As anyone who’s ever had to juggle their work, family, and social lives will know, it takes serious commitment to keep them all on a nice and even keel.
But it can be done!
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the little things you can do to help you achieve and maintain the ideal work-life balance. We’ll cover -
According to GOV.UK, in Great Britain, ‘at the start of 2022: the UK private sector business population comprised 3.1 million sole proprietorships (which is 56% of the total), 2.1 million actively trading companies (37%), and 353,000 ordinary partnerships (6%)’.
However, according to data from Startup Genome, the failure rate for new startups in the UK is a massive 60%. That’s a lot of people struggling – and when a business fails it isn’t just down to the product or service, it’s down to the way it’s run and the framework that supports it.
So, if your business is going to be successful, you need to look after yourself both mentally and physically – AKA the perfect work-life balance.
With our reliance on tech constantly increasing, it can be incredibly hard to switch off. But if you’re going to steer clear of burnout, it’s vital that you do.
One great practice is to limit your work to one device. That could mean that you have a laptop for work that you use during core work hours, and once it’s switched off then that’s the end of your working day.
If your work involves numerous phone calls, then perhaps you could even have a separate work phone – which should also be turned off outside your core work hours.
By limiting work to certain devices, it’s easier to separate work from home life so that they don’t end up blurring into one another.
Planning is a vital tool if you’re going to keep your work in ‘work’ hours and not let it slip over into your home life. You’ll need to be strict with yourself though, as it’s all too easy to become so consumed by your business that you end up thinking about it night and day.
To help you get things done, try a productivity app like Pomodoro. You work in short, sharp bursts and take breaks after each block of time. It’s a great way to improve focus. Further tips to help you plan include -
Have you ever noticed a correlation between work and illness? You might think your body can cope with burning the candle at both ends but at some point, it will tell you ‘No, this is too much - you need to stop!’
If you’re feeling like you’ve become so caught up in your work that you can’t see a way out, it’s time to stop and listen to your body. Take a step back, so you can see things more clearly. This simple act should help you to see where you’re going wrong, and what needs adjusting.
If you’re worried about your work-life balance, and you feel like you’re struggling to get it right, there are plenty of resources out there to help you. Take a look at the Mental Health Foundation’s website on www.mentalhealth.org.uk - they’ve got a whole section on work-life balance.
The NHS also offers some great mental wellbeing tips if you’re struggling with working from home, and you can find these at www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters
Our bodies are clever. They will tell you when too much is too much. So, if you’re getting hints that something’s not right, listen to your body before things get even more out of control. Things to take notice of include:
There are periods in our lives where we will endure intense stress and pressure. Setting up your own business can be one of them – especially if you’re doing it at the same time as having a family and young kids to support, and a mortgage and bills to pay.
But it is possible - it’s just a careful balancing act.
Make time to switch off from work commitments, spend time with your loved ones, plan your working day, and most importantly – listen to your body. If you can work in harmony with these, then you’re heading in the right direction to a positive work-life balance. Good luck!