Correct me if I’m wrong but you went into business for yourself as a solopreneur, fempreneur, entrepreneur, whatever you want to call it, so that you could have a better work-life balance (whatever that is). Am I right?

You wanted flexibility – even as a working woman – to work where, when and how you wanted, yes?

Did you think you would have an ideal work-life balance?

According to Wikipedia, the term “work-life balance” is used to describe the balance that an individual needs between time allocated for work and other aspects of life but in this world of technological advance, is it becoming harder to define the two. WORK and LIFE.

Are the lines between the two becoming blurred? Do we need hard and fast boundaries between the two or can we integrate or blend work and our personal life?

From experience, as a woman working from home, I know how difficult it can be to draw a line between work and family/leisure etc.

It’s hard to ignore the ironing when it’s sat next to you in an ever increasing pile. Or the dishes from this morning that need washing but you have a call to make.

But in order to save my sanity I have had to be disciplined and draw those lines.

It doesn’t work 100% of the time but hey we’re talking about balance, right?! So there’s got to be some give and take? The aforementioned flexibility, yes?

So those lines I talked about drawing, they’re not straight. I don’t create boxes. They are movable, flexible and sometimes erasable but they do exist at some point and ALWAYS for a reason … here’s how:

Know that you can HAVE it all but you don’t have to DO it all

You can have it all as long as you clearly define what “having it all” means for YOU.

There are only so many hours in the day so work out how you want to divide that between work and other commitments. If having it all means your own business and more time with the kids, recognise your boundaries. If you want more time with your children then it is a given that that time can’t also be spent on your business, so growth may be slower than someone who doesn’t have kids. You could stay up later and work that extra hour on your business but again, realise that time comes out of your sleep and as such you may be ratty and short tempered the next day and not functioning properly.

What measures can you put in place to ensure you get some down time later on?

You may have to delegate and not do everything yourself. You don’t have to do the washing and ironing – get a cleaner. They are not as expensive as you think (maybe even a family member can help out) Same with childcare – could you meet up with other women in your situation and have a “work and play” date?

Again, whatever you decide, ensure it is what you WANT to do, NOT what you think someone else thinks you SHOULD do! And don’t beat yourself up about your decisions.

And remember, if you have your end goal in mind at all times (think VISION BOARD) then any sacrifices you may make will be easier because you know their worth.

This is your business and your life – take control!

Switch off the notifications:

Make sure that you take time throughout the working week, and especially during “family time”, to switch off your phone and other devices so you can concentrate on what’s going on in front of you. If you’re writing a blog post, write a blog post! Don’t scroll through Facebook or check your emails. If you’re with your kids at the park, be with your kids at the park – don’t be checking your emails.

The problem with our technology-driven society is that we want immediate gratification and we think that others expect it too.

But don’t run your business on other people’s terms – run it on yours.

Answer emails and other messages when you can give it your undivided attention, not because you think the person on the other end needs an immediate reply. Nothing is so urgent that it can’t wait an hour or two (and if it is make sure clients know how to get your attention in case of TRUE emergencies)

This is your business and your life – take control!

BONUS TIP: Turn off notifications on your phone for email and social media and set dedicated times to check these and only check at those times!

The main concern is that we don’t beat ourselves up about it. If we’re all still alive at the end of the day, the kids are fed and the bills are getting paid, we’ve done a good job. So what if the ironing has to wait another day or you’ve had chicken nuggets twice this week for tea? We’re all doing the best we can and we should be grateful that we’re in a better position than some …

What tips have you found helpful in striking a work-life balance?

Nx