Xentum | Blog – A simple trick I used to improve my work/life balance

Blog – A simple trick I used to improve my work/life balance

November 7, 2016 - 3 minutes read

Posted by Claire Parker

I have a confession. At the start of the year, I got my work/life balance way off.

I had just had a knee operation, and setup another company (training younger planners) all at the same time as advising at Xentum and also being a Director on the Board.  Things were busy but in all honesty, I was loving it.  I loved my job and I was starting to really see some progression in my career and for the first time in a long time, I was really passionate about the future of the financial planning.

This is all good so far until the day my wife pulled me up about not being present in the room with her and our daughter although I was there physically.  When I look back I cringe, I was constantly on my Iphone, looking at Twitter, responding to emails and quite a lot of this was in the evening and the weekends.  I was almost working in some way every hour I was awake.  

At the same time, my daughter was really starting to flourish.  She was developing really fast and also starting to say words.  I remember the day, my wife pulled me up as if it was yesterday.  She was absolutely right.  Things needed to change.

Now this blog is all a bit “me me me”  at this point. I think it is important to stress that I haven’t completely conquered the balance but after that event, I made one simple change around 4 months ago that really helped:

At 6pm on every Friday night I took my work emails off my phone until Sunday night

Now this may seem crazy but it almost felt like a burden was lifted immediately.  Looking back, I was also quite stressed and I definitely feel a lot better now both physically and emotionally.   Every week, I now know that my emails go off for the weekend at Friday.  I turn them off, maybe chat through the week with my wife and then let it go.  I use the next two days to really recover, destress and spend time with my family and friends.  Then on Monday I go again.

So how does this relate to you?  

At this point, you may be reading this blog with the same level of guilt I had.  It is hard to switch off your entrepreneurial brain but it is really important.  I am a believer in routine and habits and this simple trick changed my behaviours.  If you run a business like most of my audience and clients, I know that work/life balance is always in the back of your mind.  Sometimes you forget the reason why you started a business.

I don’t meet many people that have conquered this equation and one of the annoying things about having an entrepreneurial brain is that you continually live in the future (goals, profits, turnover, acquisitions etc..)  This is why it is really important that you stay in the present with your family and friends and don’t miss what is in front of you.

It is likely to be something that you will struggle with, nobody has all the answers despite how great we all look through the lens of social media.  What worked for me was a small change and from there I am definitely improving the life part of the equation. 

Let me know if you have any simple changes to improve your work/life ratio? Some of the best from Twitter are below:

Don’t aspire to be the most capable person in your business. Instead build a great team who u can trust & delegate to #busyfool

Sleep. Learn to Delegate. Exercise. Do Things Outside of Your Comfort Zone. Read. Go for Walks. Have At Least 1 Hobby….

Enjoy both and worry if people think you’re doing one too well.