I was having a conversation with a friend yesterday about how important it is that we set and communicate boundaries around how we want to work.
Annoyingly, this is one decision that you need to make for yourself.
No one else can do this for you. Only you can decide what kind of work/life balance you want to have.
Can You Have a Work/Life Balance?
If you have a team, as a leader, you decide the work culture that your team will have. If you take a people-first approach where you respect that other people have lives and priorities outside of work, you will get much more from them.
If you work for yourself, you’ll find that if you allow yourself time for pleasure and joy in your life as well as focused time your business, you’ll achieve much more.
Treat yourself in the same way that you would want someone else to treat you at work.
The “Hustle” Mentality
I’m not a fan of the hustle mentality.
I think it works for some people, but only a few. It shames people who aren’t willing to work 18 hour days. But, the reality is that if you are a woman trying to build a business, odds are you are already working 18 hours a day! If not more. On top of any other responsibilities, you might have.
So enough with the hustle-shaming.
I think that hustle is a fast track to burnout. The reality is, that when we work too long, without taking time out for the things we enjoy, we end up unproductive and exhausted. I know, because I have been there.
I know it is difficult when you are raising kids (homeschooling through lockdown anyone?!) and growing a business, but finding the right balance is essential to your own mental health.
It is possible to achieve a lot in a short period of time with focused action on the right activities. Work smarter, not longer.
Follow the principles of 80/20. Do the 20% that delivers 80% of the results.
Having been on the wrong side of the burnout cycle before, I know how damaging it can be. Particularly if you have other commitments in your life that need looking after.
When we are overworked and stressed, we get tunnel vision. We make mistakes, and often we don’t get the results that we are looking for.
So, how can we break this way of thinking?
5 Ways to Work Smarter, Not Harder
Does this sound good to you? Here are a few questions to help you work smarter, not harder
Figure Out What is Working
Figure out what’s working and do more of that.
Review your existing practices and look at whether they are actually getting any results for you. Are you measuring and tracking your activities?
Enjoy Your Work
Try to find the fun in your business or at work and do more of that.
When we are having fun, we are much more likely to do the work. Find the marketing fun in your business. What do you enjoy doing? Focus on that rather than what feels like a drag. If it is possible to outsource those things, then do it!
Work to Your Strengths
Work to your strengths, rather than forcing yourself to do things that you’re not great at.
Sometimes it is worth learning how to do the thing, and other times it isn’t. If something is just so hard that it makes you angry, annoyed, frustrated, and makes you think that you’re not good enough – then stop doing it!
Find someone else to do it. Focus on the things that you are brilliant at and you will not only feel like you are winning at work, but you will also be just plain winning.
It’s amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it.
Just focus on doing one thing and do it until it is done. If it’s a big task, break it down into smaller tasks and complete each one instead of jumping onto something else. And watch out for procrasti-marketing (something I can be guilty of!) That is marketing that feels like you are working, but you’re not really 😊.
Find the simplest and easiest way to achieve your goals and do that.
What can you simplify in your business? Do you have too many systems? Too many products? Just too much going on? What can you strip back on and what can you double down on.
And if what you are doing isn’t working? Stop doing it. We spend far too much time doing things that don’t serve us or our goals effectively.
How Will You Work Smarter?
Decide that in 2021 you are going to work smarter AND have a life that you enjoy – rather than making your work the sole focus.
You CAN decide which direction your life and your work are going to take if you allow yourself to figure out what is going to serve you best.
How are you at handling the hustle? Let me know in the comments, or join the conversation over on my Facebook page.