5 Amazing Tips for Coaches to Balance Work and Life (#3 is Crucial!)
Are you tired of chasing the (seemingly) impossible balance between work and life?
How do you balance work and family life anyway?
Is work life balance important?
So many entrepreneurs and coaches throw around the term “work/life balance.” Which gets you chasing some perfect idea of work life balance in which every part of your life gets an equal amount of your time, energy, and ingenuity.
Unfortunately, this creates an unsustainable problem. You keep chasing something unrealistic and unattainable, leaving you frustrated and discouraged.
Because in the real world, the process of growing your own business requires far more time, energy, and brainpower than so many other aspects of your day to day life. Building a coaching or consulting business takes a lot of emotional output, and at some point (or many!) your life will feel out of balance.
This is especially true for at-home coaches who can never fully disengage from “work mode” thanks to phone notifications and portable laptops that are always in arm’s reach. Work and life blend together in a much more complex way.
Now it is so rewarding and exciting to have a truly amazing coaching business that you're growing, because you get to choose to create a life that you love. The work doesn't feel like a grind. It feels like something with ease and flow and fun at the same time (plus YOU are the boss!)
So every day you get to choose what you do with your time. With your energy and passion. Maybe you’ve tried time blocking, setting strict boundaries, forcing yourself to only do so much work at any given time. You’re doing a complicated dance trying to fit in family time, social time, self care, and growing your business.
Have you noticed that this whole work life balance thing is not really working for you? That despite your best efforts, you never quite feel a true sense of balance between work and personal life?
We hear you. And we can help.
Here’s our take: it’s not actually possible (or necessary) to have 100% balance in your life.
It’s just not.
Work and life are not going to be equal when you’re building a new business. Does that mean you’re going to fail in every other area of your life? Nope! It simply means you need to approach the concept of balance in a new way so you can feel calm and purposeful inside. We all know the importance of work life balance, but not many of us know how to get there.
Once you let go of chasing that ideal work life balance and approach it in a new way, your business AND life can flourish. It’s possible to have an amazing life and fun while crafting the life and business that you truly want.
Are you ready?
Here are our tried-and-true tips to to balance work and life so you can truly, finally achieve a sense of balance between your work and personal life:
Work Life Balance Tip #1: Focus on quality over quantity.
The amount of time you spend on any given activity is not the real issue here. It’s the focus and mindset you bring to the time you are giving to your friends, family, work, etc.
Since It’s truly not possible to give the same time allotment to all aspects of your life, do your best to make the most of the time you do have to give.
You’ll likely find that shorter bursts of true quality attention will equate to less actual time needed to achieve that meaningful impact you’re wanting. This makes the time itself less relevant.
Think about it: what is more meaningful and fulfilling: a 2 hour coffee date with a friend who keeps looking at her phone and responding to texts and emails while you’re talking to her? Or a 1 hour coffee date with a friend who truly listens to you when you talk, and together you spend your time laughing and reminiscing about fun high school memories?
Connection is so important. And often that means being truly intentional with your focus so you can fully engage in the moment.
So next time you’re taking time off work, really commit to being present.
- Put down the phone
- Silence your notifications
- Make eye contact
- Truly listen and engage with your loved ones
- Be here. Now.
Let the time you spend together flow with joy and ease so everyone feels more fulfilled.
Hopefully this concept resonates with you. Especially if you are a serial multitasker (like Sherri!!).
Focus your busy, amazing brain on enjoying and savoring the time you are able to spend with your loved ones or on cherished activities.
Make it quality time, no matter how short the time may be.
Work Life Balance Tip #2: Choose 5 Daily Non-Negotiables to fit in daily.
Time is precious. So are your core values. No matter how busy or how crazy life gets, it’s crucial to your own sense of well-being to commit to nurturing that which matters most to you.
So take some time to brainstorm 5 non-negotiables for you and your life. They should be based on what gives you a feeling of expansion, ease, and passion. They help provide you with everything you need to feel like the best version of yourself.
Figure them out, write them down, and make it a priority to fit each of them in every single day.
Our friend and fellow coach Shawn Antonio helped us (Sherri and Jessie) figure out our own non-negotiables, so we have found ways to fit them in no matter what life throws at us.
Now, this approach requires creativity and flexibility. Because life changes. Every day may look a little bit different for you. Client calls, doctor’s appointments, school events, social gatherings, the list goes on and on.
So think of getting them into your life in a fluid, natural way.
Fit them in where it works and fits best to you no matter what else is going on.
Take Sherri for example: one of her non negotiables is daily strength, stretching, and movement. Instead of battling to find a huge block of time to work out, she has incorporated movement naturally into her days. She breaks it down into small, manageable 5-10 minute blocks. This makes it so much easier to fit exercise in between calls and client work, and ais a nice way to break up the work day.
Boom. Daily exercise achieved.
Here’s the lesson: life should be meaningful and rewarding. Stay true to the values and priorities that are most important in the big picture, grand scheme of life. That's how you can truly balance your work and personal life.
But woah, woah, woah, don’t panic thinking this is ONE MORE THING you’re pressured into doing! In fact, you can only hold true to these non-negotiables by working them into your days through a natural rhythm and flow. It should feel GOOD.
Balance is an inner game, not something you can calculate or coordinate from the outside. Balance is how you feel
Be flexible and fit them in how and when you can.
But the point is to fit them in. Because that’s when the beauty and magic of life truly unfolds.
Work Life Balance Tip #3: Figure out and clearly communicate your expectations (to yourself and others)
You may have thought it’s obvious to everyone what you want. Spoiler alert . . . sometimes it’s just not.
Nobody can read your mind!
Which leaves it up to you to tell others what you want. What you need. What you’re trying to achieve in your business.
Think about what you really want and expect from yourself, your family, your coworkers, and friends as you grow this coaching business. As a smart, capable, independent business owner, what are you here for? What do you expect of yourself? What do you need from those around you as you build this online business?
Get it all out there, write it down, make sure you’re crystal clear. Then tell everyone in your world who supports you in your business.
When you define and clearly express your expectations (to yourself and others) it’s borderline miraculous the results that can happen. Communication unlocks tension, resentment, confusion, and anger to make room for understanding and cooperation.
When you’re working on the balance between work and life, none of us entrepreneurs can possibly hold to rigid boundaries when it comes to the amount of work we put in each week or the times of day when we work on our business.
As you learn and grow, there is always space to redefine your expectations depending on where your life and business take you. It’s crucial to stay in touch with your emotions and listen to what your body and mind are telling you.
Do what feels good, natural, and in flow with the rest of your responsibilities and relationships. Then keep those lines of communication open between you and your loved ones.
Communication is key.
Work Life Balance Tip #4: Evaluate what you're saying yes to
This one is crucial not just in business, but in your whole life. How many times have you said yes to every request or opportunity that comes your way? And how often have you ended up mentally, emotionally, and psychologically drained from trying to do everything you have taken on?
Saying yes can feel good. It can feel exciting, generous, and rewarding. But everyone has their limits!
Any time a task, request, or opportunity comes your way, you have a choice. Rather than say yes immediately, ask yourself if you can use one of the following options instead:
Option 1: Delegate
Does this have to be done by me? Is there someone else who can take this on or do it with me as a team? This one is tough for us perfectionists, but trust that others can do a good job too. And you also need to release the idea that you and you alone can do this task “right.”
Option 2: Eliminate
Is this actually necessary? Will it help me and my business grow? Will it add too much stress to my life? Be honest with yourself and be willing to let something go.
Bonus: this is also a great way to overcome burnout in your business and life. (Click here for more tips to beat burnout as an entrepreneur)
Option 3: Automate
Technology is your friend here! Find a program, app, or tool to help get this task managed or taken care of. Doing something “the old fashioned way” isn’t always the most efficient way to go. Many incredibly helpful apps and programs have a great free option for those who are just starting out.
Option 4: Procrastinate (on purpose)
Maybe this task is important and valuable, but not super urgent at this time. Maybe you just don’t have the capacity or need for it at this moment in time. Just put it on your “later” shelf and get to it when the timing works out better.
We love the book "Procrastinate on Purpose" and highly recommend it!
No matter what task you take on in your business or life, there’s always a way to make it more manageable so you can balance work and life.
Work Life Balance Tip #5: Give yourself grace
Recognize and accept that you’re not always going to get it all right.
Allow yourself to get messy and continue growing into a new work/life flow.
There’s always time to fine-tune your approach once you get going. It’s going to be ok! The best and most helpful learning comes from doing, from taking deliberate action in small, possibly messy ways.
You don’t have to know it all. You don’t have to do it all. You can’t possibly master all the things all the time, especially when just starting out.
Celebrate how far you’ve come!
Be excited for how much excitement and growth is still to come.
Even though you may feel alone as an entrepreneur, you can take comfort knowing that there are plenty of communities ready to offer you advice and support on this long journey. (like our StarrCox Collective!)
Hopefully this advice resonates with you and provides some much-needed insight into the myth of the perfect work life balance and why it feels so hard.
The truth is your life and business are your own. You and your life and completely unique, and no two online coaches will have the same definition of “balance” between work and life.
So trust your gut! Listen to your intuition, stay in communication with your loved ones and business partners, and enjoy this wild ride of entrepreneurship. The beauty of building your own business is you get to call the shots.
Rather than let that intimidate or worry you, let it free and empower you to build the business and life of your dreams.
Because that is exactly where you are headed.
If you want a team to help you along, we are always here to help!
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