Editor’s Note:  Today it is my pleasure to have Jessy, a stay-at-home mompreneur share her insights on work life balance.  Have a great weekend everybody – Bryce

Work has become a major strain on every day life. People work longer hours than ever, costs are rising, and stress in the home is common. Entrepreneurs have a special kind of struggle as they try to manage their own business in an uncertain economy. It isn’t easy making it work in today’s age, or getting through it all without developing an ulcer.

One thing you might have noticed in all of this hassle is that your home and work lives seem to have entered into a struggle. Both demand your time, finances, energy and attention. Both take up a lot of the resources you have at your disposal, and it might be driving you a little batty. Or, at least, making you really feel the pressure building up.

Don’t let it explode! Instead, take some time (valuable as it is) to generate some balance between the two factions of your life. These tips can help you get started.

Tip # 1 – Just Let Go!

You want control. This is part of any business owner’s general personality, and so it is probably your instinct to personally monitor every tiny bit of your company at all times during the day. Nothing is too small for your complete attention and focus, and  nothing can draw you away.

Stop it.

The truth is, doing everything yourself is not a positive, and it is a quick way to make mistakes. It is also unnecessary. Sometimes you just have to let go and let certain things run themselves. If you encounter a problem, fix it. But don’t spend so much time preemptively controlling each eventuality that it keeps you unable to adequately deal with things now.

Tip #2 – Take A Breather

Do you eat at your desk while answering client emails, listening to voicemails from contractors and doing your taxes? Have you forgotten what it is like to actually taste what you are eating because you have to hoover it down so quickly it barely touches your tongue? Welcome to the standard small business luncheon.

You might be someone who prefers not to take real breaks – and watching a cat video on Youtube doesn’t count as one. But having a real lunch break and frequent breaks between work are completely necessary. There is a reason employers are forced by law to make sure their employees take them.

Think of yourself as an employee, and take a 15 minute breather every few hours, and an hour for lunch. You will be more productive, and feel less frazzled when the day is through.

Tip #3 – Make “You” Time a Priority

Work is now over. You have to go get the kids from soccer practice, pick up the dry cleaning, stop by the grocery store, get dinner prepared, sit down with the family, help your son with his homework, call about a doctor’s appointment next week – yes, yes, you get it. You are busy, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

But that doesn’t matter, you still need some time for yourself. Whether it is a run in the early morning, a book and a glass of wine during a long bath or a television show you love to watch, “me” time should be a part of everyone’s schedule. Plan some, stick to it and watch your stress level immediately go down.

Tip #4 – Organize Everything In One Place, Work & Home

I am always surprised by how many people keep two date planners, whether files in mobile apps or actual, physical diaries. While it might not seem like a big deal, this is actually an easy to way to get out of sync with your daily life. It forces you to keep track of more, check more and you might easily miss something important. Or even just small, but which created an inconvenience.

Keep one calendar that has everything you need for both home and work. It will make it all so much easier just to balance out your day.

Tip #5 – Don’t Be Afraid To Admit You Need Help

Delegate! You are the manager of your company and your life, and managers have to delegate things to others so they are free to do the things only they are able to do. You have to take a similar approach, admitting to yourself that sometimes you can’t do everything.

Do what Tip #1 said and let go, then find someone else to help you out. Maybe you ask a spouse to pick up the groceries, or hire a freelancer to handle some of your business needs. It will have a huge impact.

Tip #6 – When Work Is Over It is OVER!

Set a schedule and stick to it. Don’t let your working life meld in with your home life, or vice versa. Doing so is a fast way to throw off that balance and make you feel tired, long footed and even irritable.

Once the day has ended, that is it. You are not to continue doing work when you should be relaxing or spending time with loved ones. Whatever it is can wait until the next morning without ruining you.

Conclusion

Finding and maintaining balance isn’t difficult, and once you begin it will become second nature. Just take time to separate the two and make them both a priority, and you will be fine.

image courtesy of Klein Fahey

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30 thoughts on “Work Life Balance Out of Whack? Here's 6 Superb Tips to Get Life Centered

  1. Completely agree with your list Jessy. Particularly tip #6, it’s all too easy to get sucked in by checking your e-mails at home.
    I never understood those that started replying to e-mails on a Sunday night.
    It’s your weekend enjoy it, you have it for a reason and that reason is to relax and recharge for the week ahead.

    • Oh yes, “recharging” is so, so essential. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Hi Jessy, These are great tips! So often we push ourselves more than any employer would. I especially like the idea of treating ourselves as an employee. If you saw someone working too hard, wouldn’t you suggest that she take a break so she didn’t get burned out?

    Thanks for sharing your insights with us, Jessy, and thanks to Bryce for having Jessy visit your blog!

    • Thanks for reading the article and for the comment, Carolyn!

  3. Great post Jessy and I agree with you. I don’t follow everything you say but most for sure.

    Luckily for me, I live alone so I don’t have to worry about the family, getting dinner or running kids anywhere. I do my best to take short breaks throughout the day and I take an afternoon walk each day as well. It really helps to just get up and move around. I really need to do it more.

    I think since I work at home and I’m the sole provider, I work harder and longer hours. But I love what I do so I don’t consider it work. It will wear on you over time though so you need to be cautious not to wear yourself totally out. This is a great reminder.

    Great guest post Bryce, well done!

    ~Adrienne

    • I love working for myself as well, Adrienne! And that makes it even harder sometimes to find balance :)

  4. Loved the post Jessy!

    Being a full time work-at-home mom, I couldn’t agree more with your tips to create the perfect balance between work and home.

    I have just about now started taking out the much required time for myself, where it is just ‘my’ time and no one else’s. It sure does help :)

    We do get so busy in our daily rut of life, kids, family, home, work, and all the never ending task that so many things have to take a back seat.

    I guess we just need to get more organized, schedule a time for everything, and that does work wonders for me! However, I still need to work on ending my work at a fixed time, as time always tends to fall short!

    Thanks for the wonderful reminder once again :)

    • Yes! Organization is the key! It’s not easy for some (especially creative people) to get organized though, but we are too busy!

  5. Nice post, Jessy! I work from home and balancing time with work, family and for myself can be very difficult. Sticking to a schedule like you mentioned is a great way to make sure that everything is balanced.

    I like the fact that you pointed out not to be afraid to ask for help. A lot of people tend to get overwhelmed with responsibilities because they always feel like they need to have a hand with everything. Delegating to the right people can make sure that more work can be completed within the short span of time that we have each day.

    • Learning to ask for help and relying on someone else is so hard, but it’s a blessing! You can’t do all by yourself!

  6. effective organized and to the point
    really like the post

  7. Dia

    Hi Bryce,

    Letting go is a must if we want to achieve inner peace in life and free from stress at work and life. When we let go, we trust that everything will be allright and we start to expect the best. Nice tips, thanks for sharing my friend

  8. Great tips for balancing our work and personal lives Jessy! The two big ones for me are finding me time and taking a breather. Both of these really help me for having a balanced life.

  9. > Make “You” Time a Priority
    I think this is sound advice, and it’s along the same lines as “pay yourself first.”

  10. Nice Tips, Jessy. A big one is “Letting Go” and being honest with ourselves with what we are good at and where we need help. It is often humbling to realize we simply can’t do it all ourselves. Being a No-it-all is subtle self-sabotaging mechanism that keeps us from seeing the big picture. Successful achievers know what they are expert at and most importantly, know when to seek the expertise of others.

  11. I am technically considered to be “self-employed,” but I don’t view what I do as a job, and don’t consider my hours to be “work hours.”

    I don’t let it take over my life, and I do know that I need to take breaks here and there to do other things.

    Great post Jessy.

  12. As a server, tip number five is something I’ve had to learn the hard way. Sometimes it feels that if I’m not doing it myself, that I am letting down my job. But the truth is, when it comes to serving, the guests doesn’t care who brings them something as long as it is brought to them. When you need to be in two or three places at the same time, having somebody do a task for you makes life a lot easier.

    The same is true in working online. There many things the weeks still need to do ourselves, but in order to get the money that we really want to do, we eventually have to learn to let others help us so that we can achieve our goals.

    Great list is! Thanks for sharing!

  13. Jessy,

    I had to learn some of these the hard way. I was running myself ragged doing so much with work and home. I now have my kids do a few “easy” things around the house like vacuum, dust and fold clothes.

    I have also adopted the Pomodoro technique. It is simple. Set a timer for 25 minutes, pick a task, do it for 25 min, stop, take a 5 min break, start all over again. I am getting more done than I ever did because I feel more focused.

    Thanks for the tips. Now if I could just let go and ask for help with my business, lol. I have that in the to do list for next year.

    ~Allie

  14. Good Day, Jessy!

    This was a very awesome post.

    Most of these helpful tips, I’ve learned since starting to get my writing career off the ground.

    I make it a point to take every Saturday off and away from Social Media and anything that’s attached to my website. It gives me time to have “me” time and spend time my loved ones.

    I learned through another blogger friend how to share the load sometimes and to also not be so proud that I can’t ask for help. The latter was a milestone for me. I used to hate asking for help, because I just didn’t want to be told “No”. That too has gotten much better. I not only can hear it being said; I can also say “no” when I know that I’m not going to be able to follow through.

    Periodic breaks…. check! Got those down packed. They’re not long ones, but just enough to clear the fog in my brain from staring at the laptop for so long. I usually end up taking our Miniature Schnauzer outside or something like that.

    Now, the only one that I could use some practice in; is know when to say the work day is over. Even when I’m finish for the day, I’m thinking about what needs done, what I want to do, or how to improve upon what I’ve already done. To make matters worse, I usually tell myself that this is healthy. I have to be prepared for the next day, right? :D

    Great post. :) Thanks for contributing and thanks Bryce for having you as a guest.

    • Thanks for your wonderful comment, Deeone! And yes, thanks to Bryce for having me!

  15. Hi Bryce,

    Wonderful tips. Delegate! Like that one. So many of us think that we are the only one that can do this or that. You drive yourself nuts when you think this way.

    What more can I say you have covered this wonderfully! Everyone needs to listen and practice these tips and life will run much smoother.
    Thanks you and blessing to you,
    Debbie

  16. Hi Jessy,

    Great post on time management. When we work from home it is good to have a reminder to take breaks, and stop at a certain point each day. I like the idea of keeping one calendar as well. It helps so as not to miss appointments. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  17. Great post! I think ‘you are the manager of your life’ should be everyone’s motto! It’s so easy to forget to look after yourself but we all need to remember that work/life balance was probably a big reason for starting a new business and it’s the ‘life’ part of that equation that we need to keep going for.

  18. I really have problems with number 1 and 6. I don’t know when to really stop and I always had the idea inside my head that if you want something done properly (do it yourself).
    Anyways, thanks for the tips! I’ll try to lower this defects.

  19. Bryce, this is such a valuable post for me! I just started managing social media for a company and it has literally taken over my life! Technically, I can be there checking and replying to messages all day… and I want to be because I want to do my best for this job.

    But I also want to be me. And I think your idea about sticking to a schedule is a really good one. If it’s not a priority message (most aren’t), then it can wait until the next day. That’s how I’ve got to do it. Otherwise, I’d spend all day (and night) working on it!

    Thanks so much for this amazing post! =)

  20. Hi Jessy,

    These are some great tips :).

    My favorite : Make time for you. But it has landed me in trouble many times with my managers at previous jobs :).
    Today’s times are really stressful for employees. I think it is very important to have a good work life balance and thus take care of health family and profession. If the balance is lost, there is bound to be a lot of trouble.

    Thanks for sharing.

  21. Huzzah! Thank you for offering these great tips on work-life balance!

    I see a lot of articles on work-life balance that suggest better time management skills and working less is what’s needed to improve your work-life. I disagree!

    Whether someone works 25 hours a week or 50, time is not the key to work-life balance. Real work-life balance comes from how we manage ourselves, not how we manage our time.

    I love all the tips you’ve included, and I have to say I’m going to take your tip for central organization and put it into practice! I have been considering merging my work and personal calendars and you’ve pinpointed the reason it’s important to do so. It’s all about keeping it simple!

    Thanks again for these great tips!

    Chrysta

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