Set parameters based on life, not work. For example, commit to never miss a child's event or date lunch/dinner. Leave work at work. Take vacations without your smartphone, iPad and computer (something I struggle with!).
hey - great advice by Mike and Alexandra. Listen to it. Apply it.
Here's a bit more.
For starters, "work-life" balance... I don't believe in such a thing. Why? Unless your day is 8 hours of sleep, 8 hours of work and 8 hours of life outside of work... you're out of "balance". Good luck getting the 8-8-8 day.
Most entrepreneurs I know put in 60+ hours a week minimum.
In my opinion, "balance" doesn't exist, so stop fighting it. Instead, focus on HARMONY.
"Harmony" means being present when you're with the people you're with. Don't be thinking of family when you're at work. Don't be thinking of work when you're with family. When you're with family... be present and don't be living in your head.
When you're at work, focus on work. When you're with family, focus on family. When you're with friends... well, you get the idea.
Some work days are longer than others. That's life... so when you get home... do what you have to do to be present. And don't try to BS your friends and family because their not stupid... they can tell when you're not (mentally) in the room.
About two years ago I came home from work, talking on my phone, walked into the house.
My (then, 3.5 year old) daughter didn't come to greet me. My wife said, "Hayden, you're daddy's home, go give him a hug."
To which Hayden replied without even skipping a beat, "It's okay mom, daddy's on the phone."
I felt like crap. To this day, any calls that I'm on when I arrive home are finished before I walk into the house... once I'm home, I belong to my family.
Schedule, schedule, schedule! Compartmentalise everything and stick to it. If you've scheduled to take the children out, don't spend the time on your smartphone. Work is work, family is family! Schedule in time for YOU and you alone.
Most entrepreneurs I work with are wired to blend work and life over a 24/7 period rather than having hard stops and rigidity. You still want schedules but if you have the option to do work that fits your priorities and energy level at the moment do it!
If it's Tuesday morning and doing a family activity makes sense go ahead without guilt. If you have the energy and inspiration to conduct business on a Saturday morning have at it.
The goal is to use all hours to their best and not be tied to traditional work hours. BUT, to achieve balance, you must make sure that one area of your life does not bleed into others. Make sure that over the course of a week you are carving out appropriate time for all aspects of your life. Saying you can work 24/7 doesn't mean all hours are assigned to that activity. It means you can be flexible with when you work and when you spend time with family.
I think Vincent nailed it. I would go with that.
The short answer is by getting your priorities right.
And for that you need to have your criteria properly set.
I have developed an instrument that takes into account the most important areas of a person's life:
- health and energy
- growth & evolution
- and of course... career
The simple answer is to set boundaries between these 4 areas and not cross them...
In my 5AM Coaching program I offer the following daily structure:
5AM to 7AM (Me time - exercise, water, breakfast, priorities for the day, journaling, affirmations)
7AM to 8AM (greeting the other members of the family, preparing to leave for work/school/etc)
8AM to 9AM (travel)
9AM to 6PM (intense & focused work - following top priorities and other productivity methods (e.g. Pomodoro technique))
6PM to 7PM (travel home)
7PM to 9:30PM (family time and/or friends time)
9:30 to 10PM (me time - finishing off the day, lessons learned, priorities for the next day)
7 hours of sleep... and continue from 5AM on...
This schedule that I follow together with all my clients is the answer.
For more info please see the site: www.5amcoaching.com
Great question! It's a question that perplexes so many successful entrepreneurs and executives.
Here are a few tips:
1- First, get clear about what you "don't want"
2- Afterwards, write out what you want instead
3- Then, ask yourself, why you can't have it. These are your limiting beliefs... Blocks which are keeping you from living the life you can love... the life you deserve!
If these beliefs don't serve you... choose again!
Questions about building work-life balance? Call me for a FREE 30-minute consultation. I can help.