Ok, hear me out. Work-life balance as entrepreneurs or founders IMO doesn’t exist because you are passionate and love what you do. When you’re at the grocery store on the weekends, you think, “hmm, I need to reply to Sharon’s email on Monday”—which is work. When you’re on social media after hours, you think, “hmm, I should make a post like this for my account”—which is also work. When you’re on vacation, you think, “hmm, I should try this great new idea when I’m back!”—which is…you guessed it, work. 24/7, 365 days of the year.
And NO ONE TOLD ME THIS.
It’s both a blessing and a curse. So forget the tale you’ve been told about achieving work-life balance and try a work-life blend. A work-life smoothie if you will. Today, we’re sharing the best ingredients for a well-rounded life because I wish SO much I would have sat down and made a list of things that were important to me in creating my own structure in business before letting others, projects, or just societal norms make one for me.You’ve probably had enough jobs in your day to know what you like and what you don’t. So before we start, consider what “flavors” you actually like in a job. What do you need to stay healthy? Do you enjoy socializing with others? Or maybe it’s the flexibility of remote work. Next, consider what ingredients just simply don’t agree with your system and give you chronic bubble guts. For me, it’s a strict 9-5 schedule. Or perhaps for you, it’s the “could-have-been-an-email” meetings.
Once you’ve got a list. Let’s mix things up…
Here are 4 important ingredients for a sweeter self-employed work-life smoothie:
Fruit = Time Management
Without time management, you’ll actually go bananas. Fruit is arguably the most important ingredient in any smoothie. It makes everything taste sweeter and creates consistency. And newsflash: you can use whatever “fruit” you’d like. Don’t feel obligated to maintain corporate 9-5 scheduling because that’s the smoothie Jamba Juice always had on sale that you were used to. If you work better in the AM and your brain turns to mush after 3, work those hours!
Pro Tip: Block out dedicated time on your calendar for work, family, self-care, and even flex or “brainstorming” time. This allows you to stay focused, and be in the moment, instead of trying to do or bee everything all at once.
Greens = Boundaries
Consider boundaries spinach in a smoothie, sometimes hard to swallow, but very necessary for your health and wellness. In today’s world, you have access to your work 24/7 so completely separating it from life just isn’t realistic. And while having this access has its perks, this doesn’t mean you should work all day long or that you have to answer work-related emails right away. We’ve found that setting specific work hours for your colleagues and your family members lets people know when you’re available for work and for play… and when you’re not.
Pro Tip: Take advantage of autoresponders to tell people when you’ll get back in touch and consider setting office hours and response-time expectations in your email signature.
3: Milk = Communication
Communication is like the liquifying agent in your smoothie, it helps mellow out bitter flavors and bring everything together. Letting your family know that you’re on a deadline or need some extra help around the house while you launch a new campaign is equally as important as letting your clients or employees know that you’re taking time off completely. When things are feeling a little sticky, add a little more communication and things will be smooth in no time.
Spices + Syrups = Flexibility
Whether it’s a little maple syrup or cocoa, being flexible with your recipe and your life, allows for the best and most unexpected flavor! Perfect balance simply isn’t sustainable. Life has ups and downs, busy seasons, and calm ones, so expecting everything to feel aligned and balanced every day can really set you up for failure. Flexibility means understanding that life is never going to be perfectly balanced. That understanding makes you feel way less guilty taking care of yourself, your family and friends, and your work, too.
Bonus Tip: There’s no one size fits all recipe. And even if you’ve found a blend that works for you – you’re free to switch it up and try something new whenever things get stale.
And Don’t forget your secret ingredient!
HONEY, of course! Add us into the mix if you need help…rebranding your business or nonprofit, checking off a design honey-do list, or designing a website that looks great and converts. We’re here to help you make life and work a little sweeter.