Many of you are aware of the term “work-life balance,” and make a conscious effort to achieve this balance as you go about each day.
What many people aren’t aware of, however, are the multiple components of the “life” side of that balance equation.
Life is complex, right? It includes our physical health, our emotional health, and much more—there are actually 8 Areas of Focus in our lives that each need to be tended to and balanced.
Today I want to take a look at the 8 individual areas of your life, and discuss how you can achieve balance, both within each one and in harmony with each other and your work.
Does My Life Outside Of Work Affect My Business?
Each of the 8 areas of your life can affect your business, in good or bad ways.
Poor balance in any area can lead to burnout, decreased productivity and efficiency, and not enjoying your work.
Nourishing each area of life can increase job satisfaction, make you more effective, and prevent burnout and exhaustion.
Take a moment to think about that important connection: the success of your business is dependent on the health of all aspects of your life, not just the “work” that you do.
Keep in mind that balance doesn’t mean that you will spend equal time on equal areas each day, or that the time you focus on each area needs to be constant from day to day or week to week.
Balance is a fluid condition that is continuously shifting to respect that specific day and the specific circumstances that it brings. Knowing that balance is ever-changing, and being at peace with that ebb and flow, will empower you to make better choices in each area of your life.
The 8 Areas of Focus
Achieving work-life balance requires a holistic approach in which you look at all the different areas of your life and how they work together.
As you read about each Area of Focus, pause and think about your life. Is this an area you want to improve in? What kinds of activities would make you feel better about this Area of Focus?
Or perhaps this is an area that you currently focus on—note the activities you do that bring you joy, or a sense of peace and wellness.
Are you getting exercise, or spending time outside? Do you eat well, and are you mindful of nutrition when planning your meals?
Taking care of your body pays off in many ways: it gives you energy and focus, improves your circulation, and may reduce distracting health issues or pain.
Feeling and looking better increases your self-confidence, both in your everyday interactions and at work when interacting with or presenting in front of others.
This is where stress comes into play. Make sure you are recognizing stress, and managing your stress in healthy ways. Perhaps you’ve got a difficult client, someone says no to your sales pitch, or you receive negative feedback after a consultation.
It’s important to remember that stress doesn’t just have a financial and business effect; it has an emotional effect as well—it hurts! Do you have a way to process and reduce stress from clients, and the emotions that come along with that stress?
A lot of people think their personal finances don’t affect their business life, but in reality they are quite interconnected. If you’re not taking care of finances—personal or professional—you may find that you start taking on new clients for the money, not because you are excited to work with them.
If you live each day with a feeling of scarcity, you make decisions differently than if you come from a place of abundance.
Financial balance involves managing money by creating budgets. This process ensures that you know where your money is coming from and going to, and prevents you from living paycheck to paycheck or not knowing when you will be able to pay the bills.
Personal and professional finances may be separate bank accounts, but the health of each is deeply intertwined with both your personal and your professional life.
This area of focus involves looking at your business and making sure you are doing something you enjoy, something that feeds your soul.
Is your job one that you are passionate and excited about? Are you doing what you're doing for a reason? Be willing to explore why you do what you do—if you aren’t satisfied with your job, how can you do it differently or change?
Are you able to spend quality time with friends and family without feeling guilty that you aren’t working? Making time to focus on building meaningful and powerful relationships is important for work-life balance.
It’s just as important to set boundaries that limit your time with energetically draining people and situations. I know that sometimes this isn’t easy; it requires courage and forethought. But you can do it!
Another way to nurture this area of focus is to contribute time and energy to the betterment of your community, or helping others in need.
This area involves stimulating your intellectual brain with mental activities. Be sure not to only engage in business-related mental activities. It’s great to read business books here and there or catch up on the latest industry news, but you want to be sure you are well rounded and have balance in this area of your life.
Sometimes it’s nice—even fun—to engage in intellectual pursuits that revolve around activities or subjects you enjoy: reading for leisure, playing puzzles, or attending a lecture of personal interest. Think of how activities such as these leave you feeling energized, rejuvenated, or relaxed!
Reflect on how you connect with the world and the universe—how are you grounding with passion and purpose? Do you enjoy meditation, Sunday church, or are there other ways you connect with your higher power?
Remind yourself that there is life outside your business, and life outside your immediate needs. If you are living with tunnel vision and don’t look beyond work thoughts and needs, you can lose perspective with the world around us.
Do you spend time being out in nature, enjoying fresh air sunshine? Take time to walk in the woods or around the block, connecting to the world around you. Soak up sunshine and give your body fuel to make more vitamin D!
Take a look at your office environment. The physical space around you is so important; if you are surrounded by clutter it is hard to feel calm and focused. Reduce clutter by creating an organization system for your office, and decorate the office with things that bring you feelings of happiness and contentment.
A Holistic Approach to Restoring Work-Life Balance
When you look at the 8 Areas of Focus, there are two “levels” of balance you need to achieve in order to achieve a harmonious work-life balance.
Balance Within Each Area Of Focus
The first step to a holistic work-life balance is to establish balance within each Area of Focus.
I have created a Holistic Lifestyle Assessment to help my clients go through each Area of Focus and answer step-by-step questions that help them assess the area and determine if growth is needed.
This worksheet guides you through the assessment process, so you not only look at what you are doing now, but you spend time thinking about your short and long term goals in that Area of Focus as well as a timeline for implementing any changes and goals.
Balance Between Each Area Of Focus And Your Business
Once you have looked at each Area of Focus and have defined how you want that area to look in your life, you are ready for the complicated task of determining how you can balance all of these Areas of Focus and your business!
I know how overwhelming this can be. Knowing what you want to accomplish in your business and what you want to accomplish in your Areas of Focus is a healthy step—but how do you actually achieve that balance while running a business?
When I work with clients (women entrepreneurs?) on this step I use a strategy called Mindset-Strategy-Action.
The Mindset-Strategy-Action approach breaks each change down into small, actionable, achievable steps.
And we all know that by breaking tasks down into manageable steps you replace the feeling of overwhelm with a feeling of accomplishment!
Remember, You Are More Than Your Business!
If you remember one thing from this article, I would like you to remember that you are more than your business.
Who you are is a complex combination of your business, your passions, and each Area of Focus. And by nurturing and allowing space in your life for each of these, you will not only be happier, but will have a more successful business!
Are You Looking For More Time To Focus On Work-Life Balance?
Running your own business can mean to-do lists that pile up and become overwhelming. So how do you find time to improve your work-life balance?
You join me for Get Stuff Done Day!
Join us for 3 hours on Friday, April 23 for this complimentary event where you’ll have the dedicated time, focus, and accountability to turn your To-Do’s into Ta-Da’s!
How does Get Stuff Done Day work?
Think of one big thing (or a few small things) you want to get done before the end of April.
Maybe you want to...
Organize your office
Clear out your in-box
Write an article
Plan your blog and social media posts for next month
Update your website
Work on your marketing plan
Send thank you and birthday cards
Whether you’ve been overwhelmed, distracted, procrastinating, or truly haven’t had time to tackle your project, Get Stuff Done Day is your chance to focus and complete some of those nagging tasks that need to get done.
Experience the fun, the challenge, and the camaraderie of our Get Stuff Done Day! Registration is FREE and all are welcome!
Click the link below to learn more—I can’t wait to meet you and help you Get Stuff Done!
Let me help you create balance in all areas of your life and business!!
Until next time,