How to Achieve Work Life Balance
Spend More Time with Your Family & Recharging Your Batteries
In today’s episode: We discuss why we all need to find work / life balance and what I have found helps me and my struggle through the years of finding my own work / life balance
Click to Listen to the Show:
Don't Have Time to Listen? Here are the Show Notes:
Episode 62: How to Achieve Work Life Balance
Welcome back to the Local Small Business Coach Podcast. I am your coach, Tammy Adams.
Today we are going to take a look at how you have a better work / life balance
Hey everyone. How’s it going? So, last week I took an email from a listener and one part of it really got me thinking. I realized that I probably needed to do an episode on the topic. As I felt that many of us probably struggled with the same thing. So why not have a conversation on how do you find time to have work life balance?
I realized I really need to be 100% honest here, I have been horrible at this through my entire career. I have been a workaholic since I was 16 years old. And when you love what you do it doesn’t seem like work. However, through the years, it also taught me a lot of really bad habits.
BAD HABITS of WORK LIFE BALANCE
I have been known to work 6 to 7 days a week and late into the night. I have been horrible at recharging my batteries and through the years, I was horrible at even taking my vacations. When I left Home Depot, after 22 years, I think it’s safe to say I probably missed 10-12 vacation weeks. Although I did get much better at this at the tail end of my career but in those early years I always felt work needed me more.
Another bad habit that I developed was coming home late to dinner on a regular basis. Unfortunately, even when I left Depot and had my local business, I didn’t get much better. I still had these same bad habits.
You see when your local small business owner you constantly busting your butt. You are either running around creating business or doing business. You end up working seven days a week whether you want to or not. The problem is, you can control some of that and some of it you cannot control. When I had my ice cream shop, I ended up working almost every single day for five years. Other than the death of my grandmother and when my stepdad got sick, I pretty much was there all the time. Don’t get me wrong, occasionally I would take a day off here and there but I would be so tired that day, it wasn’t like I was really present with those I cared about. I was there physically but mentally I was shot. You all have them, days you don’t want to make a decision and just want to rest no matter how much your mind tells you to do other things?
Then when I got into real estate, which as you know, is a 24/7 business, it took forever for me to figure out what day to take off. First I was taking off during the week but I was missing precious time to be able to interact with the different businesses that I had to stay in touch with and at night and on the weekends your buyers are wanting to see homes. I try and take off Sundays now but end up working on the podcast. LOL But I love it, so that will not stop.
So needless to say, my 8 years as a local small business owner, I haven’t really taken vacations and struggle with the day off. Other than a few little short trips, I have not had a really good solid vacation. And boy do I need one.
WE HURT THOSE WE LOVE
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to have anyone feel sorry for me. It is just the reality many of us face.
As a small business owner, odds are you have folks who love you and want you to spend more time with them. But work life balance is also about taking care of yourself with plenty of sleep, recharging your batteries and having fun. And while I never had kids of my own, I always had nephews and nieces come live with me during the summers or for mini vacations. I applaud anybody that is trying to balance kids at the same time, that has got to be rough. I usually just had to deal with an upset significant others who has been upset with me on more than one occasion as I’m sure many of yours have been as well.
So why on earth do we do this to ourselves?
WHY DO WE WORK SO HARD?
Other than being workaholics, there has to be more to it. Why on earth do we do this to ourselves?
Probably the biggest reason why many of us work so many hours is, let’s face it, we have bills to pay and we make the excuse that we need to keep working this hard because we need the money to support our family, so we take anything and everything that helps with that goal.
But even though we will do what is needed to support our family, we still need to put some boundaries around that time. Because earning money can’t be at the expense of your family. So it is important that we look at possible solutions to how we can find a better work life balance.
HOW CAN YOU FIND A BETTER WORK LIFE BALANCE
So just how can we find a better work life balance? Like I said I am far from perfect and I am probably not the best person to take advice from but I have learned some tricks that make me 10 times better than what I use to be. So I thought I’d share what I have done over the years to improve.
The first thing was to prioritize the family needs by blocking them on my calendar so I didn’t mess them up. For example, I help take a couple of family members to their doctor appointments, so I immediately put them on my calendar so I know I need to work around these important commitments.
So make sure you are putting your family priorities in your calendar and keep them sacred. Even if you are working hard to get out of debt and working 2 to 3 jobs, you need to find a block of time that can be set aside for say a two-dollar movie or maybe you can take your kids to the park. Make one to three hours precious to your family so they know why you are working so hard. Let them know there is a timeline to this madness and that you’ll be stopping at some point.
Another thing that this time blocking helps with is, a bad habit us workaholics create for ourselves. We have the worst time management. This not only hurts our family, we are also hurting ourselves. Because what might take us eight hours to do ends up taking 12 because of our lack of time management. However, some of you might have a different situation. Some of you work too many hours due to over committing ourselves. You just can’t say no. So you have to ask yourself if what you are committing to is more important than your family or whatever else you are giving up?.
Let’s face it, sometimes our clients or customers need us at all times of the day. However, I do think there comes a point where it does become ridiculous. One of the things I struggle with as a mentioned was this need to be 24/7 in real estate, but some agents swing that bar way to far the other way. They do not work after 5 o’clock nor on the weekends. They put in their listings that if you submit an offer on Friday night or Saturday it will not be reviewed till Monday. Now, is that in your clients best interest. Especially since the majority of the showings happen Friday Saturday Sunday and at nights. I’m not saying don’t put restrictions on your time but make sure it is in your clients best interest at the same time. Find ways that are win/win for both you and your clients.
Let’s face it, no matter how hard we try, if you are in a business that does bleed into nights and weekends you’re going to have to work crazy hours at times.
SET A TIME TO GO HOME EACH NIGHT
Another thing I did which is probably the first thing I started with many years ago, was I needed to commit to a time that I would end work and be home for dinner. This forces you to work on that time management problem I mentioned earlier. Have you ever noticed that before you go on a vacation how much work you get done right before the vacation begins?
It is because you have a purpose and you know you’re going to run out of time so you manage your time better. You need to treat each day just like you have a vacation coming. You need to set boundaries for when you will close up shop and when you will be home. This way you can have those dinners at home with your family.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you don’t work after dinner or when the kids go to sleep. It just means you block off the time and you make the commitments that you will not mess with. Then when the kids go to bed, work on the things you need to. It is a great time to work on invoices, estimate and work on the plans to make your business better. You know, that time to work “on” your business vs just “in” your business. Now you get a win/win. You have a better work life with your family and you are setting aside that crucial time we keep talking about.
But if for nothing else, make this commitment to your family I promise it’s probably the single biggest thing that you can do.
By the way, you don’t have to have kids, a spouse or a significant other to need work life balance. You could be single and needing to just get out and smell the fresh air or maybe spend a good 3 hours doing your quilty pleasure. This time is just as important.
MAKING THE MENTAL COMMITMENT IS THE HARDEST PART
Once you make that mental decision to be “present” with your family, you will be amazed at how much easier it is to do this. You will wish you had started years ago.
Like I said, I’m not a pro at this. I am a work in progress. I have found little things I can do to spend more time with my family. Instead or working in my home office on projects, I use my laptop while we watch tv. Is it the ideal solution? No, but it is one step in the right direction.
Think about your life and your business. Will time blocking help? How about if you blocked vacation time? How about putting important events on your calendar? What a great way to be at Bobby soccer game or Susie’s dance recital.
How would your family dinner time feel to everyone if you made it home by 6:30 each night and you could spend a good hour or two with everyone?
HOW DO YOU FIND WORK LIFE BALABCE?
Those are the things I do, so how about you? Are there any tricks you have learned through the years that might help other listeners? If so, what are some of the things that you do to help protect your time with your family?. If you don’t mind head on over to the website and leave a message on the speak pipe button or leave a comment on the shownotes at localsmallbusinesscoach.com/episode62 or shoot me an email at Tammy@localsmallbusinesscoach.com. I would love to hear from you and if I hear anything that I think everybody needs to hear, I will definitely make sure to share it.
I guess my parting advice is, if you know you struggle with work life balance, the first step is to recognize that it is a problem and not just because you’re a workaholic.
As we wrap up this episode I want you to know, that I realize being a local small business owner can be a lonely gig at times. But you don’t have to do it alone. Just know, I’m always here for you.
By the way, If you like what we are taking about, then make sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode, if you love the podcast and what we are talking about, then please leave a 5 star review so other local small business owners know this is a podcast that they can’t miss.
And don’t forget to visit the website at LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com to leave your question for me to possibly answer on the podcast in the future. You can leave it via the Speakpipe button or just shoot me an email.
Meanwhile, I wish you the best in your business and remember: Great Customer Service, coupled with Great business practices will set you on the path to Great Profits!
Bye for now…..
Have a Question You Want Asked on Air? Shoot Me Your Question
Podcast Website: LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com
Leave your Message on the website with the SpeakPipe Button or just email me at Tammy@LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com
Our Training Materials for Local Small Business Owners: TrainingforLocalSmallBusinessOwners.com
Starting a Local Small Business Website: StartALocalSmallBusiness.com
My Recommended Bookkeeping Program for Local Small Business Owners: Freshbooks Link
Why? Helps you invoice quicker and more importantly, get paid quicker. Let’s you know when your clients have opened the email and they even help send reminders. Clients / customers can pay right from their phone or computer. Give it a Try: Freshbooks
**Freshbooks is an affiliate link. This costs you nothing. I only recommend due to how much folks have loved it. I am paid a small commission but trust me. Even I use it. Try it for free for 30 days and see if you don’t love it too!
Today's episode, as well as all of our episodes, is brought to you by trainingforlocalsmallbusinessowners.com. Where we provide free tips, tools and resources for your local small business. So whether you are just starting out or you've been in business for a while and want to learn more ways to increase your profit, boost your sales, improve your processes and develop stronger teams then head on over once again to trainingforlocalsmallbusinessowners.com..
And if you are Thinking of Starting a Local Small business, over at StartALocalSmallBusiness.com we have lots of free tools and resources to help you get your local small business started. Plus, we now have a more in-depth course to Help Get you going. It has 12 modules, 50 mini videos and 13 downloadable tools a person can use to start their local small business. You can find the link once again at StartALocalSmallBusiness.com. I also have set up a special discount code for listeners of the podcast. At checkout, just add the code PODCAST to save 25%.
See you on the next episode!
Two Great Books to Help You With Your Small Business:
Highly Recommend all Local Small Business Owners Read the eMyth by Micheal Gerber. You will learn some critical things about running your business.
The second book is one I wrote based off a popular example I always use when folks are trying to understand their role as a leader with their people. Check it out.
Start Earning More $$$
Tired of working 60 - 70 hours a week and still barely making ends meet?
What if you could start earning more money right away and not increase the hours you are working?
In this ebook, I'll introduce you to the 8 Steps to start increasing your sales and revenue right away.
So, if you are ready to Start Making $100,000 in TAKE HOME PAY...
Download the book today to get started!
Don’t You Think it is Time You Start Making What You Deserve!