Earlier this year, I was gassed. I was totally in survival mode, just barely getting things completed and not taking on any new work.
If you don’t know what gassed means, I am talking about being tired, exhausted.
I talked to my doctor, and we decided I may need a new CPAP machine. I have had sleep apnea for about 15 years, and my machine was at least 10 years old.
Anyway, I ended up getting a new sleep study, and I definitely needed a change in the pressure. In the process, I got a new machine. When you are worn out, you struggle to be effective. That is one reason I think that work-life balance is important.
In today’s article, we are going to talk about work-life balance and a few tools that can help with the business side.
Let’s get started!
In this article, Laura Zulliger talks about five tools you can use in business to help you save time and money. This helps with the whole work-life balance thing.
While I had heard of LegalZoom and Bonsai, the others were new to me. I am particularly fascinated by Stride Health. One of the things I have been frustrated by, in the US, is the lack of opportunities for insurance for those who are self-employed.
For now, I am fortunate to have a plan, but if I were not, I would take a closer look at this website.
Zulliger mentions Payable, which is the company she works for.
“Freelancers can use it for work-tracking, invoicing clients, and ultimately getting paid faster. You can log your time (or project), invoice clients, and transfer funds via direct deposit all within the app. “
Payable sounds like another payment option, and, according to her, it has a lower rate than Paypal.
At the end of the year, you can generate the necessary tax documents for your business. Based on the site, it appears to be more than a payment processing app.
I was also intrigued by the Painless1099 app. The app lets freelancers seamlessly, or painlessly, withhold 30 percent of earnings for taxes.
Remote workers know how hard it is to maintain work-life balance sometimes. Distractions abound, especially if you work from home. Georgette Eva gives three tips for maintaining work-life balance at the Skillshare blog.
“As much as that freedom is a gift, though, it can come at a price. Many remote workers, particularly those in creative fields, find it difficult to find the right balance between their personal and professional lives. They find themselves working late, or at odd hours, blending home and work life together in a way ultimately that takes a toll on their ability to creative, design or innovative. They end up less productive or struggling to unplug at the end of the day.”
This is so very true.
The first tip is to have regular check-ins. I agree, but it is sometimes hard when you aren’t on a team. We all have colleagues we can check in with to see what we are working on. Something as simple as having a friend ping you on social media and ask you what you are working on is a big help.
Next, Eva suggests adding structure to the workday. While we do have the option of doing something in the middle of the day like being with family for an event, it is still best to create some kind of structure.
Finally, she says to “step away.” Good advice. Here, she is talking about cutting off the outside when it’s time to work. For me, this might mean shutting down Facebook, putting on my headphones, and turning my phone over.
It also helps to work in a dedicated area. This draws a line in our minds for productivity.
Chase Reeves is the co-founder of Fizzle, and this article is as entertaining as it is valuable. Reeves has a charming way of talking about the subject that I enjoyed.
All ten of these are excellent, but I want to focus on three points.
His first tactic is, “Find your point.” Another way of saying this is “know your why.” This is like a compass helping us center our lives.
Reeves explains that your “point” can’t be productivity, and he gives some solid advice and thoughts about how to find your point.
“We have to intentionally create a vision for where we’re going because work and productivity are at their best when we leverage them to get somewhere…”
Reeves also says,
“Getting to clarity about what the point is for you and yours is quite possibly the most important thing you could do for your business. If you want to balance work and life better, you’ve got to know why you want to live and work.”
The second thing I wanted to focus on is “Set clear boundaries & expectations.” All self-employed workers struggle with this, but it’s important. He explains how he gives his son permission to interrupt when he gets home from school. It helps maintain balance.
“Work-life balance lesson: set clear physical and emotional boundaries for yourself.”
Finally, I want to focus on tactic number 4, “Get clear & realistic with daily/weekly plans”
This is something I find myself struggling with often.
“But clarity isn’t enough. Those expectations also need to be realistic. What you want to do is unlimited, boundless in imagination. However, the actual time you have in any day is limited. If you want to end your days energized and inspired you’ve got to learn what is and isn’t realistic for you.”
According to Reeves, the truth is that
“Todo lists are unlimited. Time is limited. Set REALISTIC daily expectations for yourself.”
Are these three tactics more important than the other seven? Probably not. They are three that resonated with me most.
Wrapping it up
Using the right tools, getting the right mindset, and engaging in the right tactics can go a long way to helping with your work-life balance. The truth is, work-life balance isn’t easy. It takes work. Sometimes, we wish we can automate everything to save time and use it on the things we love.
However, the more we automate, the more we find things to do.
One of my favorites writers once said, “You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” While he was saying that to someone, in particular, this piece of advice is good for us all. When it comes down to it, eliminating hurry will help us in the long run.
What things do you practice to help achieve work-life balance?