One thing everyone seems to talk about lately is work-life balance; no matter what you do, who you work for or what your career goals may be, drawing a clear divide between your personal life and work can feel like a modern-day Sisyphean task. I don't know if that's due to increased demands in the workplace, our inability to shut off from email and our many devices, or just plain wanting to have it all, but establishing clear boundaries around our personal time just seems harder and harder. And when you happen to work for yourself (and your business is centred around, well, YOU), achieving some semblance of balance can feel all the more impossible. I obviously don't have all the answers in this or any other department (seriously, why do you guys even listen to me?), but here are a few tips for making things a little bit easier on yourself.
1. DELETE EMAIL OFF YOUR PHONE
I can practically hear your gasps from here, but if you want to cut down on your anxiety levels, do yourselves a favour and delete the email app from your phone. Not hearing that menacing little buzz or seeing a little red number on your email icon glaring back at you can actually feel pretty cathartic... just make sure you answer all those emails when you're at your computer (we're trying to work smarter here people, not slack off).
2. GO SCREEN-FREE
Here's another controversial one — especially if you're a fellow blogger — but try and give yourself a screen-free day each week. Not possible? Start with a social media-free day instead. I've been trying to take one day during the weekend away from Instagram, Snapchat, etc., and you know what? It feels pretty darn good.
3. CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK
Not everything needs to be perfect, although many of us have delusions otherwise. I'm just going to go ahead and say it — sometimes done is good enough. If you agonize over every last detail, you'll never get anything done, and worse yet, you'll never get to switch out of work mode. Do yourselves a favour and just cool it with the perfectionism, alright?
4. ESTABLISH OFFICE HOURS
If you work for yourself, you'll know the phrase "I work a 24/7 so I don't have to work a 9-5" all too well. It sucks, but it's also the greatest. In order to keep your sanity and relationships from disappearing, try and set realistic office hours for yourself and actually stick to them. Knowing exactly how much time you have to get shiz done will help keep you on track, as well as appreciate the time you actually do have for yourself at the end of the day.
5. MAKE IT COUNTNow that you have some designated time for yourself, make sure you fill it with activities you love that make you feel fulfilled. Self-care is also a biggie here, so treat yo' self! Read a book, go antiquing, get your nails did with the girls — whatever floats your boat.
6. BE PRESENT
And while you're enjoying that sacred "you time" established during point No. 5, don't forget to be mindful of what you're doing and with whom. In short, be present, otherwise you won't really enjoy that time at all. I'm totally guilty of hanging out with friends while mentally adding items to my to-do list or running ideas past unsuspecting besties (what — it's market research), but I'm trying really hard to break those habits and be more in the moment. So with that in mind, don't talk shop with your partner after hours (unless you absolutely have to), don't force your friends to snap #ootds for you during catchup sessions, and don't scroll through your Twitter while watching your favourite shows — focus on the people around you and the activities at hand, and I guarantee you'll feel better for it. xx