“Achieving a work/life balance” is not have an abstract goal!

Here are 4 Steps to learn how to build a any business (Photography & artist in my case) while remaining present in your family life without feeling constantly pulled in different directions.

According to Forbes.com: “These days, work-life balance can seem like an impossible feat. Technology makes workers accessible around the clock. Fears of job loss incentivize longer hours. In fact, a whopping 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week in a Harvard Business School survey. Experts agree: the compounding stress from the never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.”

A Work-life balance can mean something different for every individual, but here I am sharing a few things that I do to help me find my balance. Hopefully it will help find what is right for you.

1. Unplugging

Technology has made our work life easier and helped our personal lives in many ways. It has also created many expectations of constant accessibility, making the work day seem to never have an end to it.  There are times when you should just shut off your phone and  enjoy the moment that you find yourself in.  A phone notification interrupts your off time and injects an instant vibration of stress in your system.  Making quality time REAL quality time. For example: Don’t text at the dinner table and don’t have phones in the bed.

Robert Brooks, a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and co-author of The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence and Personal Strength in Your Life says  “By not reacting to the updates from work, you will developing a stronger habit of resilience. Resilient people feel a greater sense of control over their lives, while reactive people have less control and are more prone to stress.

2. Eliminating time-wasting activities and people

Personally I have taken on this task very seriously. IT has made an extreme change in my daily energy levels.

People can be toxic in different ways, regardless of what kind of toxicity they bring to a relationship, they just need to go. One toxic person in my life was manipulative of my time and resources, and another always talked about themselves and how bad things continued to happen to them all the time. For my own sake and the sake of my sanity, I had to tell them both I no longer wanted to be around them.

Being a positive and up beat person, finding myself around these people drained my energy and inner smile out of me! Trying to find that “inner glow or smile” was challenging for the rest of my day after being around these people.  After quite some time and thinking it was me that had the issue. I realizing my productivity levels quickly  amplified after removing or limiting the time given to these people.  You need to identify what is the most important in your life. This list will differ for everyone, so make sure it truly reflects your priorities, not someone else’s.

Next, draw firm boundaries so you can devote quality time to these high-priority people and activities. From there, it will be easier to determine what needs to be trimmed from the schedule.

If email or mindlessly surfing Facebook or watching funny videos when you should be working try using some Time management time activities.  As a photographer I can find myself for mindless hours editing in front of the computer.  I  have found that my productivity is much higher when working in batches with a timer.  45mins- 1 hour is usually my max time sitting without any break. This break could be doing some yoga, going for a walk around the block, getting a cup of coffee. Changing the scenery around, refreshing my eyes and brain to go for another session. Each person is different and might not find these methods useful.  Find what works for you!!!!

Focus on the people and activities that reward you the most. To some, this may seem selfish… it’s not selfish. It’s that whole airplane metaphor. If you have a child, you put the oxygen mask on yourself first, not on the child. When it comes to being a good friend, spouse, parent or worker,

“The better you are yourself, the better you are going to be in all those areas as well.”

3. Perfectionism is not the Perfect way!!!

Many overachievers develop perfectionist tendencies at a  very young age.  However, the demands on their time are limited to school, hobbies and maybe an after-school job. Much easier to maintain that perfectionist habit as a kid, but as you grow up, life gets more complicated. When your career becomes your priority and you are climbing the ladder of success and as your family grows, your responsibilities proliferates. Perfectionism becomes often harder to obtain, and if that habit is left uncontrolled, it can become destructive.

The key to avoiding a  burn out is to let go of perfectionism, says Puder-York. “As life gets more expanded it’s very hard, both neurologically and psychologically, to keep that habit of perfection going,” she says, adding that the healthier option is to strive not for perfection, but for excellence.

 4. Starting small. Building your future!

We’ve all been there: crash diets that fizzle out, New Year’s resolutions we forget by February. It’s the same with our work-life balance when we take on too much too quickly.  As a workaholic you cannot commit to a drastic change,cutting your yours from 80 hours to 40.  IF you are a runner and bumming up your zero miles a day to 5 miles a day!  Working your way to the final goal will get you the lasting results. Running one mile per day will get you eventually to the 5 miles.

If you’re trying to change a certain habit  in your life, start small and experience some success and Build from there!

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