In today’s fast-paced work environment, achieving a work and life balance can seem impossible. Technology makes most workers accessible 24 hours a day.
The stress of never taking a minute off can compound to hurt your health, your relationships with loved ones and friends, and your overall happiness.
The stress you deal with day to day can easily bleed into your home life if you let it, so don’t let it. The trick is to follow set principles that allow you to keep that stress in the office where it belongs.
Today, I want to talk to you about how to find your perfect work and life balance so that you spend less time working and more time doing the things you love.
Schedule in Your Free Days
First, it’s important to have free days to yourself. It’s a challenge to find Free Days designated just for you — difficult unless you have a system.
Dan Sullivan, the president of The Strategic Coach, has a fantastic system that is both effective and easy to use. Dan’s Entrepreneurial Time System divides days into three categories of time: focus, buffer and free.
Focus Days means you spend 80% of your time, at least, making use of your primary expertise.
Buffer Days are when you do the planning and learn to build skills. The goal is to do things that allow you to make the most from your Focus Days. For example, take a class, train your staff or delegate a new project.
Free Days are for you. That will mean something different to each person, but a day free from anything work-related, from emails to documents. Go from midnight to midnight without thinking about work.
Free Days can involve family, but it’s critical to make some of them only about you, where you do something on your own just for the pleasure of it.
All three days play on one another. Buffer Days build skills and make improvements that support your Focus Days. Free Days, however, allow you time to clear your mind and relax, making you more active on both Buffer and Focus Days.
Learn to Say No
Second, you need to learn how to say no. In today’s high-tech world, it seems everyone has some need of your time.
Coworkers, bosses and even friends have your ear at their fingertips thanks to social media and smartphones. Being tugged at consistently in all directions allows the things you need to complete left unaddressed.
You feel like you should be there for others, but it comes at a cost as you let your projects and priorities fall by the wayside.
The answer to this problem is quite simple: Learn to say no. You’ll need to learn to speak it to those that would pull you away from your goals, stealing your attention for themselves.
Take Your Vacation Time
Third, use your vacation time. There is a growing trend in the business world — not utilizing vacation time.
A survey conducted by Harris Interactive states that 57% of businesspeople had vacation time that they did not use.
Like Free Days, vacations are essential. When you return, you will be well-rested and more productive than ever, and that makes you a valuable employee, one worth keeping.
Plan and schedule at least four vacations for yourself in the next year. A holiday doesn’t have to mean a week or more, though. It can be a long weekend exploring your favorite city or taking a road trip with friends.
The only two rules are that you take vacations and that you create a schedule for them. Whether it’s a weekend in the country or your dream vacation, take the time to plan it, or you’ll miss it entirely.
Finally, delegate everything that you can. Delegating tasks frees up time to allow you to focus on what pulls in the money.
For example, a real estate agent should spend time doing what earns commission — closing houses.
By letting assistants and staff take care of the legwork such as creating videos or writing listings, that agent can close even more properties and bring in more income.
Delegate Completely, That Is
One of the principles I believe in most is complete delegation. In other words, delegating a task completely and just once.
If you hire a housekeeper, create the desired goal — a sparkling clean house — designate the budget and then walk away. If the housekeeper fails to meet the target as you requested more than once, look for a new housekeeper.
This complete delegation ensures that you don’t spend extra time going from room to room giving instructions or double-checking work.
Avoiding micromanaging allows you more time to do what you do best or focusing on your core genius.
It also helps ease the mind of those performing the delegated tasks. Trying to do everything yourself cheats your success but delegating empowers it.
Achieving Your Work and Life Balance
Life is about balance. Work and home are separate uses of your time, but balancing them puts you on the road to success.
Decide today to apply the principles of a work and life balance:
- Schedule in your free days
- Learn to say no
- Take your vacation time
- Delegate completely
One practice that has helped me to achieve balance and success in life is meditation.
Meditation allows you to clear out the distractions and stresses in your life so you can tap into your inner strengths and guiding intuition. Download my free Meditation Guide to help you get started and discover the power you have within to find the perfect work and life balance.
And remember, nothing in your life will change for the better until you do.