How to Win at Work Without Losing at Home
You are more than what you do for a living. But sometimes, we forget and the work takes over. Before we know it, our loved ones take a backseat to the hustle and bustle, and we miss birthdays, anniversaries, and soccer games. Relationships suffer, and when that happens, so does your work.
How can you give your work the attention it requires while maintaining a healthy family and personal life?
Look Up From Your Computer
“If I was a computer, you’d pay attention to me!”
No one wants to hear these words from their spouse or partner. But this is exactly what Gail Hyatt said to her husband, Michael (yes, that Michael), years ago when he was in full hustle mode building his platform.
Maybe you haven’t heard those exact words, but the scenario may sound familiar. Perhaps a kid has asked you to put your phone down and play. Or maybe you’ve simply caught yourself reading work email in front of the TV at 9:00 p.m.
A sinister cause and effect is in play here. When our focus on work carries over into our personal lives, our relationships with family and friends suffer. The more isolated we get, the harder it is to care for ourselves. Eventually, our platforms will suffer without the quality, real-life support that gives the work meaning and helps us bring our best to the table.
Balance Sets You Free
Obviously, work is important for a number of reasons. The good news is, you don’t have to choose between your work and your relationships. You can nurture healthy relationships with the important people in your life and build a successful online platform.
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These are the five guidelines you need to follow to achieve a successful work/life balance:
- Pursue A Platform You’re Passionate About. When your platform message inspires you, your positive energy will be contagious, making it easy for your relationships to rally behind your efforts. Without that passionate conviction inside of you, you’re likely to burn out and your platform will feel like drudgery—which is uninspiring to you and everyone around you.
- Draw A Line in The Sand. Be intentional about where work ends and personal life begins. You can accomplish this with a physical boundary, strategy, or routine that indicates the end of work time.
For example, Michael Hyatt’s office has lights that are programmed to turn off at 6 p.m., so he makes sure his workday is done by the time the lights go off. If you work from home, develop a “shut down” routine that signals the workday is over. Shut the laptop, leave the room, and stay done for the remainder of the day.
- Celebrate Wins with People You Love. If you’re not careful, the only time your loved ones will hear about your platform is when you’re frustrated. Protect your enthusiasm, and theirs, by regularly pausing to celebrate how far you’ve come.
Did you just get your first 100 email subscribers? Or 1,000? Excellent! Celebrate every win with your loved ones and they’ll cheer you on.
- Take Time Off. Being an entrepreneur is exciting! But it also comes with its fair share of unrealistic assumptions.
For example, entrepreneurs often believe they don’t need a vacation until they hit it big. This mindset will set you up for burnout. Sometimes, the absolute best thing you can do for your platform, and your key relationships, is to take time off. Then you can come back refreshed and ready to enthusiastically re-engage.
- Remember to Outsource. As you start generating revenue with your platform, evaluate which activities only you can provide top value to, and which activities are better served by someone else. Once you take those other areas off your plate by outsourcing, you’ll recapture the energy and focus to apply to the key activities that move your platform forward.
This principle works at home, too. For example, you could have Instacart deliver your groceries, hire a neighborhood kid to mow your yard, or pay for monthly house cleanings. These are reasonable investments that pay big returns in the form of more time with your family and friends.
You can build a successful platform and still make time for your relationships. But only if you’re diligent in applying these guidelines.