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Balancing work and life better in 2013

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the to don't listWe’re fast approaching New Year, and it’s this time of year that we become more reflective and it’s also the perfect time to make adjustments to your life. For many people these goals are personal, this means trying to lose weight and exercise more.

But it’s also a great time for business owners to make changes to their working lifestyle. In other words it’s the perfect time to assess the past year and look forward into the next.

You’d have thought I’d have learned my lesson in 2011 when my husband’s pneumonia was misdiagnosed as arthritis and his mobility was predicted to be non-existent within 5 years, you’d be wrong if you thought that we would plan more fun in 2012…

We didn’t and then his appendix ruptured and he nearly died. We got the message. 2013 in the Quiver will be full of fun and laughter, and we’re scheduling it in so we don’t miss out. Yup, we’re scheduling a better work life balance. We’re making it happen, and you can make it happen for your life too.

The 2 steps to better work life balance

Step one – Assessment

The first step to finding the perfect work-life balance in the New Year is to assess how you want to actually have a life.

  • What about your present circumstances would you like to change?
  • What feels out of balance?
  • What just plain isn’t working for you?
  • What is working for you?

This assessment process may take a bit of time and you shouldn’t rush it. Spend quality time thinking about all of the tasks and responsibilities you have in your business and think about your achievements.

Consider what tasks and responsibilities are detracting from your quality of life.

  • Consider what tasks or activities you’d like to be able to spend time on.
  • Look at what you want to do less of
  • Look at what you really enjoy and would like to do more of

Step Two: Solutions

Once you have an understanding about what didn’t work for you in the past year and what you’d like to change, it’s time to start looking for solutions.

How can you shift your focus from one unsatisfactory task to another more rewarding one? Here are some solutions to things you might want to change.

1. Hire an assistant – Sure you might might squeak at the cost, but if it frees you up to do what you really want, then hire an assistant  You can hire a virtual assistant to manage the tasks you want to eliminate from your list. You can also hire an intern or a part-time assistant to work with you in your office. If you don’t want to do it, hire someone who does.

2. Outsource – Consider outsourcing the tasks on your list that you wish to get rid of. For example, if you dislike customer service, then outsource that task. Completely outsource something you don’t want to waste time on. If you spend a week each quarter doing the VAT return or local taxes, outsource it to a local bookkeeper and carry on with your business as usual.

Sick of wasting time on social media platforms? Outsource it. No time to write blog posts? Outsource it. No time to answer your calls from your home office… you’ve guessed it – outsource it.

3. Schedule fun – yeah schedule fun. 2012 was the year I stopped working between 3pm and 7pm every day to spend time with my daughters.  Instead of putting yourself last on your task list, start scheduling your “me time” or your “family time”.

Make room for it in your day, week, and month. In fact, it’s a great idea to sit down with your family and a calendar and schedule your breaks for the year, even if you stay at home, the break from work will do you good. This simple step helps you plan your business around your life instead of the other way around. It helps you put your personal life first, and you deserve a personal life.

4. Change your schedule – Do you keep a daily schedule? If so, take a look at that schedule and see if it supports a balanced life. For example, if your exercise time is scheduled for eight o’clock at night then that may be a sign that you’re putting yourself last on your list. Move it to first thing in the morning – put yourself first. By making it first on your to do list you’ll find you have more energy to complete everything else on the list.

5. Prioritize – Death by to-do list? One of the problems with to-do lists is that they’re often just lists. Instead of working your way down the random list, prioritize your tasks. What is most important to accomplish? Do that first. Make sure to put yourself at the top of the list like I mention in point 4.

Don’t wait until the end of the year to review your plan – review it often. Yes, the New Year is a perfect time to reflect and make changes. However, you have the freedom to reflect and make changes every single day of your life.

Don’t wait a full year to live the life you really want.

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Sarah Arrow

Sarah Arrow started blogging to save a business and it worked! She created her first blogging challenge back in 2007. She's been internationally recognised as a top content marketer, Forbes and MSN list her websites as top ones, and she's the author of many quick start marketing guides. You can find her books on Amazon.

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