The first step to finding balance in your life is to assess how you want to live your life. What is working for you and your family? What is not working for you and your family? Spend time thinking about all of the tasks and responsibilities you have.
Also consider what tasks and responsibilities are detracting from your quality of life. Finally, consider what tasks or activities you’d like to be able to spend time on. For example, maybe you dislike managing email and social networking and would like to be able to spend more time working in your community.
Once you have an understanding about what isn’t working for you and your family and what you’d like to change, it’s time to start looking for solutions. How can you shift your focus from one task to another? Here are a few potential solutions.
1. Hire an assistant – You can hire a virtual assistant to manage the tasks you want to eliminate from your list, such as the email and social networking. You can also hire an intern or a part-time assistant to work with you in your office (even your home office). You can hire a virtual assistant at oDesk.com (they are cheaper than you might think, you can name your price and people bid on your job.)
2. Outsource – Consider outsourcing the tasks on your list that you wish to get rid of. For example, if you dislike social networking or customer service, then outsource those tasks. I have already made it know in past posts that I use oDesk for my outsourcing needs but know others who have great success with Elance. The two best places to get your outsourcing done.
3. Schedule Your Time – Start scheduling your “me time” right from the start. Don’t wait till you have one more spot on schedule and then call it “me time” that is just leftovers… you are worth more than just leftovers. 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 vacations for the year. This simple step helps you plan your business around your vacations instead of the other way around. It helps you put your personal life first.
4. Change your schedule – Take a look at your schedule and see if it supports a balanced life. For example, if your exercise time is scheduled for eight o’clock at night after the kids go to bed, 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.
Do you have other suggestions for balancing work and family? Let us know please.