Full disclosure: I am a workaholic. There’s really nothing I love more than working or making money, and no, my family doesn’t count here because people aren’t things. When I started working for myself, and from home, I quickly developed a complete and utter lack of a life (except on weekends).
All of a sudden I had no 9 to 5. No overbearing boss. No commute. Glamorous, right?
I replaced the above with working absolutely insane hours, socializing exclusively with my doormen and my dogs, largely forgetting to feed myself, and gifting myself insomnia. I want to save you from all this with my guide to achieving your work-life balance!
Get Yourself A Spreadsheet
If you read Chip Chick frequently, you already know I’m going to say you can get yourself a spreadsheet to solve basically anything. I live in Google Sheets and I highly recommend you do too.
You can use a spreadsheet to track your daily/weekly/monthly tasks, prioritize what you need to do, schedule your life, keep track of your clients, and work or share information with your employees or coworkers with ease. Just make a new tab for everything and you’ll have everything you need in one place.
Cut down on distractions, maximize efficiency, and watch as your immaculately organized spreadsheet helps you get a hold of your work-life balance.
Use These 2 Features On Your Phone
2 of my favorite iPhone features: do not disturb and the timer. If you aren’t waiting for an important call from a client, put your phone on do not disturb so you don’t get distracted by incoming calls, texts, and emails. You would be surprised at how sidetracked you can get from all these little things. They add up to a waste of your time.
Speaking of time, the timer is a beautiful thing. If I need to just sit for a straight hour and bang something out, I put the timer on, completely focus on it, and don’t move until I hear it go off. It’s a highly effective way to manage your time so you don’t need to constantly watch the clock.
Set Your Workspace
You might not have the room for an entire office to devote to your new at home endeavors. That’s ok! Just set your workspace, whatever it may be. It can even be a spare table that you can tuck in a corner.
The point here is, if you have your space where you sit down to do your work every day, it’s easier to get up and leave it behind to have a life every night. I made the mistake of just carrying my laptop throughout my home with me; I worked from the bed, the coffee table and my couch, my kitchen island, my dining room table. I worked wherever I felt like and therefore work permeated my whole space.
It’s kind of impossible to disconnect when you don’t have a designated space for your work.
Ok, it took me forever to learn this one, but it’s ok to take breaks. You should take them! Even just get up from your laptop and go out for a cup of coffee. Walk your dog around the block. Eat lunch out at a new place and leave your work behind.
Separating yourself from your work for a bit can help bring a fresh perspective to what you are working on, or it can help you get over any frustrations of blocks you are experiencing.
When You’re Done, You’re Done
You need to pick a certain time every day where you close your laptop, shut off your email alerts on your phone, and let your day be done. That being said, when you’re done, you’re done.
Don’t fall into the habit of surfing your work emails while you’re waiting for dinner, or getting in bed for the evening and checking things again. You need a boundary here. If you don’t draw the line, you end up with many sleepless nights because you just have to reply or keep working on what you’re doing.
Bre is a female millennial go getter residing in New York. One part entrepreneur, one part geek, she obtained her degree in Textile/Surface Design from The Fashion Institute of Technology.
She has held some exciting roles in both fashion as a designer working for brands like Victoria’s Secret and Henri Bendel, as well as in ad tech working for publishers like Ziff Davis.
Today she operates her own luxury label Bre Avery and is also the Chief Chick at Chipchick.com which reaches millions of women each month.
Bre is passionate about keeping women informed of the latest technology trends and products to improve their lifestyle and believes in providing real, useful information and advice to her readers.