3 ways to achieve a work-life balance » SMEInsider

3 ways to achieve a work-life balance

Maintaining a successful work and personal life can be incredibly difficult, especially if you’re trying to set up your own business. SME Insider reveals how you can successfully balance the two.

1. Understand the terminology

How can you achieve a work-life balance if you don’t actually know what the term means?

The phrase ‘‘work-life balance’’ implies that your home-life and your work-life are on par with each other, creating an image in your mind that there is an all-powerful scale that attempts to balance the two aspects.

This is not what a work-life balance actually means. It’s incredibly unrealistic and unrewarding to schedule your work and life activities equally – your personal life is fluid and at times unpredictable, so it should always take precedence.

According to Jappreet Sethi, CEO of start-up consultancy firm Idea Katalyst, ‘‘the problem with Work- Life Balance is that it suggests there is a trade-off—that one side must be “up” and the other one “down.’’

Sethi adds that ‘‘we spend 1/3 of our lives working. Work is a part of life and all parts of life have to be cherished.’’

Understand that it’s impossible to impose a strict work-life balance. By making your personal life a priority, it will in turn become much easier for you to figure out what your day-to-day schedule will be like.

2. Find a mentor

When SME Insider attended the Start-up Business Show in May, we spoke to a number of business owners who were finding it hard to balance their work and personal lives.

When asked to give other SME owners one piece of advice, many replied with ‘‘get a mentor.’’ Some of the most powerful and richest people in the world reach out to mentors or coaches for business and personal advice.

Microbusiness owners in particular are spending so much of their time and efforts on getting their business off the ground, that they actually lose focus on other parts of their lives.

By having another professional looking out for you, they can see when you need to take a break from the office or spend more time at home, which in turn will give you the energy and drive to turn make your business successful.

3. Protect your private time

If you don’t allow yourself pockets of personal time throughout the day, then you will eventually burn out and you won’t be able to manage your work or personal life.

Understand that you shouldn’t be taking your work home with you, as your personal time is your time.

Also, take advantage of your work and lunch breaks. Physical exercise is a great way to get rid of all the stress and anxiety associated with work. If there is a park or gym just around the corner, get outside and go for a run.