Are you pulling out your hair attempting to find a balance between work and life? I know the feeling. As a brand new entrepreneur, I struggle just like you to ensure that I get enough time to play in addition to the busyness of work life (especially when working from home). I wanted to compile a list of the top 8 hacks I use that substantially increase my work-life balance on any given day.
1. WORK IN INTERVALS
I take a lot of business inspo from Mr. Alex Ikonn. Co-creator of The Five Minute Journal and The Productivity Planner, Alex knows a lot about entrepreneurship (as does his wife Mimi). In many of his YouTube vlogs, he mentions working in intervals and how this has drastically increased his overall productivity.
If you work for 15-20 minutes, take a rest break of perhaps 10, then jump back into it. Allowing your mind this time to breathe and recover is incredibly important to optimal production quality.
2. STAY HEALTHY!
Being a healthy individual equates to being productive and fulfilled in your work (and greater life). Staying hydrated and exercising frequently is one way to do this, other than generally eating better and making decent choices about what you put into your body.
I ain't gonna lie: I LOVE ME SOME PIZZA! Loving pizza is not a dealbreaker to being healthy, however. My favorite solution, and one I highly recommend is to get your own treadmill. I'm the idiot who got a commercial size, gigantic treadmill that's in the middle of my apartment's dining room at the moment (the dining room I never sit to eat in, since I'm always eating pizza, you know...).
Being able to jump on a machine that transforms your mental and physical health in just minutes is the only way I know how to get myself motivated to exercise. So, I decided to purchase a desk attachment for my treadmill which allows me to do work on the blog and work for my clients as I exercise. It's the perfect remedy to a previously boring situation!
3. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SUPPORT
Vital to your mental health, you need to find people who will support your dreams, both in life and in career and will build up your goals--not tear them down. If you don't have supportive friends, family members or a significant other that truly understands that you need to have work time when you need to work, you'll feel stuck and miserable. Trust me.
Encourage yourself by allowing others around you to encourage you and not accepting any less. "You're not a girl who settles. Keep not settling." Setting boundaries is equally important--you need to know when it's time to work and when it's time to play, and not stepping down from this knowledge is key.
I've struggled with this, like any other girlboss. Friends don't understand that you can't play without advanced notice and your partner doesn't understand that your work is serious, and it just so happens to be in the space you share together. It's hard. But it's so worth it.
4. KNOW WHEN TO SHUT DOWN
After you've finished your allotted time to work each day, know when to shut down. Spend time with your sweetie, go out with girlfriends, do something that excites you. Don't do what I'm the most guilty of: working through the night and not sticking to a set schedule.
Give yourself a "shift" time, similar to what you'd have at any office, then shut down the computer and get on with it. Whether that's working 12 to 8 a.m. or 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., you've set the boundary and agreed to follow it.
5. TREAT YOURSELF (#YOUEARNEDIT)
Treat yoself, gurl! After a long day "at the office", take the initiative to treat yourself to a cocktail, a movie (and some popcorn) or a shopping spree. Set small and big goals, evaluate and as soon as you reach something monumental, pick a treat for yourself!
6. TEAM UP WITH THE BEST
Here at Fashionably Frank, both Emma and I pull our own weight and contribute to our creation, as our roles see fit. Bringing Emma onto the team earlier this year was the best decision I ever made. She adds to the quality of the website, writes about topics I never could and allows me to have some days off so that I can focus on client work and write quality posts. She's the very best!
I suggest looking at the bigger picture of your business or personal brand and thinking to yourself: "How can I leverage other talents and people to make me 100x better?" Teaming up with the best--those who have talents that are different from yours and can provide something of value, as well as those who believe in your mission and ideas is the greatest investment you will make.
As New York Times bestselling author and productivity expert Rory Vaden would say, "Do things today that will save you time tomorrow." Focus on the items that will increase your overall time in future days and throw away the tasks that you don't absolutely need to complete today.
Focus on deadlines and prioritize the non-negotiable. Invest in the actions that will eventually save you heartache and skip the rest 'til tomorrow.
8. DO WHAT YOU LOVE (+ GET PAID FOR IT)
The most important hack of all is to do what you love + get paid for it! All the girlbosses out there know what I'm talking about. In December, I launched my business providing digital marketing solutions for B2C clients seeking an easy social media strategy they never have to worry about again.
When I launched, I had no idea what I was doing (and to this day still don't), but I knew I was creating a life I could be proud of, that will have me excited every day when I jump out of bed. Just go for it, girl! Make your life in your design and never back down from what you know to be the best fit for yourself. Although work-life balance can be forever a challenge, it's a good one to have. Am I right?