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How do you know if your achieving work life balance?

How do you know if you’re achieving work life balance? Is it happiness? Is it the amount of time you’re spending in your garden or with your children?

achieving work life balanceThis article in the Guardian this week explained how a New Zealand company trialled a 4 day working week for 5 days pay to test how this would affect workers work life balance. It’s interesting that this two week trial showed a 24 point increase in achieving work life balance.

In November last year just over half (54%) of staff felt they could effectively balance their work and home commitments, while after the trial this number jumped to 78%.

That’s powerful isn’t it? Would you like to increase your work life balance indicator by 24 points? I think many people would! Especially busy business owners.

Measures for achieving work life balance

What measures do you use for achieving work life balance? We all have different aspirations, so what may sound feasible for one may be totally alien to another.

Amount of time at home v work – Even if you work from home, the separation of home time and work time is often the biggest factor people mention when talking about achieving work life balance. Do you have the amount of time in mind that you want to achieve? Is it 10 hours work time? Or is it about being home by 4pm when the children arrive home from school?

Some people work the other way around – how much time do I have available to work if I need to take the children to school, do my home jobs, do the shopping for my neighbour and be able to pick the children up. OK, maybe that’s extreme, but remember, this is about what’s right for you.

Quality time with the family – What do you mean by quality? Is it a day out? Is it having a meal and chat together? Is it reading stories before bedtime? Is it being in the same place at the same time? Define what this is for you, if it’s important to you achieving work life balance.

Time spent doing hobbies – Do you work so you can play more? Would having more time doing your hobbies be an important measure of your work life balance?

Time doing exercise or sport – This may be about getting away from work at the right time to play the team sport you want to do. Or it might be devising your schedule so you can do everything you want to do in the week. If exercise or activity are important, (and I would suggest for a healthy lifestyle it is), then fitting it into your mix and balancing it into your week is crucial to your work life balance.

Time with friends – Is this something you’d like more time for? Is it nights out? Days walking? Holidays? Theatre? What does this mean to you, and how can you measure it?

Time to do home jobs or personal appointments – Just like the research in New Zealand, having time available to do your household tasks and get to the dentist on a day off, or take those things to the tip can be so beneficial to you feeling great. Right? So how can you get the balance right for you if this is important to achieving work life balance?

Quality & length of sleep – Yes, sleep is important 🙂 We talk about it a lot, and sleep is one major factor in reducing stress. But isn’t this what achieving work life balance is all about? Living a happier more fulfilled life?

How do you know if you’re achieving work life balance?

Personally I think balance changes over time. In my experience what was right for me when my children were small is very different now they’re teenagers. I don’t think my values have changed, but what I want to do with my 24 hours a day has a different focus.

In the Business Cheerleading Club we’ve been talking a lot about mindset recently, after our workshop with Lottie Moore. This shift in emphasis of mindset I think helps us look at what we want to achieve in life and not just in business.

I’ve got 5 spaces left on the Summer Programme if you’d like help with reviewing and achieving your work life balance. In just 20 minutes a week we’ll get that focus on your work and life, and set the actions for the next week. Simple steps of moving forward, with the support of an experienced listener and business owner may just be what you need to find your work life balance, this summer, and get ready for your autumn business growth.

Book now for only £132 for your summer support to keep you balanced and on track so you hit the ground running in September 🙂




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Mental health tips for business owners

There is a lot of focus about good mental health for employees at the moment, so I’d like to focus some attention on the mental health of business owners. As a business owner, you’re juggling many things, especially if you’re running your business by yourself and have to do everything in your business.

Staying fit and healthy is crucial to the success of your business – without you being well and able to carry out your weekly tasks, you will have no business. Doing exercise, drinking water and getting fresh air are the basics aren’t they, which we all know about. But what about your mental health? Whilst your walking are you trying to fix the problem “that customer” has? Or are you worrying about not having enough money to pay your supplier at the end of the month?

Can you see? Just because your taking exercise, doesn’t always mean your mental health is being improved, and can often mean you’re not in the mood for your business.

Business owners share their mental health tips

mental health tips by business owners for business ownersMany people set up their own business to share a passion they’ve discovered when they’ve been helped by something. My very own Business Cheerleading Club was set up in response to needing a supportive place to be understood as a business owner and share the ups and downs we have each week with other business owners who know what it’s like. The support for each other, and your business, within the club is amazing, and fills me with joy to be helping others find the right place for them to grow their business. Knowing you have the right support helps you be in the right frame of mind to run your own business and support your mental health.

So I asked some business owners to share their mental health tips, not only from their own experience, but also from what they do in their business:

 

elaine clark

 

 

 

Elaine Clark

SafeguardingKidz

As a counsellor and therapist working with children, young people and adults,
many with bereavement, loss, post abuse, trauma and mental health issues, I fully understand that staying mentally strong yourself as a business owner is important.
It’s draining for me, so whilst I teach relaxation, meditation and visualisation methods to my clients, so that they can use these mental health tips and tools in their daily lives, I have to ensure I do this for myself.I’m fortunate to live in a beautiful part of the country, overlooking a river, which is calming for me.My mental health tips for business owners are:
Knowing. how to love yourself, keeping time and space for yourself each week is paramount to keeping yourself healthy on every level.
karen peddie

Karen Peddie

Karen Peddie Holistics

I’m a Reiki Master Teacher and EFT (Tapping) practitioner and both are excellent for helping people to become calm and balanced.

I suffered with anxiety, stress and depression for many years and I can honestly say I am calmer now than I have been for over 20 years. I now help others to feel better about themselves and my clients tell me they feel very relaxed after a treatment.

One lady told me she had not had a migraine since their  treatment last week, when previously, they were getting them every day. That’s how wonderful Reiki is!

My mental health tips for business owners are:

Find what works for you to stay relaxed, then practice it, and make sure it’s the first thing that goes in your diary

nick haines five institute

Nick Haines

Five Institute

My work at the Five Institute and beyond is based on the central premise that our inner and outer solutions for good mental health, wellbeing and everything else we do should be designed around each individuals nature, needs and worldview.

Although that is neither an original thought or anything but common sense, some of the tools we have such as The Vitality Test are an original and unique way to achieve that end.

I’ve suffered myself with both anxiety and depression. In my teenage years, the lack of understanding as to who I am as a person resulted in the treatments and suggestions doing more harm than good.

Later it became obvious to me what went wrong, but at the time it was a mystery to the professionals concerned, and highly distressing to me.

My mental health tips for business owners are:

Learn and understand what’s right for you. If something doesn’t feel or seem right, try something else. We’re all unique and it may take time, but stick with your desire to be mentally and physically healthy

emma launchbury bras4mums and bra lady cambridge

Emma Launchbury

bras4mums & Cambridge Bra Lady

My business is bras4mums/BraLady Cambridge and I help women feel more confident by fitting them in supportive and comfortable bras, specifically maternity & nursing bras through bras4mums.

Having struggled through two pregnancies and breastfeeding wearing the wrong sized bras, I trained as a bra fitter. My third pregnancy and subsequent breastfeeding with my youngest was transformed by wearing properly fitting bras.

“I’ve always struggled finding nice nursing bras in my size (H) and found it all quite depressing! Looking at her website gave me hope. Emma came to my house to fit me which was so convenient with two kids in tow. She brought a large selection for me to try and was so friendly. I found the perfect bra and it has transformed how I look and feel. Breastfeeding doesn’t mean you have to wear horrible bras. I recommend using Emma’s services to anyone wanting a comfy stylish bra.”

New mums have a lot to deal with in the early days/weeks after giving birth but having properly fitted bras can make such a difference to them. It is one less thing for them to worry about and often enables them to feel more confident about breastfeeding because they are comfortable and well supported by their bras.

My mental health tips for business owners are:

Make regular time for yourself. If you don’t look after yourself, then your business will ultimately suffer as you eventually burn out.

What are you doing to maintain a good mental health whilst running your business?

There are so many ways of improving and maintaining a good level of mental health, as our business owners here have shared. I believe that you need to find what works for you. It can take time, especially if you’ve allowed your business to take over your life.

When I’m working with a client, I always say, “small steps”, and we’ll look at what can easily be added into a daily and weekly routine to start getting the balance right again.

You won’t be alone if you’re struggling to find the right balance in your life, and feel anxious or concerned about your life and your business. Just re-read what the business owners have shared above! Sometimes it just takes us a little nudge or knock to take us “over the edge” to make us realise it’s time to make a change.

If you need some support to work out what’s right for you, feel free to contact me and let’s explore your options.

If you’d be happy to share what you do in the comments below so that others can benefit from your experience, that would be wonderful.

 

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Can your children teach you to believe in yourself

I believe children can teach you to believe in yourself. Here’s why:

Today my eldest son, age 16, started his GCSE exams. He walked out of the door having had a good night’s sleep, a good breakfast inside him, and having done his paper round and had some exercise and fresh air. He was calm, relaxed and confident, having packed his bag yesterday.

He totally believes in himself and his ability to do the best he can in his exams, which stretch over the next 5 weeks (one week off for holiday/revision in the middle). Yes, he could have done more revision, but as he reminded me, he made choices about how to manage this time.

It’s not just about  mindset. It reminded me that so often as a business owner you don’t always believe in yourself. But you should.

Just like my son, you’re ready for the next step:

  • you’ve done your preparation work & researched your market with the products and services you’re selling
  • you’ve got your systems and structures in place to take payment, and your ready to supply the customer with what they want
  • you’re fit and healthy, and making time for you within your weekly schedule to maintain your mental and physical health
  • you’ve got your daily routine to ensure that nothing is missed in your business
  • you’ve got your business and life goals in focus, and you’re working towards achieving them

3 tips to ensure you believe in yourself

  1. Ensure your personal core values are also within your business values. If they aren’t you’ll feel that your business isn’t totally a part of you. Yet it is. You are your business, so you must ensure your values are incorporated into your business. If you don’t believe in yourself how can you expect your customers to?
  2. Keep track of your business numbers and don’t let anyone distract you from your business. You know you and your business best. If you can’t afford something this month that you think will help your business in the long run simply be honest with yourself and put a bit of money aside towards it next month. Don’t be distracted by special offers, or experts saying you “have” to do something. You know what’s right for your business. Don’t jump in. Take time to think about it before making a decision
  3. Have the right support team cheering you on. Whether this is your understanding family, a group of friends or a focused business support group, or more likely a combination of support, when you’re struggling to believe in yourself, they’ll remind you how special and talented and focused you are. It’s easy to forget why you’ve set your business up, but your business cheerleading team will keep you on track, and boost you when you need it.

What else can our children teach us as business owners?

children help you believe in yourselfAs parents we teach our children lots of things, and we hope to inspire them with confidence, so they grow up to be sure of themselves, and believe in their abilities. So isn’t it fascinating that when they turn round to us and say, “you’re great at that Mum/Dad”, that it inspires us and confirms what we know deep inside? That we’re doing a good job as a parent, and a great job as a business owner. Those simple words remind you to believe in yourself.

I’m sure there’s lots of other things our children can teach us. I’m often blown away by what my boys teach me. It’s a collaboration isn’t it? Learning together so we benefit from each other. That’s why I love the Business Cheerleading Club so much I think – a collaboration of business owners, learning together, just like my family 🙂

I’d love to hear what your children are teaching you and how you’re using that within your business. Let me know by leaving a comment: