Signs your work-life balance is off – and how to change that for 2022

Dec 31, 2021 | Business Productivity, Small Business Life

With the start of a New Year, it’s a time of reflection and concerted effort for self-improvement.

There’s nothing stopping any of us doing these at any time, but goal-setting and action-taking do benefit from extra focus right now.

But how to spot if the balance is off for you… Do any of these feel familiar? Less than balanced?
Many of these have definitely been true for me over the years!

😬 Lack of concern for long-term goals
😬 Overthinking the small stuff
😬 Poor boundary-setting around down-time – late night social media scrolls & ‘just one more thing’ work finishes
😬 Saying “no” in your business needs deep justification
😬 Self-care priorities are the first to slip… exercise, sleep, good nutrition…
😬 Procrastinating over stuff you KNOW is important (perhaps in favour of less important or even less urgent tasks)
😬 Perfectionism takes over – and frustration sets in around ‘wasting time’
😬 Constantly got too much to do, while also feeling you don’t ever make progress
😬 You can’t remember the last time you stopped and did something just for YOU

… I can definitely relate. An over-busy mind is what holds me back the most.
So I thought I’d share 12 quick-fire ideas you may like to explore. A lot of these now form regular practice for me; since achieving balance isn’t a one-off fix.
Results = decreased stress hormones and anxiety, better physical health and immune responses, improved mood and patience, greater acceptance, stronger convictions in business decision making… so many more positives besides.

Balance isn’t something we find. It’s what we create for ourselves.

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And remember, if you want to dig deeper into these with my help, and learn how they’ll benefit your business, I’d really love to support you in your development.
Just email me to fix up a chat. No obligation.

  1.  Commit to your schedule.
    Whether it’s on paper or digital, diarising specific time slots for tasks AND for downtime is so helpful to be more accountable to yourself. Stick to 30minute slots to make it achievable. No more wasted time thinking about what ought to be done; spend time actually doing it.
  2.  Practise a morning routine to set up your day for success.
    What works for you? Early morning decaff before the kids get up? Devote time for a meditation to clear the head? 20minutes journaling for clarity? Start small so it becomes an easy habit to maintain.
  3.  Judge yourself less.
    You’d advise a friend to be kinder and less harsh on herself when she posts online/ for doing or not doing something/ when making a big (or small!) decision. So why not yourself? Acceptance is a powerful tool.
  4.  Say no.
    We tell ourselves it’s hard to do, but it’s in fact, it’s pretty easy when we try. And the more we do it, it gets easier still. Permit yourself to do less and worry less. Applying boundaries is one of the very best things we can do for our own wellbeing.
  5.  Let go of guilt.
    Do you feel bad when you skip posting on Instagram? Feel uptight if you don’t cross another thing off the to-do list? Start nit-picking a conversation or task, which is done-and-dusted? Self-loathing is NEVER a helpful strategy. Ever.
  6.  Allow time for you.
    It’s not selfish… watching a fave film, calling a friend you’ve not spoken to in ages, do something that’s your fave hobby (without a timecheck or any business-driven purpose), sit with a book and have some undisturbed time. Anything that’s purely about switching your mind off and focusing on the ‘now’.
  7.  Reinforce positive thoughts by saying them out loud.
    Writing out affirmations is certainly helpful, especially so if it’s a regular part of your routine – see point2! But even better is when you speak them to yourself. Look in a mirror at the same time and make your brain listen! The true benefits of this come with repeated action, in my experience. (My fave affirmation for more balance is “I am a talented, creative business owner and my own time belongs to me. I have control and determination to keep it that way.”)
  8.  Enhance your resilience.
    Exercise, quiet time, sleep; they’re all key to being able to face whether life throws at us. Beyond that, taking time to talk over business choices and struggles with a trusted friend or member of your network can really open up your perspective.
  9.  Remember your purpose and the impact you want to have.
    Never lose sight of why you do what you do and why you’re good at it. Reading past customer feedback helps, as does recalling the ways you make a difference through your business and life. However small those ways might feel, they do add up.
  10. Grow your self-belief.
    Know that how others judge you isn’t always based on facts, especially when it comes to a social media community. Whether they liked your post (or not), made a purchase (or not), supported you, whatever else… your OWN belief about yourself and what you do is the only thing that dictates what you achieve.
  11.  Skills need time and effort to improve.
    What can you learn to do better in 2022… More results-driven marketing of your brand? Selling more easily on Etsy? Small business knowhow, like networking or bookkeeping? Personal qualities like confidence are skills too, they’re not traits! Focus on improving one thing; by trying and adjusting, you can soon watch the inner questions float away. Enjoy a calmer mind.
  12.  You are the only one who keeps you stuck in a rut. And who gets you out of it.
    Doing the same things gets the same results. Changing your approach and trying a different path will be what leads to a different outcome. Affirm it for a self-confidence boost: “I am in control of a better outcome, since I am capable of trying anything.”

And an extra one I can’t resist, for good measure…
✅  Block. Out. The. Noise.
Your own intuition is often a better steer than seeing all the online comparisons and “my top 9s” and everyone else is setting resolutions and… and… and…
If you want to feel better, use that feeling as a springboard for a new direction. Your feelings responding to social media chatter aren’t a useful guide. There’s a lot of inauthentic talk online, which conceals true reality and stirs up overthinking. 

I share all this because your dreams and your own worth, as well as those of your family, deserve more TLC.

How will you start improving your balance, & generating more relaxation, satisfaction & happiness?

Here’s to better things to come and greater ease in 2022. Happy New Year,
Ruthx

PS. Don’t forget to drop me an email here if you’d like to see exactly how I might help you shift your work-life balance for the better.

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