Building a better work / life balance

Caro Syson

It can be hard to juggle everything - your family, work, a social life, fitness, holidays, growing your business. It doesn’t take long to become overwhelmed with everything you’ve going on, which can lead you to a plateau and feel like you’re a bit stagnant.


You want to grow your business, but you’re spending too much time helping friends. You want to do more courses and invest in yourself, but you’re using too much money on your social life. Or perhaps your family are saying you’re not spending enough time with them.


What do you do?


How do you create more of you to share yourself in so many different ways? Obviously you can't split yourself into pieces, and you can’t create more time, but what you can do is prioritse and focus. 


It’s easy to think we’re focussed when we’re not


You might think you’re focusing, but if you take a step back and get honest with yourself, are you really?


Try the below exercise to help you gain control over what you’re focusing on, and identify what you need to do. It’s easy to feel and think we’re focusing, when in reality, we’re all over the place and not producing much productivity in any area. This then leaves us feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and ratty - can you relate?


Building a better business will help you to build a better life. It will increase your income, meaning you can take more fun holidays, spend real, meaningful time with friends and family, or do whatever it is you like to do. 


1. Brainstorming


Grab a notebook and pen and list all of the categories that you want to improve in your business and your life, and write them down, one on each line.


What are you going to focus on? Remember, what you focus on, grows. 

Where attention goes, energy flows. Shifting and streamlining your focus will help that area improve, so ask yourself, what do you want to grow? 


What area needs more focus to help shift the scales on your work/life balance?


You could write - increase product sales, increase profits, develop a better system, track productivity, customer satisfaction, produce social media content, marketing, services to offer and grow, family time, recreation, relaxation, or whatever you decide to put down in your category list. These are just a few ideas that might come up when you brainstorm, but it’s your life, so make your categories totally relevant to you. 


2. Prioritise


Now you’ve got your list, order them by priority, starting with what’s most important to you at the top and the least important at the bottom.


Next to each category, grade them according to how you’re performing in them now. How much time and focus are you spending in that area? You might realise that you’re spending way too much time on recreation, and no time and focus on marketing. Or perhaps your customer satisfaction is up there at the top, but your social media content is non-existent, or your family time is high but your product sales are low, or maybe it’s the other way around.


Mark each category from 1-10, where 1 is extremely unsatisfied, to 10 being ‘I’m winning at this.’ 


When you have your chart you can see which area/s you need to focus on and which areas are lagging. Those areas you’re winning in, don’t need any more focus on, for now. Don’t forget them entirely, you can always come back to them because there is always room for improvement, but don’t spend any more time and energy focusing on something that is already going well. Use that time, energy, and focus to uplift and shift the areas that aren’t doing so well, into doing better.


3. Identify action


Now you need to identify some action to take. 


Have a look at your graded list and pick out the categories that you have marked as high priority but you’ve also marked with low satisfaction grades, thats anything you marked under 5 on the ‘how satisfied are you’ step - this is now a must focus on mark. 


Shifting your focus onto what areas you need to improve can really help you to step up in that area. No one likes having areas that we’re not excelling in, pointed out directly to us. It doesn’t make us feel good, does it?  But if we sit and look at it ourselves, especially if we’re the ones who identify where we need to make the improvements, it’s usually a bit easier to swallow. 


In fact, it can be super empowering to self-identify areas we need to improve on, areas we need to balance out. When we’re in control of our own self-development we’re more likely to stick to creating a better life and a better business, rather than let life carry us away.


Once you have your high priority areas that you’ve marked as low, write them out again on a new sheet of paper, and think about what actions you’re going to take to improve these areas.


4. Take Action


Perhaps you marked marketing low but also high priority - what are you going to do to market your business better? You could start by reading some marketing books, or listening to a few marketing podcasts, then take action using the information you’ve just learnt. Perhaps you already know how to market, you just need to implement your knowledge. Take action and start upgrading your marketing.


Perhaps you marked ‘spend more time with family’ as something you need to improve


If so, then schedule a family day, or a family games night, or movie night once a month. Or have some family members round for dinner or go to a restaurant. Call them now and book them in! If you’ve increased your profit because you’ve been focusing on your sales, could you treat them to a trip to the local bowling alley or a trip to the movies?


Perhaps you need to spend less time with friends and more time and focus on your social media content. Decide what channels you’re going to focus on, be strict about saying no to those last minute invites to the pub or the cinema, and maybe turn your phone off after your last client 3 times a week, to stop any temptation of being distrubed from creating your content. 


Focus on the areas you need to improve upon and it won’t take much for them to start getting better and scoring higher when you go to rank things again at the end of the month.


We’d love to hear what areas of your life you’ve managed to improve upon using the above technique. You can share your stories by following us on social media. 


We’re on instagram and Facebook sp come over and tell us your success stories.


Caro Syson is the Founder of Pocket PA and is passionate about helping small business owners to reach their full potential in the easiest possible way. 

Pocket PA is a super easy system to manage your finances, accounts and gets you organised in your business to ensure you love your work and shine your light brightly.

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