Does Work/Life Balance Really Exist?

It’s been overplayed in article after article. 10 Tips to Better Work/Life Balance! You Too Can Have Work/Life Balance! But many people are still skeptical. Does work/life balance really exist?

The answer is up to you.

I know entrepreneurs who work ’round the clock. Who work on vacations. Who sacrifice family time for their companies.

And then there are people like me who want to stop and smell the roses while they work. Who take their laptops and work in their gardens. Who take off early to pick up their kids, and don’t think twice about shutting down their computers for the weekend.

So clearly, yes, it’s possible to create a balance, but it’s up to you and your personality as to whether it’s available to you.

Which Side of the Fence Do You Fall On?

Which of those two scenarios better described you? Are you the workhorse, or the one who cares more about enjoying the journey than reaching the destination?

If you’re the former, it will take more effort on your part to strike that proverbial balance between your professional life and your personal life. You’ll have to deliberately force yourself to stop working and go enjoy life. And that’s probably because you enjoy working so much.

Don’t get me wrong: you should enjoy what you do. But you must realize: there is more to life than your company. Read that sentence again. Your company won’t be around forever. Maybe you’ll sell it. Or just close up shop. But your family, your health and your well-being? They’re there for you, if you pay attention. If you don’t, well, they’ll suffer.

And even if you love what you do, stepping away from it for a while can renew your vigor for being an entrepreneur and help you dream up more creative ideas for your business. Take the afternoon off and walk around barefoot in the grass. Spend the weekend on the floor coloring with your kids. Inspiration comes in the funniest places, but only if you’re open to it.

I’ll close this ranting post with a few tips to help you balance the scales:

  1. Don’t work as often as you think you have to.
  2. Put your family and/or yourself first at least one day a week.
  3. Trust your company to your best employee. It won’t fall apart.
  4. Always eat away from your desk and out of your office.
  5. Try to get outside at least once a day for a breath of fresh air.
  6. At the end of your workday, resist the impulse to check work email after hours.
  7. Take an extra day off at least once a month.
  8. If you work from home, shut your office door when you’re done working.
  9. Don’t work on the weekends.
  10. Realize that if it didn’t get done today, it will get done tomorrow. Or not. And that’s okay.

Photo: Jessebezz on Flickr

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