1. Define your balance. As Linda Mueller, a life coach and founder of The Expat Partner Coach , explains, work-life balance means different things for different people. So the first step is to figure out what your perfect balance looks like.
2. Take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, eat well, drink enough water and stay active so that you have energy to meet your work and personal life obligations, says Mueller.
3. Start an hour earlier. If you can, start your day one hour earlier so you can get some tasks, such as answering emails or paying bills, out of the way before the phone starts ringing and you’re pulled into meetings. “Starting an hour earlier can be a quieter, uninterrupted time that starts the day off on the right foot,” says Gosselin. “By the end of the week, you may find that your productivity was so much higher during the week that you won't feel the need to pull out the laptop in the evenings or on the weekends.”
4. Set boundaries. You need to set clear boundaries about when you are and aren't available for your clients. Maybe this looks like setting specific in-office hours, and laying out clear communication agreements with your clients and team members. This way when you’re at home, you can focus on family, friends and self-care.
5. Limit evening work. If you must work in the evening at home, try limiting that time to two nights a week. “In order to achieve the two-night rule, try to offer these extended hours exclusively to clients who may be on different time zones or are unable to get away during their workday,” suggests Gosselin.
6. Schedule time off. Your personal life is just as important as your professional one, so be sure to block off time for everything from special events (anniversaries, birthdays, etc.) and family vacations to working out.
7. Ask for help. Gosselin recommends that if there is something that is not in your job description, simply say "no". And if there is a deadline you know you will not be able to meet or a task you need help with, ask someone else to take it on for you. “If your budget allows, outsource certain things like marketing, PR, social media, accounting, etc. to prioritize your time elsewhere. It is all about working smarter, not harder!
8. Create a plan. Priya Jindal, a life coach and founder of Nextpat, sets goals for what she’d like to accomplish in her business each quarter, including various tasks and how to tackle them in the most efficient way. This helps her spend less time figuring out what to do next and more time working towards those goals.