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Work-Life Balance – A Personal Journey: Part 1

Work is my life. At least it has been for the past 13 years, 6 months, and 16 days. I don’t blame ReThinc for that. I blame credit my dad for my work ethic (Happy Father’s Day, Dad).

I’ve admittedly always struggled to find a healthy work-life balance. I mean, technically I married my boss, but that’s another story for a different blog. Now I’m his boss so I guess that worked out OK.

I am aware that you should have a separation between your work and your life. To have a great career you need to devote time and energy to work. On the flip side, to have a great life you need to spend time and energy on non-work-related things like your family, your friends, and your hobbies.

Admittedly, I’m a work in progress. I love my life and my job but I lack the balance that I would like to have. Here are a few ideas that I’m looking to implement so that I can achieve my very best life moving forward.

I’m letting go of being a perfectionist.

As a child things were easy (although I didn’t know it at the time). School, soccer, eat, sleep and repeat. These simple times, coupled with great parenting, helped to forge a strong desire for perfection.

As I got older my responsibilities changed. My desire to be perfect did not. This serves me well but leads to the inability to delegate. It also requires me to work longer hours completing tasks until they are perfect.

I’m delegating more.

Keeping all things excellent requires me to delegate tasks that I’ve heretofore kept to myself. I am now working towards having my incredible team take on some of the tasks that I was reticent to let go of.

In order to properly delegate, I must first become a good teacher. This allows me to share all I’ve learned over these past 13 years, 6 months, and 16 days on getting a specific task done accurately and on time.

This is a little trickier when it comes to my personal life. As much as I’d like to delegate my workouts and housework to someone else, it’s just not feasible. I sat down with my employee husband and we worked out a plan that affords me the ability to delegate some of the things we do to keep our home clean and functional. He was very cooperative seeing as this creates more time for us to be together. And besides, I’m the boss, right?

I’m learning to unplug.

I’m going to put a lot of emphasis on the word “learning” here as unplugging in the digital age is much easier said than done. The ability to work is all around us, no? I go nowhere without my phone, so answering an email, putting a task in Trello, or shooting a message to a coworker can be done all day, every day.

Simply putting your phone down is step one. Step two is not feeling weird about it. Turn off your notifications and stay on top of your emails throughout the day (oh what’s this, an old blog I wrote about this? Here you go – tackling your inbox).

Having time to be present with others is important. I am blessed to have a great group of friends that make time to take the occasional girls’ trip, pull off a book club, or just meet for a happy hour. On top of that, I have a employee husband who’s always on the go and likes when I’m right there with him.

Unplugging is easier if you have hobbies. It’s kind of hard to check emails when you’re playing tennis, hiking in the woods, or reading a book. Find something that you enjoy that keeps your phone in your purse or pocket.

I’m working on it.

Achieving a good work-life balance is not easy. It can be especially difficult when you own your own company and are married to one of your employees. Understand that you’ll make progress and potentially take a step back. Like many things, the key is to understand that you have a problem, stay focused on the goal, and work to improve at all times.

As you work to achieve this important goal, recognize that mistakes are opportunities to learn. Find a mentor or even a peer that can help you. Just being able to talk about it is beneficial.

Please don’t misinterpret my message here. Having a good work-life balance is going to actually make me better at my job. If you’re a client reading this, please know that you’ll see no change in the level of service you receive at ReThinc. You may get fewer late-night emails and you might also get an email from someone else, but just know that we’re committed to excellence and having a good work-life balance is a positive when it comes to account servicing.

There’s more to follow on this topic. Stay tuned for part II of this as well as an update on what I’ve learned in working towards this important goal. If you can’t wait that long and want to share your own personal struggles, send me an email, and let’s see if we can help each other out. Just don’t be offended if I don’t respond until the next day.

After all, work is just part of my life.

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