With so many people putting in extra hours at work, the ‘work-life balance’ has become a hot topic. But as I hear more and more people stressing over achieving the perfect equilibrium, it’s got me wondering: is there such a thing as a perfect work/life balance?
You’ll never truly be happy until you’re content in both a professional and personal sense. But both work and home life affect each other, regardless of how much you don’t want them to.
As a result, I’ve realised that there isn’t a perfect equilibrium waiting to be discovered, it’s instead more of a harmony zone between different aspects of your life. Once you’re happy at work, you can be happy at home and vice versa. So how does it work?
Achieving your harmony zone
As an entrepreneur, I’m fully aware that there are plenty of times when work bleeds into your home life. Just because you try to clock out at work, it’s never as simple as switching into the ‘home’ version of you. Especially now with 24/7 access to emails and more on smartphones, many spend their evenings replying to work messages and arranging their calendars.
Since it’s so hard to switch off from it, I find it better to view both worlds as one. Whether it’s taking a business call in the car, replying to emails in a salon or asking friends to join you on a work trip, both your work and personal life are fully integratable if you allow them to be.
I particularly like Jeff Bezos approach. He revealed that he sees it more as a ‘work-life’ harmony. He doesn’t like the implication of a strict trade-off when discussing balance as he prefers to work on happiness in both his lifestyle and career as he understands that they both affect each other.
The fact is, if you’re happy and fulfilled by your job, you’ll come home happy. And, if you’re happy and rested at home, you’ll start work feeling motivated and productive. It’s a fluid circle.
But it’s not just the ‘balance’ that you need to let go of to be happy. There are plenty of other myths surrounding the different lifestyles that need to be let go of if you’re truly going to be satisfied.
Trusting in Technology
Using new technology has made my life so much easier – I even created my own website to make finding the perfect salon even easier! But I’ve also seen so many other business owners rely way too heavily on tech.
Technology will never have the power to take care of everything. While Artificial Intelligence will happily suggest meeting times and remind you to respond to emails, it will never replace the personal relationships you can build with your employees and customers or support you in having a productive meeting.
I’d always recommend using tech to assist in your day to day life, but don’t let it replace personal relationships as you could damage your business!
Employee Work/Life Balance
Ensuring that your employees are happy and that you have an amazing culture is a crucial part of running any business. But when it comes to their work/life balance, it’s something that is often overlooked.
Many employees love a role with flexibility, so it’s important to offer them the opportunity to see to their personal and family needs. But they also want recognition for their hard work and to love what they’re doing.
If you want your team to enjoy a happy harmony zone between work and home life, do your bit by fulfilling them at work. Give them praise, take time to understand their needs and create a culture that every colleague can thrive in.
Early Bird Catches the Worm
Every morning without fail, I wake up at 5:30 am. It’s something that many entrepreneurs and business owners do. I find the early morning the perfect time to plan my workday.
But, for others, waking up early just isn’t productive. I’ve worked with business owners who have tried to make this happen, but instead they end up less productive as it simply isn’t how they were programmed to work.
You need to work in a way that works for you. If you’re more productive in the afternoon, don’t force yourself to work during the morning. Instead, this would be the perfect time for you to catch up with friends, enjoy some personal care and spend time with your family.
While there is no simple answer to achieving the perfect life, it is important to stop categorising your time.
If you need to take some time for yourself, do it. Otherwise, you’ll be less productive at work. But, if you have an important deadline to hit, it’s perfectly fine to take some time away from your home life to get everything finalised.
And, once you stop working and living how other people tell you to, you can find your own way to achieve your harmony zone.