‘There’s not enough hours in the day’.
Running a business, whilst extremely rewarding at times, can definitely feel this way day in and day out. Entreprenuers are always feeling the pressure, having to multi-task more than necessary, and working longer hours than they would if they were working a full time job for an employer. The same goes for employees, who find themselves working overtime on a regular basis.
Overworking has become part of the norm for many of us, which sadly doesn’t make us any more productive, happier or healthier. Overworking doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke, and can increase the risk of anxiety or depression. Working longer hours also leads to poor diet choices as we struggle to maintain balance and control in the most important areas of our lives.
So in this overworked world we live in, how can you be successful in your business or profession while creating a healthy balance.
1. Start the day with a ritual.
I like to start my day with a healthy breakfast while listening to some of my favourite tunes. Generally a fruit/vegetable smoothie is my daily go to as I know that my busy day will possibly throw my diet out. I find once I have achieved this small task, I am in a healthy mindset to get into my work.
Everyone is different, so try what works for you. The idea is simply to allow yourself to warm up into the day and take some time to enjoy the morning. Whether you wake up and meditate, go to the gym, read a book or spend time with family, keeping your morning routine/ritual will improve your balance in life.
2. Set clearly defined goals. Be realistic!
According to a study done by Gail Matthews at Dominican University, those who wrote down their goals accomplished significantly more than those who did not write down their goals. — Forbes.
It sounds obvious right? When you write down your goals, you’re holding yourself accountable to them. Running a business or professional employment can become very distracting, with so many tasks being thrown your way unexpectedly. Having clearly defined goals keeps you focused on what’s most important.
I approach goal setting with a 5 in 90 mindset. I write down 5 goals I want to achieve with a turnaround of 90 days. I keep a page on each goal and write down everything I need to do, or what has been done to achieve that goal. Although 5 goals doesn’t sound like much, they’re all small wins and you’ll find yourself achieving a lot more and much quicker than you would have if you weren’t writing it down. Try it out, it works.
3. Save some energy!
Don’t have enough time to finish all the tasks you set yourself today? Don’t worry, save your energy and tackle them tomorrow as top priority. You need to be able to accept the fact that some days you might not finish everything, and that’s completely fine. Understand that you also need to focus your energy into tasks outside of work.
Know your limits, when to pull back, and put that extra energy into family, friends, health/fitness, social commitments, hobbies and your own downtime.
4. Learn to say NO!
We all aim to please. Saying YES to as much as we can to keep those around us happy, or to acknowledge our own desire to succeed. However, saying yes to everything is the perfect way to sabotage achieving balance in life. In business, not every opportunity that comes your way is worth disrupting the balance you’ve created for yourself. Assess each task or opportunity before saying yes, to see if it’s worth it. If you’re unsure, park it to the side and get back to it when you can.
5. Take a break!
Knowing when to take a break is critical in achieving a healthy life balance. You can’t work day in and day out without time to unwind and reflect.
If you’re looking for a proper break, plan a vacation if you can. Even if you’re not going away anywhere, taking time off will give you a chance to focus on the more important things in life. Running an online business made it very hard for me to get away in the early stages, partly because of my own obsession to not give myself a break. Nowadays, I plan breaks around long weekends, and it has helped keep me happy, positive and refreshed.
Another tip is to take 10 minute breaks throughout the day when you need them, or alternatively a 15 minute nap which can improve brain functions ranging from memory to focus and creativity. On that note, I’m off for a siesta!
Photo credit: @christianbendek