How to Balance Personal Life and Side Business
Have you fallen victim to searching for that elusive “work-life balance?” Honestly, I don’t buy into that. Life and work, or our side hustles, are usually not going to be balanced. There will be instances when one will have much weightier needs, and when the other will need more time. It is more of a search for harmony. I have 3 simple steps you can start implementing now that will help you feel like you have more control of your day and feel less overwhelmed.
Track Your Time
This is similar to starting a new workout or a new eating plan. When you write down what you are doing you can really see what you are dealing with. It helps you take an honest look at how you are spending your time. I recommend you do this for one week minimum. If your week is a little out of the norm, then you can track your time for 2 weeks. This helps you see exactly where your time is going and compare it with where you NEED your time to go. You can do this with just a simple notebook, a google doc or even a time tracking app. The one I like to use is Timular. (This comes with a cube, but I just use the app on my phone.
Have clear boundaries for your work and personal. Treat each thing like it is an appointment. For example, I enjoy exercising. I put the days and times that I plan on going to the gym on my calendar. That helps me stay accountable. It also prevents me from staying up too late working on my business the night before I have a morning workout planned.
I also treat my personal life in the same way. I block off at least one weekend a month where I am not available for any side business activities. This allows me to still have free time to do anything or nothing. I also treat my plans with friends as important as business obligations. In my 7 years of being an entrepreneur, I have NEVER canceled on a social gathering for a client (makeup client or coaching client). I take a lot of pride knowing that I keep my word to friends and family. When I commit to something it is as good as done. It makes me feel good that my side hustle is not running my life.
Do Not Over Commit
I was listening to Productivity Paradox podcast a while back and the host said something that struck me. When you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else. And the inverse is also true when you say no to something, you are saying yes to something else. Really thinking about how that occurs in my life helped me to realize that I had a problem with over committing myself. As side hustlers, we have to be realistic. We can’t always be at every gathering, we can’t book every client, but we can be happy to be our best selves within the situations that we are in. So when we are booking that next Girls’ Night, or onboarding that new client, look at several days before and after the event date. Make sure there is nothing else planned that will prevent you from being your best.