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Can You Conquer the Work-Life Balance?

A black woman stands outside in the sun with her eyes closed. In the background and blurry there are trees.
Photo by Leighann Blackwood via Unsplash

You’re a go-getter! You’re building multiple streams of revenue and working to add more. You have your own business you’re scaling or you’re climbing up that ladder at your firm.

I get it; I’m the same way (and so are most women in accounting).

But, if you’re like me, you like to slow down during the Holidays. Spend some time with your family, enjoy the season, and be just a little less busy. You want to set back and enjoy your success.

And there’s nothing wrong with that! You’re no less a hard worker because you decided to give yourself a well-earned break. As long as you’ve set systems in place for your time away, a step back isn’t going to cause your business or your career to collapse.

There’s only one problem: you have no idea how to stop working.

Whenever that “ding!” sounds off on your phone, you swipe right to open up the notification, your laptop stays connected to the charger and open. You might have even called it quits for the day already, but find yourself remembering an idea you had earlier and texting your mentor.

If you’re going to take a break, you have to actually take a break.

After years of telling myself that I’d slow down my work during the Holidays and never actually doing it, I finally started developing the habits that have helped me with my work and home life balance.

So, is it possible to balance the two out during this season? Yes. Does it take work? Also, yes!

Give yourself a hard STOP: a deadline.

Read that sentence twice. A hard STOP. A deadline. It means exactly what it says. And it’ll probably be the hardest to stick to.

If you want to be done with your work for the day by four in the afternoon so you can bake cookies and watch a movie with your kids, then you’re shutting down the (home) office at four in the afternoon. The phone is getting put on silent, the away message is set, and the laptop is closed.

If you have something to do with a hard deadline, then tackle that first in your day, and early, so you can make sure the work has been completed by the end time you’ve set. If you have a lot to do on a particular day, set your end time a little later. If you don’t have much to do, set your end time a little earlier. But regardless of when, it’s important to end when you say you will.

A Black woman with blonde hair in a beige knit sweater and black jeans with a leather crossbody bag and sunglasses on kneels down to whisper into a little girls' ear in front of a gray brick home.
Your little girl wants to spend time with you! Photo by Sai de Silva via Unsplash

At the end of the day, you are almost always going to have more work to do. But, if for these next two weeks, you want to put a pause on the amount that you handle daily so you can focus a little more on the other parts of your life? No one is going to blame or shame you.

Delegate, delegate, delegate.

Especially if you’re running your own business, this is incredibly important. Like I talked about last week, I’ve rarely been a one-woman show, and have (almost) always had staff to help me with the different demands that my business would bring.

So, take an hour to look over the different parts of your daily work. What can be outsourced? What work can be batched up? Where can you delegate to a colleague or a member of your staff?

As your business continues to grow, there are going to be several tasks that, while important, can be done by someone else. To continue expanding your client roster, the services you offer, the rate you set, your to-do list is going to have to look different than it did at first. This means that some of that work will have to move from your day to someone else’s.

If you have your systems in place, this is an easy process that’ll free up so much of your time.

You need time, too.

Even if you’re able to do all of the above, if you’re filling up all that free time you now have with family, friends, gift shopping and wrapping, cooking and baking: you’re going to be exhausted. And, you’re not entirely taking a break, are you?

After just a few days of this, and as much as I love my family and friends, I always notice myself getting fatigued. Because the slow down can’t just include time for and with others; it has to include some time for myself, too!

So, even if it’s just once a week, use some of that extra time you’re giving yourself this month for yourself. Lock the bathroom door and take a bath or have a movie night by yourself (so you can actually choose the movie for once). It can be something little you treat yourself with or something big. I happen to enjoy reality tv, why? Because it’s THOUGHTLESS! I don’t have to think about anything. I get to enjoy someone else's drama, ha!

As much as you’re there to have quality time with others, you need to make space for some quality time with yourself as well. And that’s true balance.

What helps you keep a balance between your work and home life during the Holidays?


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