The Myth of Work-Life Balance

BalanceYou’ve got a business.  You work it like you mean it.  And like a majority of business owners, you think that means working twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  You believe work-life balance is the title of some story told to naive college students.  There’s no way you can have it all, right?  Right?

Bzzzz.  Wrong.  It’s not a myth.  You can have both a thriving business and a satisfying, healthy personal life.  But you can’t have it if you keep conducting business as usual.   Here are six ways to help you gain balance while maintaining productivity, viability and sanity.

1.  Schedule your entire life.  That’s right.  Don’t just write in the meetings, phone calls and appointments.  Schedule in things like sleeping and eating, taking the dog for a walk, playing with the kids, helping out with laundry.  If you need regular bathroom breaks, schedule those in, too.  Get your schedule to represent everything you do in a day.

2.  Promote fun and relaxation to priorities.  Set aside time in your schedule for the things that really matter in your personal life.  Don’t just pencil in that date with your spouse or the long-awaited high school reunion.  Pen it in, and do it before you schedule anything else in that slot.  If you don’t prioritize, you won’t be able to have a personal life because we all know, you will work any hours that look available.

3.  Dine and snooze the right way.  What do these have to do with balance?  Everything.  If you want to be able to put your all into your business, you need energy and lots of it. If you are not eating or sleeping right, that energy is going to be lost in a vortex of concentration and productivity loss.

4.  Move your body.  A lot of business owners and busy people in general leave exercise out of the mix, when in fact, exercise is one of the key components to maintaining good health and that all-needed energy.  If exercise is not on  your calendar, put it there!

5.  Unhook the leashes.  You know what we mean – the cell phones, the tablets, the laptops, the PCs.  Turn them all off during your personal time.  The latest email will wait, the caller can leave a message, the text can be answered later.  When you are unavailable, that’s it. You are unavailable.

6.  Have someone else do it.  Believe it or not, you are not the only one who can get things done.  Set aside the pride for a moment and think about who can take some of the burden off  you so you can enjoy life a little more and reap the benefits of your hard work.  Train someone to help pick up the slack so you can get a life.  And if you don’t have anyone to delegate to, consider outsourcing.

We know the adage that being in business for yourself is like being married to your business.  But if you don’t have balance, you’re in for a messy divorce.  Take the time you need to be a whole person.   That’s the person who is going to succeed.

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Katherine Gotthardt, CEO

Katherine Gotthardt, M.Ed., writing concentration, has been writing, editing and teaching for more than twenty years. For the past ten years, she has focused on content development and content marketing for small to mid-size businesses, writing and disseminating material that increases client visibility while supporting their brand. Besides being published in dozens of journals, Katherine has authored five books: Poems from the Battlefield, Furbily-Furld Takes on the World, Approaching Felonias Park, Weaker Than Water and Bury Me Under a Lilac. Learn more about her creative life at