12 Habits of People Who Have Successfully Mastered Work/Life Balance

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One of our Platinum Kids loving our 2015 Fiji Conference

 

Talk to any successful entrepreneur about their greatest challenges and they’re sure to mention the notion of a healthy work/life balance. When starting a company, one of the hardest decisions you’ll make is in regards to how hard you try to harmoniously integrate your personal and professional life. Work too many hours and your relationships and even your health could suffer, but focus too much on your private time and you stand to lose your competitive edge.

While to many, the perfect work/life balance is considered unattainable, many entrepreneurs claim to have achieved “the impossible”. So what exactly is it that can help inch you closer to the work/life dream?

Habit #1: Forget perfection

As already mentioned, there really is no perfect balance! The moment you realise this is the moment you stop stressing about trying to achieve it. Your harmonious integration should be treated as a moving target that’s a natural extension of your lifestyle. Just as work ebbs and flows, so too does life. Sometimes there will be work challenges, sometimes there will be life challenges. The trick is to manage them both the best way that you can, but this doesn’t mean you have to hit symmetry on the scales.

Let’s put it another way…

Stand up straight with your feet a little ways apart. Now lean significantly to the left. Are you still standing? You should be! Now try to lean even further to your left and lift your right leg in the air. Getting harder, right? The further you lean to one side, the more difficult it is to stand, but that doesn’t mean you have to stand perfectly straight all the time.

Habit #2: Let go of your fear

Letting go of fear means realising that your company is not going to fall apart simply because you took the wife out to dinner. It means committing yourself to a certain amount of hours and then letting go once you’ve done them. Just because you rest, doesn’t mean the sky will fall. Resting instead will serve to make you more productive and enthusiastic the next day.

Habit #3: Schedule personal time in

Have you ever bumped into an old friend and told them you’ll give them a call to go out for dinner only to bump into them six months later and recite the same sentence? You wouldn’t be alone! People say things like this all the time and until you take action, the words mean nothing. Don’t just say you’ll exercise, commit yourself to a spin class. Don’t just say you’ll make time for date night, book a table at that restaurant you’ve been wanting to try. Your calendar should be a good mix of both professional and personal appointments – and you should make every effort to stick to both types.

Habit #4: Take technology breaks

When you carry your mobile device with you everywhere you go, you’re essentially always on call. A quick email check here and a quick invoice there soon adds up and you’d be surprised at how much work you’re actually doing whilst supposedly “off duty”. In today’s digital work, time off occasionally means taking yourself back to a time before mobile technology. And chances are, you’ll soon find out that when employees can’t get a hold of you, they manage just fine on their own.

Habit #5: Separate work and home environments

American business magnate, Warren Buffett once told MBA students that the reason he calls Omaha home instead of New York is because Omaha helps him maintain a more balanced life. An important part of shutting work off is changing your environment, so if you sometimes work from home, be sure to keep it to the study or office. Once your work spills into the living room and kitchen, it’s hard to switch off.

Habit #6: Take time to build your time management skills

Good time management is the art of doing the right thing, in the right way, at the right time, and for the right amount of time. To be able to do this, it’s necessary to establish your priorities and then focus only on those tasks that advance important goals. Activities that take up too much time need to either be simplified, delegated or eliminated. Remember, you’re not out to achieve perfection, you’re out to achieve excellent results. Taking the time to figure out a time management system that works for you may seem like a luxury when you’ve got tonnes of urgent tasks to attend to, but it will pay dividends for years to come.

Habit #7: Set boundaries

Set firm boundaries for what is and isn’t acceptable and it will help you relax when you’re off the clock. Employees or customers that think it’s okay to call you at 10pm or during breakfast on a Sunday will, unless you tell them that it’s not okay.

Habit #8: Schedule holiday time

It’s amazing what just one night away can do for your mind. Smart entrepreneurs know that there’s always going to be something happening at work, so stop waiting for a lull period and just book some holiday time in. It doesn’t have to be a two-week holiday in Fiji, just a night or two every so often can work wonders.

Habit #9: Make time to socialise

With work and family commitments, finding the time to hang out with friends can be a tough challenge. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. Friendship is an excellent escape from the daily grind and it’s your chance to truly relax and just be in the moment.

Habit #10: Delegate household chores

The last thing you want to be doing is coming home from work only to start scrubbing the shower, so if you have the funds to do so, hire a housekeeper to tackle your cleaning. You can do the same with your lawn, landscaping or even your cooking, allowing you more free time to enjoy.

Habit #11: Leverage technology

While technology has made it harder to switch off, used smartly and it enhances our ability to switch off too. Automatic scheduling and invoicing can save you heaps of time in the office and the right tools can make project management easier.

Habit #12: Forget being selfish

When it comes to looking after yourself there is no such thing as selfishness. To take care of yourself – be it with a long hot bath or a game of golf – is to improve yourself. Taking time out for you doesn’t harm anyone, but failing to take time out for yourself puts everything around you at risk.

Here at Platinum Electricians, habits have definitely helped us form a culture of healthy work life balance, but also systems and mentoring have played a major part. Systems and business mentoring have allowed us to build a business that brings work life balance. Electricians all over Australia have joined us to build growing and profitable businesses the ‘Platinum Way’. If you, or someone you know may be interested in building a business that is strongly based on work/life balance, click here to find out more.