Now this blog is a little different from what we have done in the past, and a little more personal but one of our lovely followers requested for us to write a blog about how we balance our busy schedules, finding time to run our business and maintain a fulfilled social life.
You'll get a chance to hear from both of us in this blog, sharing our own personal experience and what works for each of us because let's face it, what works for one may not work for another!
For me this is always something I really struggled with, especially after my first semester at university where I had failed two subjects because I was more focused on going out with my friends than staying home and studying. But this really was a huge wake up call for me as I realised just how difficult it was to balance study, work and my social life.
After this I sat down and evaluated how I could improve my time management to ensure I could achieve a better work-life balance and fast forward to the end of my degree I was working 4 jobs and an internship, studying full-time and still managing to find time to spend with my friends and family. This really set me up for when we started our business, I had developed my time management skills throughout my degree and during my industry experience at my marketing job. Although I think Hollie and myself are significantly lucky as we are in this together, we share all the workload and balance out each others strengths and weaknesses which really takes a lot of the pressure off when managing our business, and knowing I have a strong business partner to have my back throughout it all really does relieve the stress of running our own business. Additionally the free time from the COVID-19 lock down gave us the time to really get our business off the ground while we had little to no other commitments taking up our time, so once we were going back to our other jobs we had already established our business. I want to share with you my key tips to maintaining a good work-life balance, and ensuring you can smash your business and personal goals all at the same time!
Keep an agenda: over the years I have had many different ways I kept my schedule, I used to have a physical journal which I wrote everything in but have recently scrapped that as I don't always want to carry that around with me. Now I use google calendar on my phone to keep all my appointments, meetings, social events and shifts at my part-time job, as you can invite other people via email to the events and my google home will remind me in the morning everything I have on for the day so I don't forget!
Set aside time for yourself: it is so important to keep time for a little self care each day, on most days where I am feeling up to it I will do a workout or go for a run. But additional to that I always try to take a little down time for myself, such as running myself a bath, doing yoga or pilates, reading a book or pampering myself with a little skincare ritual.
Write to-do lists: this is my favourite way to allocate my time, I have a permanent checklist which I complete everyday (well most days, lets face it) to ensure I am keeping on top of my day-to-day tasks, however I write myself an additional list everyday of one of tasks which I hope to complete.
Use everyday tasks to socialise: this is my favourite tip, I try to incorporate some of my everyday tasks into socialising with friends. Whether that be exercising with friends, grocery shopping, or going to beauty appointments. Obviously with COVID-19 this isn't always possible as we are limiting our social interactions, but try calling someone on the drive home to just have a chat and catch up!
All in all, I am super lucky that I get to work with one of my best friends, meaning we get to feel like we are socialising while working on our business. But I am still learning everyday how to improve my work-social balance, and there are always days or weeks where this balance is thrown out due to deadlines or an increase of social events but the most important thing to remember is to find out what works best for YOU! Everyone has a different work ethic and what works for one will not always be ideal for another.
Like Emma, I also struggled with ensuring I have a healthy work / life balance. I found myself always prioritising my business and not finding time for myself. Exercise, cooking and socialising was all put aside and I found my self feeling exhausted. I thought that this is what it took to establish your small business and that you would have no down time.
I have now realised you can have the best of both worlds and it is important to take the time for yourself to avoid burning out and to remain feeling excited about work. I have shared with you how I manage my work / life balance below. I hope you find the tips useful!
Plan your social calendar in advance: of course there will always be last minute social events you will be invited to attend, but planning your social calendar in advance can help you manage your time and ensure you have allocated enough time to get your work completed.
Organise your day in Google Calendar: Like Emma I have also found organising my day has been beneficial not only to make sure I have time to do everything but also to put my tasks down to realise it is realistic to complete everything rather than feeling overwhelmed. Every day I allow myself 30 minutes for lunch and 15 minutes for afternoon tea which I put into my calendar. I also allocate time for the gym and an afternoon walk to make sure I am having a break.
Make sure you switch off: Even though I allocate time to have breaks I often find myself still thinking about work and what I could be doing and feeling guilty. To avoid this guilt and to make sure I don't burn out, I consciously switch off and close the tabs in my mind by putting on a podcast or some music and making sure I am not thinking about work. I am definitely not perfect and often catch myself still thinking about what I have to do but I am training myself to be better.
Find what suits you: Emma and I are completely different in that I work my best in the morning and find my brain getting slower as the day progresses whereas Emma works better at night. Because I work best in the morning, I put all the tasks that require the most thought in before lunch time and the tasks that I can easily do in the afternoon. I have found doing this has benefited my work day and I am more productive.
Use your strengths to your advantage: Even though Emma & I are quite similar, we have different strengths in our business. Emma is great with the analytics, reporting and financials and my strengths lie with strategy, planning and captions. We also have different platforms we are better with. As we have recognised our strengths in different tasks & platforms we now allocate those tasks to that person rather than making one persons day harder.
I am beyond grateful to have Emma as my business partner as we work well with each other and have worked to create a healthy work / life balance. Another positive is we don't always just talk about work being such great friends and we can still have fun together which also gives us time to rest & recharge.
Well that's all from us for now! We would love to hear what you thought of this blog, send us a message via our social media accounts, or alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org
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