The Constant Juggle: 3 Steps to Achieving Work/Life Balance

The title says it all.  As business owners, our devotion to what we do on a daily basis is high.  The value proposition for being successful is deeper than receiving a check at the end of a pay period.  It’s about passion.  It’s about purpose.  It’s about perseverance.  These characteristics are what keeps us engaged, but are what can also be our nemesis.  If we're not careful, date nights and family fun days can become a distant memory.  Birthdays and holidays slip by.   That movie we wanted to see in-theater is now "On Demand".  Our favorite artist has performed in town twice and we completely missed the Ticketmaster alert.  

All we do is WORK

So, the question remains, “How do we balance the ever opposing forces of work and life?”  I admit; I’m definitely guilty of having “faulty focus”.  Has anybody else figured out the formula that will crack the code? 

Here are a few ideas that have helped me to move the needle.  If you have any, please leave them in the comments section below. 

Schedule Your Breaks 

If you’re a calendar person like I am, we live and (hopefully will never) die by it.  Punctuality and proper time management are critical to sustaining the balance of our inner chi.  So, given this affixation, be sure to schedule your breaks and family time. Identify standing times and/or a specific day where you will completely detach and then place them on the calendar.  If your calendar is visible to those you work with, that's even better.  It will send a clear message to others that you don’t intend to be bothered.  Set the tone and honor your decision to decompress.  If you don’t, no one else well. 

Stay In The Moment

When you’re away, stay away.  Our mobile devices have a way of becoming our leashes.  Find the “Do Not Disturb” mode immediately.  If something critical is going on, delegate power of authority to a trusting cohort.  If you don’t have a trusting cohort, then we’ve got other problems.  Your kids don’t want to look out from the stage of their 2nd Grade play to see you curled up in the corner with Roxanne (your phone) talking about production support issues. 

Set Clear Boundaries 

Even in Corporate America, I definitely struggled with this.  Co-workers will only do what you allow.  Therefore, it's important that you set the tone early.  If you answer that “urgent” phone call at 6am, they will continue to call at 6am.  Set clear boundaries of what’s acceptable and what isn’t.  Emergencies are emergencies.  Sure, things happen.  However, you have the power to teach your colleagues where your boundaries lie and how to adhere to protocol.   This aids in breeding an environment of respect and consideration that’s conducive to sustaining balance.