Work-life balance has always been a struggle for me. I’m a workaholic. I love my job, I love my work, I love traveling to conferences, I love writing. All this means I tend to live and breathe work. But, I also have a wonderful family – a husband, kids, dogs, extended family, and close friends. Trying to balance my work-life and my home-life – especially after starting my company, has been exceedingly challenging. I’m a bit of a perfectionist – I really hate failure – so seeing how difficult the first two years of trying to balance my life were ended up with me feeling a bit like a failure all the time. The kids weren’t happy, my husband wasn’t happy, I wasn’t happy.
Then I read a little piece of advice – something somewhat silly, frankly, but it changed a lot of my perceptions and has turned into something I try to do every day.
Take 30 minutes a day – just 2% of the day- and use it to do something purely for enjoyment. That’s it.
Many of us are busy all the time. Between getting ready, taking kids to school, working out, going to work, eating, sleeping, and taking care of normal daily activities, there isn’t a lot of wiggle room in that schedule for “fun stuff.” However, when you consider that just two percent of your day can change your life, that’s something worth trying.
So what do you enjoy? I love having a quiet cup of coffee outside (weather permitting). I love taking baths. I love being able to read a book with a glass of wine. I love getting my nails done. These are things that make me happy, that provide a bit of self-care, and by making time for one of these a day (there’s no way I could do all of them!), I’ve made huge strides in my work-life balance over the last year. I have found that I have worked fewer evenings, fewer weekends, and am getting more sleep. And honestly, we haven’t lost any clients over it, because our clients have lives, too.
So take some time for yourself and figure out what you’d be doing if you had all the time in the world. Then carve out just 30 minutes to do that for yourself and make a commitment to do it every day or almost every day. You’ll find your creativity will increase, your productivity will increase, and your work-life balance will improve tremendously.