by Allyson Lambert
What if we re-charged ourselves as much as we charge our phones? That’s the question I set out to answer last summer when I began exploring the topic of work-life balance for business owners. As entrepreneurs, we have the ability to create our ideal lifestyle. However, the truth is, most of us overschedule, overcommit and drive ourselves into a coffee-fueled frenzy of emails and burn-out that no vacation, no matter how luxurious it is, can fix.
As a fun experiment, I brought in the experts and started trying out different work-life balance tips and tricks. Here’s some of my favorites.
Establish Healthy Routines
Success lies in our everyday routines.
Every day, I wake up at 5am and run five miles and then mediate under a palm tree, followed by a leisurely breakfast of quail eggs and organic French-pressed coffee… Just kidding! My mornings looked more like a hurricane of emails as I tried to simultaneously eat breakfast, apply make-up and have a dance party before dashing out the door to my first meeting (don’t ask).
Eager to reclaim my life back, I started trying out different morning routines with my colleagues. We met up in the mornings, traded tips, and noted the difference these new habits made in our lives. At the end of the experiment, I felt calmer and focused to start my day. Things began to naturally fall into place when I took the time to “put myself first” in the morning.
Here’s some of our top picks to try:
- Meet up for a group run or hike with your coworkers or friends. Use this time to strategize and talk about goals. The extra motivation will help shape your day.
- 30 minutes of energizing yoga. Don’t have time? Try 10 minutes. Everything counts.
- Sip hot water with lemon. It’s an energizing way to wake-up.
- Take 15 minutes of quiet time to journal, read or plan your day.
Move More and Get Active in Nature
Take time in nature to explore, move your body, and rejuvenate.
According to Danielle Litoff of Battle Born Health, balance starts with making yourself valuable and carving out downtime each day. When it comes to exercise, you need to move with joy. This means not forcing yourself to go to the gym if you hate the gym. If you’re strapped for time don’t say, “I have to go to the gym and walk for 30 minutes.” Instead, choose activities that you love such as yoga, dance class, soccer or simply getting out into nature. As a society, we’ve developed this mentality that more is better and strict routines will lead to success. However, mindfulness and listening to your body can go a long way in creating balance in your life.
Create a Digital Sunrise and Sunset
Limit technology use an hour before bed and an hour before you wake up.
Nellie Davis, owner of Camp Out Yonder, a mindful tech-free campout for adults based in the Sierra Nevadas, gave some helpful tips on establishing digital boundaries in your life. With her own family, she has a digital sunset and sunrise from 7:30pm to 7:30am each day. This means that phones and technology go off and they can spend quality time together as a family.
Other great tips from Davis:
- Don’t bring phones to meals
- Switch back to an analogue alarm clock
- Don’t hold phone when not using it (i.e. walking down the street)
- Don’t mindlessly scroll through your newsfeed while waiting in line
Change Up Your Work Environment
Find new, creative spaces to work that refuel your creativity and passions
My clients know that I have one rule in life. Don’t put me in an office. Gone are the days where you need to be in a windowless office with florescent lighting and recycled air (unless that’s your thing). You can create a hot-spot anywhere using your cellphone. This summer I tried out many spots, like working on the beach in South Lake Tahoe (a picnic table makes a great desk.) Think outside the box and find a way to make work fun. Take your team with you. Even the most “boring” tasks can be made fun by changing up the environment. You can also try walking meetings or pick a new creative spot to meet a client. Integrate life into your work and you’ll instantly have more balance.
Choose a few of these to try and experiment with and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the overflow effect it can have in your life and your business.
Allyson Lambert is a writer, actor and marketing consultant. She enjoys bringing creative strategy to businesses. You can follow her blog at allysonlambert.com.