There’s no magic solution for finding a perfect work-life balance, but there are several tactics you use to ease the stress and maximize happiness.
7. Use the Ivy Lee Method
The Ivy Lee Method was developed by, well, Ivy Lee back in 1918. And, ever since, it’s been a popular and effective productivity technique.
Here’s how it works. When the kids are in bed, take 15-minutes and write down the six most important things that you need to get done tomorrow. Next, prioritize them by order of importance. When you arrive to work in the morning, jump into the first task. After it’s complete, move on to the second, and so forth. Whatever was unfinished gets moved to the next day.
This trick works because it lets you plan and prepare for tomorrow. As a result, you reduce decision fatigue and will always have enough energy to finish your most important tasks.
8. Delegate, outsource, and automate
Want to know why so many of us struggle with work-life balance? It’s because we can’t let go of control. If that rings true for you, then it’s time to learn which activities can or should be delegated, outsourced or automated.
When it comes to delegation, if you’ve trained your team correctly and given them the tools and resources to succeed, then they should be more than capable of handling any work you throw their way. You need to state your expectations and trust them completely.
Outsourcing is similar to delegating. The difference is that you’re paying experts outside of your organization to complete a job. For instance, you could hire a freelance web developer to build your website if you don’t have a developer in-house.
As for automation, these are tools that do mundane and repetitive tasks for you. These could be chatbots or email responses that handle customer inquiries when you’re offline. Other examples could be accounting software that automatically issues invoices or smart calendars that make smart suggestions on how to plan your next meeting.
9. Master the art of batching
Batching is one of the best time management hacks for at home and work.
The idea is simple. Just group similar tasks together and knock them out at once. This way you’re not multitasking, wasting time putting things away, and it provides structure.
For example, as opposed to checking your email every time you receive an email schedule specific times throughout the day to go through your inbox. Instead of having daily meetings, set aside one day per week for all of them. And, do all of your cooking on Sundays so that you don’t have to make dinner every night.
10. Commit 100 per cent and eliminate distractions
“People who are success-minded don’t want to just win in one area,” says author and sales expert Grant Cardone. “Who wants to succeed in business and fail at home? Whether it’s health, wealth, or parenthood, once you start being ‘average’ in one arena, that mediocrity spills over to other parts of your life.”
If you want to be like Cardone and have your cake and eat it too, you need to be productive at work and home.
“To get quality time in, I spend an hour with my kids in the morning without distractions before hitting my day,” he adds. “When I’m present, I’m present. When I’m doing work, I’m all in.”
11. Use voice dictation
Every smart phone allows you to use your voice to create to-dos, add events to your calendar, and set reminders. That’s not mind-blowing. But, the number of people who don’t use this technology is surprising. It’s so much faster and convenient than typing.
12. Build your village
Is this a cliche? Absolutely. But there’s a reason cliche are repeated so often. It actually does take a number of people to assist you with your parental and business obligations.
You probably can’t go wrong with friends and family in your personal life. They could stay home if your child is sick so that you can go into work. If you did have to stay home with your kids, your co-partner or trusted employee could run the show in your absence.
Additionally, your village could be other parents. Perhaps you could have a neighbor take your children to school so that you can get into your work at a decent time. But you have to return the favour.
13. Exercise your flexibility
One of the best things about being an entrepreneur is that you’re the boss. So, if that 9-to-5 schedule isn’t gelling with your home life, then you can establish your own schedule that’s more conducive to making life better for everyone. Entrepreneurs have a lot of flexibility – use that flexibility to your advantage instead of sticking with the status quo.
14. Use stress and anxiety to your advantage
Don’t add stress and anxiety to your life. It’s not good for your productivity, health, family or business. However, there are times when these feelings can be beneficial.
If you’re speaking in front of others — use that adrenaline rush to boost your energy and focus. If you’re concerned about not meeting a deadline, you could use that to overcome procrastination and drive motivation. Or, whenever you feel overwhelmed, you could exercise or conduct a mind dump to clear your head.
15. Take setbacks in stride
There’s no such thing as perfection.
No matter how hard you try, mistakes will be made. There will be days when life doesn’t care what you had in your calendar and will throw you a curve ball.
In situations like these, you have to accept it’s out of your hands. More importantly, don’t give up. Be willing to learn from these experiences and become more flexible.
Sponsored by Shannon Hood Financial Services Inc.