I get it – you wanna make it.
You are determined to build your business fast.
You hustle, you grind, you burn – until you hit a wall.
Let’s take a step back and walk around that wall.
Roadmap to a Successful Online Business – Part XIII | 6 Work-Life Balance Tips For Stressed Solopreneurs
Before we dive right in, let’s look at what the Solopreneur Safety Net can help you with. I’ll make it quick, I promise!
In a nutshell: If you are toying with the idea of building your own online business as a blogger or infopreneur but are feeling totally lost and don’t know where to start – you have come to the right place! 🙂
My mission is to help you get out of that confusion and overwhelm and break things down for you, so you can follow along easily.
My Roadmap to a Successful Online Business blog post series will take you through all the major steps of building your blog or online business.
Download your FREE step-by-step business guide that gives you a quick overview of the whole process and let’s get going!
The Elusive Work-Life Balance
I think us solopreneurs are especially prone to burn-out.
After all, we do EVERYTHING business-related ourselves.
Do you feel like there are never enough hours in your day?
I won’t lie. I’m kind of a workaholic.
I like to tackle a problem and sink my teeth into it like a pit bull sinks its teeth into a plush toy. And I won’t let go of it until it’s crushed.
Well at least, I wouldn’t let go of it, if life stopped interfering with my struggles.
I have yet to find a way to keep the house clean, the family fed, the garden managed and my abs steeled – without leaving the computer.
I do realize that this is not the way to go about building a sustainable business though – time to think about a healthier work-life balance…
What Is Work-Life Balance?
Basically, work-life balance is the opposite of what I just illustrated. Still need a work-life balance definition?
It’s NOT focusing on your work 100% of your time.
It’s allocating time to focus and work and do things that have to get done, but ALSO allocating time to unwind and do stuff that keeps you healthy and happy.
While things that are important to keep you healthy are generally the same for everyone – like sleep enough, eat healthily, work out – the things you do just for kicks vary greatly.
So yes, doing something for your health is great, but don’t forget to make some time to do something you UTTERLY ENJOY.
This can be anything. Don’t feel obliged to sit around in a spa pool with a face mask on if that’s not your cup of tea.
People are different.
For example, I like to work in the garden. I really do. I love nurturing plants and watching them grow.
To others, garden work might be a pain in the bum. To me, it’s something that fills me with joy, excitement and a sense of accomplishment.
I’ve heard that there are even people who enjoy cleaning their house until it’s all sparkly (how weirdly astonishing).
If you are that kind of person, please make yourself known in the comments, I know just the place for you to spend your next holidays. 😉
Stay healthy, embrace your quirks, do what you love.
Importance Of Work-Life Balance
Maybe you are a severe workaholic and just don’t see the point in doing something non-productive.
If you need to justify taking some time off to quiet that nagging voice inside your head, let’s back this up with a bit of science.
Work-Life Balance Improves Your Physical And Mental Health
Did you know?
- Long working hours and sleep deprivation in midlife results in poorer physical health in old age. ( Working hours and sleep duration in midlife as determinants of health-related quality of life among older businessmen)
- Women are especially prone to develop depressive and anxiety symptoms when working long hours. (Long working hours and symptoms of anxiety and depression: a 5-year follow-up of the Whitehall II study)
Ok, ok, enough of that. I think deep down we all know that working constantly is bad for our physical as well as your mental health.
Work-Life Balance Improves Your Creativity and Productivity
You know what it’s like to be stuck with a problem that you just. can’t. fix. It’s beyond annoying. It’s infuriating. You keep going around in circles.
How about you take a break instead of trying for another hour or two? Sometimes all your brain needs to figure something out, is a wee break from trying too hard.
If your brain was an athlete you wouldn’t force it to run one marathon after another, right? Give it a break to recharge.
“In creativity research, we refer to the three Bs—for the bathtub, the bed and the bus—places where ideas have famously and suddenly emerged. When we take time off from working on a problem, we change what we’re doing and our context, and that can activate different areas of our brain. If the answer wasn’t in the part of the brain we were using, it might be in another.” -R. Keith Sawyer (Psychologist)
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling much more comfortable about taking a break now and sipping another cup of coffee. 🙂 I’ll even stay away from the computer while drinking it. Booya. See ya in 10.
Work-Life Balance Tips and Strategies
So how can we go about achieving work-life balance?
Try these tips and strategies on for size:
1. Change Your Mindset
Many of us – myself included – grew up with a very Calvinist work ethic: We have been told to work REALLY hard for our living and that any kind of pleasure is an unnecessary waste of time.
We believe that only by sacrificing a lot, we can achieve a lot.
Thus we feel guilty whenever do something just for the sake of it. Without a measurable outcome.
Kinda sad when you think about it, eh? Still, something I struggle with.
But now that I’m more aware of it, I’m trying to change my mindset. And so can you!
2. Stop Perfectionism
That one is closely related to the first strategy.
How often do you find yourself obsessing about some small detail?
Trying to find the perfect color or font, or whatever else might make your OCD flare up. I feel your pain…
Perfection is an illusion. It’s the horizon you can never reach. Stop trying so hard.
Aim for good instead of perfect and you’ll be sweet.
This will save you a ton of time and energy!
3. Set Boundaries
Practice saying “no” more often.
You don’t have to do everything for everyone.
You also don’t have to work 24/7.
Set your working hours and stick with them.
Even if you run your business by yourself, there are likely some chores that you can delegate.
Think cleaning the house, getting groceries, looking after the kids…
5. Practice A Healthy Lifestyle
Now that you freed up so much time, do something to keep your body and mind healthy.
Eat healthy meals. Making weekly meals plans works well for me.
I plan 7 healthy meals and buy all the groceries I need to cook them.
But don’t assign the meals to certain days beforehand.
So I can still decide in the morning what I feel like eating that day.
This is also great to reduce the amount of food that goes to waste as you only buy what you need that week.
This is something I need to do in the morning.
Once I sit down and start working on something, I’m very unlikely to get a bit of exercise that day…
If you are the same: Get your exercise first, then start your work.
You’ll be feeling much better. I promise! *hello endorphins*
This is something I’ve only recently started to slowly wear down those limiting beliefs I grew up with.
I never thought this would be something I’d try or even enjoy. It always felt a bit woo-woo and kinda fishy.
Something your weird aunty does. Or people who don’t have a REAL job…
But what can I say? Turns out I like it. I feel much happier since I started doing it.
Why not give it a try? I won’t tell anyone… 😉
You are not alone. Friends and family help you when things go pear-shaped.
They make your life richer, more colorful and happier.
Be there for them when they need you and let them help you in return.
Here’s to spending hours eating, drinking, talking and laughing! Cheers. 🙂
Give Yourself A Little Wriggle-Room
Do whatever you fancy. No judging.
Give yourself permission to doodle, watch Netflix, pat the cat, read a book, play an instrument or browse Instagram for an hour, if that makes you happy.
Schedule the things that keep you healthy and happy the same way you schedule your work and you’ll be much more likely to actually do them.
Interestingly, achieving a healthy work-life balance is easier said than done.
We will have to overcome decades of misconceptions and limiting beliefs that we grew up with. Those beliefs don’t die easily.
Therefore, actively working on your mindset is probably going to have the biggest impact on whether or not you change your behavior.
Learn to relax without feeling guilty. Take baby steps.
Did you hear that? My couch is calling. We have a Netflix binge-watching date. I’ve got a glass of red, a selection of snacks and two purring cats.
I’m so gonna enjoy this!:) Are you in?
PS: Don’t forget to hop on my email list so we can hang out together.