avoid taking time for themselves because they mistakenly believe that if they don't have an hour to indulge, it's not worth it. But that's not true! You can take care of yourself five or ten minutes at a time! For example, I used to sell skin care products, and I'd keep one of the softening scrubs at my kitchen sink at all times. Once I was done with the dishes, I'd rub it on my hands for a few minutes. It took very little time, but it was so relaxing and made me feel nurtured. I encourage you to look for similar experiences that you can indulge in on a consistent basis to make yourself feel nurtured and taken care of.
I want to hear from you! What are the biggest challenges you face when trying to balance your business and personal life? Leave your answer in the comment box below!