There you are. You’ve just put in eight hours at your 9-to-5, and now you’re a webpage deep in product research for your dropshipping business. You know your eCommerce side hustle will help you achieve the dream-worthy financial goals you’ve set for yourself and your family.
But then it hits you…
Your financial dream also involves time to enjoy the dream life you’re building.
That whole work-life balance thing is tipping the scales in favor of work. You need a counterbalance ASAP.
Don’t worry; we got you! Here are some helpful tips for “keeping the main thing the main thing” so that work doesn’t take over your life for good.
Recognize the Game
Look at work-life balance as a tug-of-war rope, and you’re the lovely ribbon in the center. Opposite powers will try pulling you in different directions, causing discomfort. Rest assured, nothing is wrong.
Sometimes, work demands more of your attention at the expense of family time. Other times, family requires a little more, and there’s less availability for work. The goal is to make sure it all evens out in the end. (Okay, that’s not really how tug-of-war works, we know. But for the purpose of this analogy, your cute little ribbon self is trying to stay in the middle.)
It’s okay to put in the extra hours sometimes. Just don’t make it a daily habit.
Don’t worry if things aren’t in perfect balance. You’ll never fix it, but you can manage it better. And you’ll ease your troubled mind by surrendering to the fact that you will have “tugs” in your future, and THAT is perfectly normal.
List Your Priorities
In life, some things are urgent but not necessarily important. Others are important but not urgent. Telling the two apart requires some thinking and big-picture-looking.
You could live your whole life bending to your employer and client demands only to discover you’ve shorted other priorities just because they didn’t have a pressing deadline.
So, create your priority list. What’s non-negotiable in your life? Write it down.
Is it a date night with your significant other once a week? Maybe a daily morning workout or attending your kids’ sports events is your big thing. Establish those boundaries to protect the meaningful things in your life so you don’t get pulled way out of balance by a thousand little things.
And when doing those non-negotiable things, remember to stop and take it in. You’re doing exactly what you wanted to be doing. Go, you!
Establish a Start Time
Your morning alarm blares from your phone, and you turn it off. You find it tempting to check emails using your mobile device immediately. Avoid that at all costs.
Create a “no work before…” time, and absolutely do not respond to work emails or texts before then. Wake up and stretch, work out, eat breakfast, get dressed—whatever it takes to wake up slowly and deliberately without immediately going into work mode.
Move That Body
Daily exercise is valuable for your physical, mental, and emotional health. Occasional moments of quick movement throughout the day improve clarity and creativity.
So often, we put ourselves last on our priority list. Kids, spouses, parents, jobs, chores, fur babies, etc., are all vying for our attention.
There will always be a thousand things to do. Not many people will take one of your to-dos away from you and tell you to do something that rejuvenates you. You must give that gift to yourself, daily or weekly. Be your own best friend and put yourself on your priority list by doing something you love every night before bed.
Rome wasn’t built in a day—change happens gradually. If you aren’t where you want to be with your priorities, start with small changes and expect results over time.
Plan a short weekend away if you deserve a vacation but can’t afford the cost or time commitment of a long trip. If you need to exercise more, start with a walk around your neighborhood. Start spending at least 15 uninterrupted minutes a day with your kids if you crave more time with them.
Trying to make considerable changes too fast can have the opposite effect, so take it slow and steady. Then celebrate the small victories.
Establish a Daily Finish Line
Draw a line in the sand. Not literally, but create a definitive end-point for your work day.
Like when your teachers said, “Time’s up! Pencils down!” at the end of a test. It didn’t matter where you were; there was no tying up loose ends when that was said. Think of it like that—put down that figurative pencil, shut that laptop, and walk away.
It isn’t easy to cut off work. Take advantage of setting your hours, and establish your schedule wisely. Once you’ve set it, clue others in on what they are so that you create expectations and boundaries with them, too.
Add your office hours to the signature line on your emails, and avoid responding to work-related things outside those hours. Put your phone in airplane mode or a lockbox during your family time so you don’t automatically reach for it at every little alert.
Identify your weaknesses. Take steps to compensate for them, like turning off certain phone notifications or removing distracting apps entirely. You may need to place your alarm clock across the room to ensure you get out of bed and do your morning workout before your day begins.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut doing certain things the same way over and over. Start asking yourself if the time-consuming tasks in your life could be simplified or eliminated.
Is there a portion of your workload that takes too much time with little gain? Consider technology to improve your methods, or delegate or hire someone else to take over.
Look for ways to cut back on the amount of work in your professional and personal life. For instance, ask for help with chores around the house. Get your groceries delivered or subscribe to a meal planning service. Hire a housekeeper. If you spend too much time on any specific task, see if there’s a better way.
Being your own boss gives you the freedom to set your own priorities. Take full advantage of it by making sure the “main things” in your life take the top spots on your to-do list.
Navigate the delicate balance of eCommerce success and personal fulfillment with this insightful infographic. Discover tips for entrepreneurs to prevent work from dominating their lives, emphasizing the importance of recognizing the dynamic nature of work-life balance. Prioritize well-being, set intentional start times, and embrace gradual change for a harmonious and fulfilling entrepreneurial journey.