Do you want to build a profitable lifestyle BUSINESS?
But also maintain a balanced, happy & successful PERSONAL LIFE?
Excellent. Me too.
But, what happens when you’re the one (trust me, I get it) whose instant reaction to every request is an immediate and resounding, “Yes!”?
What happens when you continuously welcome overtime or additional projects?
What happens when you’re comfortable with meetings being scheduled at any time of the day or night?
BURNOUT. That’s what happens.
It’s great to be a business-building and entrepreneurial go-getter. It’s how you mark your success . . . climb the ladder . . . create a strong customer base . . . build a thriving team . . . earn the income you desire to build the life of your dreams and fulfill all of your personal and professional WHYs.
It’s just that the demands to “do it all” – along with the ability to access work from practically anywhere at any time – is making it harder and harder to take necessary TIME for yourself and your family.
. . . TIME you need.
. . . TIME they want.
. . . TIME all of you deserve.
Here are a few of my go-to strategies (and personal experiences) to master LIFE + WORK BALANCE and avoid burnout:
#1) LEARN HOW TO SAY “NO”
Oh, yes . . . that one little word that’s so hard for an entrepreneur to let escape from their lips: “No”.
I know it’s hard, and it’s going to take practice, but you can do it. And in order to take back the time you need to create more of the balance you deserve – for yourself AND your family – you’re going to have to learn how to say it: “No”.
Sometimes to others. Sometimes to yourself. It isn’t always easy and – again – I get it.
Learning how to utter the word “no” take awareness, consciousness, strength and an active decision . . . especially if it’s in your nature to jump in and help out with every single request, project, opportunity, and crisis that comes your way.
But, if you want to relax, unwind, and continue to perform well, “no” is a word you need to master and learn how to use appropriately.
Will you indulge me with a personal story?
- In 1999, on the eve of the millennia, I was 29-years-young. I was married (a marriage that would end in divorce nine years later), had a son on the verge of turning 3, was managing the affairs of a U.S. Congressman with the 7th largest district in the country, taught a load of fitness classes each week, worked as a part-time reading assistant at a local elementary school, volunteered for a variety of community non-profits, ran a household, organized a local music festival . . . and was still grieving the loss of my mom who’d passed just five years before. She was a pillar of the local community where I was born, raise and living, and a part of me was trying – somehow, someway – to fill that unfillable void. All of it was invigorating, exciting, rewarding, time-consuming, totally overwhelming and utterly exhausting.
- In December I proclaimed to myself (and a few close loved ones) that the year 2000 would be my “Year to Say No.” I was scared: scared of what it would look like, scared of how people would react, and scared if I could even muster up the courage to actually do it . . . or if I really wanted to do it. But I knew I needed to do it if I were going to survive.
- Little did I know how that year – and that one two-letter word – would radically transform my life.
- I remember the first “no” like it was yesterday. The phone rang. It was a friend of my mom’s calling to ask for my participation on a new community volunteer board. I immediately broke out in a sweat at the sounds of her voice – long before the question was even uttered. I half-listened while I psyching myself up for what I knew was coming. And when my moment arrived, I took a deep breath and let her roll: “Thank you so much for asking, but – as much as I’d like to accept – I’m going to have to say no.” There was nothing but silence for what seemed like an eternity.
- I DID IT . . . I ACTUALLY SAID IT: “no.” I felt like a champion. Literally. It was one of the biggest victories of my life!
- I waited and waited, and the eventual response was beautiful: “Wow, Kellie. Okay. You know, you do so much for others and it’s refreshing to see you finally doing something for yourself. Your mom would be really, really proud of you.”
And that was it . . . the beginning of a new me. For an entire year, I couldn’t say it fast or often enough. It almost became a game. As the years rolled by and life took me on its roller coaster journey of ups & downs, I have often slipped back into those old entrepreneurial patterns of overcommitment and overachievement, but the lessons from the millennium have stayed with me and have radically transformed my perspective: learning how to listen to myself and my family, and recognize when life and business are controlling ME versus me controlling them.
And all I have to do is go back to my little two-letter bestie: “no.” And it works. Everytime.
Learning how to say “no” doesn’t mean you let go of responsibility, quit working, or stop learning. It simply means that you only take on what you can actually handle . . . and no more.
If you believe that learning to say “no” will keep you from getting a promotion and raise – or result in the loss of a client, customer or team member – think about this: when you take on more than you can handle, the quality of work suffers. You lose focus. You lose interest. You lose sleep. You lose desire. And eventually, you may even lose everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Trust me. I’ve been there too.
If you need assistance with this ever-important vocabulary word, let’s connect on a FREE DISCOVERY CALL.
#2) GET A HOBBY
Many people who wind up throwing themselves head-first into their businesses lack involvement in critical personal interests outside of their work. But it’s these very interests that make life worth living and work worth doing.
If you have a hobby or an outside-of-work activity you love, carve out more time for it.
If you don’t have a hobby or any outside-of-work activities (or don’t even know what I’m even talking about), it’s time to GET A HOBBY!
Hobbies are fabulous for so many reasons and can radically transform your life – and your health – when you choose to let yourself go and enjoy them fully. They don’t have to take over your world and they don’t have to affect the success of your business, but they can positively impact your level of happiness, decrease your stress and help you connect to the very source of your existence.
If nothing else, they’ll give your brain and your body the regular breaks they need to perform at a high level when engaged in work-centered activities. After all, you cannot give what you do not have . . . and good, life-changing work can’t grow out of an empty vessel.
To be your best, you need strength, energy, focus and attention. You need to refresh. And you need to keep yourself diversified by learning something new and developing new skills. Hobbies are perfect for accomplishing this.
So, take a quick break right now (and kudos to you for even reading this article if you’re a work junkie . . . you get bonus points!) and write down anything and everything you can think of that brings you excitement and joy – or that you would be interested in pursuing or exploring – outside of your work or business. Here are some ideas to get you flowing:
- Learning a new exercise routine or hiring a personal trainer
- Waking up 30 minutes early to meditate
- Taking a walk at the end of the day
- Watching the sun rise or set
- Enjoying a brisk morning run
- Going on a bike ride
- Learning how to paint, do woodwork or craft
- Writing down favorite childhood memories
- Reading personal growth & development books (audio & video count too!)
- Meeting up with friends for coffee or tea
- Starting a book club
- Playing games with the kids
- Going to a movie, concert or sporting event
- Pampering yourself with a massage, manicure or pedicure
The possibilities are truly endless. Let go and let yourself dream.
What were your interests as a child? Perhaps you have a hidden talent that you set aside for workplace ambition? Did you love doing something long ago that you’ve always wanted to get back to? Take some TIME and get back to it.
There’s no better time than now . . . and your work will actually benefit from you taking the time to engage in the things that bring you happiness and joy.
The only rule? Find something that completely removes you from “work mode.”
You can do it. I believe in you.
And, If you’re struggling with decreased happiness and increased stress, we really need to connect on a FREE DISCOVERY CALL to discuss how a personalized assessment can help you take back control of your life & get back to “center”. Click here to connect!
#3) SCHEDULE “YOU” TIME
So, now that you have a whole list of hobbies you want to start pouring into, how do you find the time to actually do them?
Simple. Schedule non-negotiable “you” time into your calendar. As a profitable entrepreneur and/or business owner, you know how important time management is to your success. If you’re time blocking your work, you can certainly time block your personal time too.
My suggestion: Schedule EVERYTHING in 15-minute time blocks, and use a PAPER calendar. You’ll be shocked at what you can accomplish in just 15 minutes!
Carving out “you” time will give you the freedom to temporarily let go of what MUST be done and start focusing on what you WANT to get done. This scheduled time – whether just 15 minutes or an entire day – can be open to anything you want that’s not related directly to your work. Develop that new hobby or dig into an old one.
Whatever you do, the purpose is to create time for YOU.
You can’t work 24/7 . . . and if you are, you need to stop. Visit your family and friends. Enjoy an afternoon barbecue. Sit outside and soak up the sun. Don’t miss the moments that make life count. When you give your mind, body, and spirit the freedom to relax, you will increase your effectiveness in ALL areas of life and achieve even more success, both short-term and long-term.
You’re super smart and business savvy, so you already know this, but I’m going to say it anyway: time doesn’t just “happen” and appear out of thin air. If you want more time, you need to schedule more time.
Time may be a mystery, but it’s not rocket science.
If you find yourself bogged down in time-wasters and need help maximizing your 15-minute LIFE + WORK time blocks, let’s connect on a FREE DISCOVERY CALL.
#4) REVISIT YOUR PRIORITIES
It is scientifically proven that people who dedicate all of their time to work – especially high-pressure work in high-pressure environments – are statistically more likely to develop serious health issues. They don’t eat right or exercise enough. They can’t turn off their brains. They don’t get enough sleep. Their heart beats a million times a minute. They’re stressed out to the max.
They experience very little happiness. They are setting themselves up for disaster.
If you recognize yourself above – or if your family would call you out on any or all of these issues – it’s time to revisit your priorities.
When you bring your LIFE + WORK priorities in alignment with one another, you will absolutely avoid burnout . . . and you’ll enjoy living a whole lot more.
- Focus on things like a healthy diet, regular exercise, and daily supplements to improve your physical quality of life.
- Learn how to say “no” to the things that don’t absolutely require your time and attention.
- Incorporate new hobbies or revisit old interests.
- Schedule “you” time . . . and include your family too.
There are countless other tips & tricks that will help you master LIFE + WORK balance & avoid burnout, but this list of essentials is the place to start.
You can do it.
I believe in you.
Hugs & Happiness