Work/life balance is in danger.
The term first emerged in the 1970s, complete with hard research about its importance in a healthy lifestyle. Now, the term has become little more than a buzzword that remote workers and entrepreneurs take with a grain of salt. For many, work/life balance is something of a unicorn that would be nice to have but simply isn’t attainable — or important, for that matter.
However, finding an ideal balance between your work and your personal life shouldn’t be optional. Treading the right line can help to make you more productive, more profitable, and ultimately, happier on and off the clock.
Part of a healthy work/life balance relies on having the right environment. A private workspace or shared office space can help you to keep your work and personal lives separate while helping you stay connected to others when you need it most.
Before diving headfirst into solutions, it’s essential to understand why work/life balance has become the monolithic problem it is today and what you can do to mitigate its negative impact.
Why Work/Life Balance Is Essential for Success
When you’re bent on success, it’s easy to pour every ounce of your time, energy, and creativity into making your ideas work. It’s logical to believe that putting in just one more hour each day, making one more phone call, or sending a quick email during dinner or a ball game will bring you closer to your goals faster — because small actions add up to major results, right?
What many people don’t realize is that the most successful people aren’t always the ones who are heavily invested in their work.
Rather, taking time away from your business can help you to refocus your energy, recharge your mind, and bring clarity to the process.
When work consumes your life, burnout creeps ever closer into view. The big picture starts to blur when you’re zeroed in on smaller benchmarks, making it easy to get off course and even harder to right the ship again. It’s a widespread issue that goes largely unaddressed, and it could be the one thing keeping you from achieving your goals.
Goals aside, being overworked can have a serious impact on your health. Studies show that working too many hours for too long can increase your risk of heart problems and stroke. If you work at a desk for hours at a time, you’re also at risk for musculoskeletal injuries, back and neck pain, weight gain, and other issues.
These issues may prevent you from doing your best work, which will only slow down your process and interfere with your success.
Work/life balance is essential to your physical and mental health, as well as your career success.
The only way to achieve it is to prioritize it.
Where to Draw the Line Between Work and Life
For some, creating a balance between work and your personal life comes easy. For most entrepreneurs, however, the lines are becoming more blurred every day. Smartphones are largely fueling this ever-connectedness, keeping you plugged into both worlds and making it harder to escape and devote your mind wholly to one or the other.
Drawing the line and crossing it at strategic times may have the greatest impact on your success yet. Here are a few actionable tips you can start taking to achieve a better work/life balance and the benefits that come with it.
Make Time for “Me” Time
Set aside a specific amount of time that’s completely dedicated to something you like, such as a hike or a pedicure at your favorite salon.
Turn your phone on silent and take pride in “going off the grid” for a while. Shutting out every possible distraction can be a powerful reminder that there’s more to life than work. Hopefully, once you get a taste of “me” time, it will be easier to make more time for yourself.
Don’t Cut Yourself Off Entirely
Solopreneurs that work from home usually struggle the most with work/life balance. They live where they work and vice versa, which makes it hard to draw a defined line. In most cases, they are their own company at work.
If you work from home, you may find it refreshing to work in the company of others again. It’s not productive to shut yourself away all the time, so make sure you reconnect with other people from time to time.
Many people who work from home have found that occasionally working in a shared office space can help them be more productive, plus it provides great networking opportunities you’d never get from your couch at home.
Learn How to Say No
Whether you’re starting your own business or are leading a larger company, you’ve likely had a series of “Yes” responses to get your business off the ground. Taking on new clients, hiring new employees, and adding projects to your to-do list are top priorities if you want to move forward — but there’s a reasonable limit as to how much you can feasibly do well enough to get the best results.
Learning how to say “no” takes some skill, but it’s essential to achieving a better work/life balance. Trying to tackle every opportunity that comes your way leaves you little or no time for yourself — and betraying yourself is the worst type of betrayal!
Set Hard Boundaries
Being your own boss takes a high level of discipline, so make sure your boundaries include time for a life outside of work. Set strict working hours and work hard to accomplish as much as possible during that timeframe. Refuse to answer calls at the dinner table. Train yourself not to check your phone compulsively when you’re out and about on the weekends.
Small changes like these can help you keep your work life where it belongs so you’re free to enjoy life on your terms.
A predictable schedule can help you better manage your time so that work and life receive adequate attention. Consider creating a daily work plan to help you maximize your time. This way, you can see exactly where your time is going, where you can make cuts, and how you can include other activities in your day.
The more predictable your schedule, the less guesswork involved and the easier it can be to separate your work and non-work activities.
Could a Shared Office Space Provide a Work/Life Balance Solution?
As a solopreneur or remote worker, finding time for work and play can be one of your biggest challenges. Like any obstacle that stands between you and your success, you need to find a way to overcome it.
Many freelancers and solopreneurs are finding that coworking spaces help them achieve a better work/life balance. It helps to recreate the distinction between work and home that has become lost for many remote workers. You still get the flexibility of maintaining your own schedule and following your own rules, but you have the structure of an office that can help you block out distractions, maximize your time, and do your best work.
If you’ve only ever thought of coworking spaces as a place to work, you’re missing out on a major part of its value. It’s not enough to love what you do; you also need to enjoy where you work and how to keep work in its place.
Our private offices and shared office space give you the flexibility to choose your best work environment. Come take a tour and see how we can help you improve your work/life balance, and ultimately your work itself. Find the Office Evolution location nearest you.