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Does work life balance really exist?

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

One of the most common questions I’m asked as a coach is, "How can I reduce stress and improve my work life balance?"

You don’t have enough hours in the day, you’re stressed out, spinning too many plates and don’t feel like you are making any progress. You make a New Year’s resolution every year to improve your work life balance, but somehow it never quite works out, does it?

Even more so now that many of us have adopted the hybrid working model, in many cases we are working more hours than ever before!

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve trained people on time management skills – prioritising, to do lists, block time, scheduling etc.

Here’s a wakeup call – it’s never about time management.

So, what’s causing the imbalance? Why don’t you have enough hours in the day?

It’s usually one of 2 things - Pride or Prejudice

Pride – can be a great quality for people to have, pride in their work, wanting to do a good job, keeping up standards and quality etc. However, pride can also be a weakness – entrepreneurs not wanting to let go of work, fearful of perception – that they aren’t up to the job, that they should be able to handle it, not saying no, don’t want to admit their workload is overwhelming them

Prejudice – “preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience”. The belief that no-one can possibly do the job as well as you, someone else might mess it up, OR they might do it better than you!

Whether the issue for you is Pride or Prejudice, the result is not delegating effectively, which leads to an ever-increasing workload.

What can you do about it?

The first thing is accepting that you need to make a change. Once you’ve committed to letting go of the important things and letting someone else do them, the rest is easy (well, easier!)

Believe me I know the fear of letting go of the important things in your business. But I’ve also felt the sheer joy and freedom of ticking things off my To-Do list, because someone else is doing them – and yes, much better than I ever could!

Any worthwhile change is often challenging because it calls for a change in our thinking and behaviour. If this feels really daunting and you’re not sure where to start, here are a few simple steps for you to follow:

  1. Start by identifying 1 BIG thing that you do on a regular basis, something that takes you a significant amount of time – it could be your marketing, project management, social media etc.

  2. Calculate how many hours you’re spending on that area of your business. What if you could spend that time doing the thing that earns you money instead? Or if you’re having to do this in the evening – it’s time back with your family!

  3. So, you’ve decided what you want to let go of, and you’ve figured out the cost of that to you and your business. Now use your network to find an expert who can do that for you. REMEMBER try to overcome your prejudice – of course they won’t do it as good as you first time round but give them a chance.

  4. Arrange a one-to-one meeting and talk it through with them, start to build a relationship. Trusting them to complete your work will help you to avoid micromanaging.

  5. Let them create a plan of action and discuss it with you to make sure they’ve covered all bases. Make sure you are happy with how they plan to deliver for you.

  6. Leave them to get on with it on their own (this is the hard part, don’t interfere!)

  7. Check in and follow-up - don’t miss this step! It helps you to relax knowing you’ll have a chance to review the end result and feedback helps to cement the relationship.

Once you’ve let go of one area of your business, see what else you can let go of to free up some time. Build your own little power team! I have and I could not be happier.

Acknowledging that you can’t be good at EVERYTHING and it’s OK to reach out for help can be tough, BUT I guarantee you it’s rewarding. Check out my HELP guide for more info.

Some people can have prejudice beliefs about coaches and whether they are really worthwhile. Top sports people have coaches and so do many of the most successful business people, all to help them to raise their game.

If you’re ready to make some serious change next year and improve your work life balance, then why not sign up for my Becoming Bolder programme?

If you are looking for business coaching in other areas, please take a look at my services section or contact me.

Tel: 07896 950017


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