10 Tips on How to Achieve Work-Life Balance as a Virtual Assistant
It's on your vision board, it's the quote on your coffee mug, it's the concept of "work-life balance." You dream of balancing your career and your personal life but the idea sounds like a complete fairytale. With everyday responsibilities, it can feel impossible to find time to work on your life goals but it's possible! Here are 10 tips on how to achieve work-life balance as a Virtual Assistant.
Decide what areas of life are most important to you
When you’re looking for work-life balance, you have to first figure out what areas of your life are most important. Is it family, friends, job, hobbies? Once you know what matters most in your life (and therefore what is more important), it becomes much easier to prioritize and manage your schedule accordingly. This will allow you to be present in your life while achieving a balanced existence.
Audit your life and identify the things you love and the things you could live without
To be able to successfully achieve work-life balance, you first need to know what constitutes each of these aspects. Take some time to honestly audit your life—work and otherwise—and identify what you love (and like) doing, as well as what bores or stresses you out. Once you’ve completed your review, you can start making changes in how you approach your various responsibilities.
Write down how much time you spend on work and making a living
If you want to achieve a work-life balance, it’s important that you know exactly how much time you currently spend working and making a living. In addition, start tracking your day. You don’t have to meticulously note every moment, but just try and be aware of how much time is passing throughout your day. You may be surprised by how little work or leisure time you actually have. By paying attention to your time management, you can better understand where your weekdays and weekends really go.
Write down how much time you spend taking care of others
It’s impossible to have a work-life balance when you spend too much time taking care of others. The problem is we are usually so focused on caring for others that we don’t take a minute to focus on ourselves. Take a moment and list out all of your daily responsibilities: whom you take care of, how much time you spend doing it, and whether or not you feel fulfilled in your duties.
Write down how much time you spend taking care of yourself
Think about how much time you spend working, and then think about how much time you spend taking care of yourself. Do those numbers balance out? It’s important for your body and mind (not to mention your personal relationships) that they do. Work hard enough that you feel fulfilled at your job, but don’t push yourself so hard that you forget to take care of yourself physically and mentally—that’s where work-life balance comes in.
Ask yourself if the work you're doing allows you time to take care of your personal commitments
Are you maximizing your work-life balance? Sometimes it's hard to determine what work is and what's not. For example, it might be tempting to send a few work emails at night or pick up that pressing business call while you're at home. Work calls are important but are they depriving you of rest and stealing time away from your life’s precious moments?
Layout your weekly calendar and prioritize the most important work tasks and personal to-do's at the top of each day
If you're juggling a heavy workload, work-life balance can be hard to maintain. By laying out your weekly calendar and prioritizing your most important work tasks and personal to-do's at the top of each day, you can help ensure that you'll always get your priorities in order before taking care of other duties. Think about how much time certain activities take up in your schedule and make sure they fit into a manageable routine.
On your weekly calendar, fill in the lower-priority tasks underneath the top priorities
You can’t do everything at once, so you’ll need to prioritize what’s most important. Use your weekly calendar and write down which tasks are absolutely necessary — top priorities that take precedence over everything else — and schedule them as such.
Once you have your commitments assigned to each day, look at your calendar and identify opportunities to rest and follow your dreams
Schedule a massage, catch up with an old friend over coffee, take a course to learn a new skill. Then ask yourself: What activities — work-related or not — can I squeeze into my free time? If you’re creative about it, there are always ways to fit more in. One person might make every Wednesday evening their creative night, reserving time during the workweek for art or expression. Life is short, follow your dreams.
If your current job doesn't allow you time in your schedule to follow your dreams or take care of yourself, it's time to consider a career change
A recent study found that work-life balance is as important to workers as income and career advancement. If you think your current position doesn't allow you time for yourself, it's time to reevaluate your goals and what you want out of your career. If you crave work-life balance and want to work from wherever you want, whenever you want, consider starting a Virtual Assistant business.
GrowthFocus provides courses and mentorship to Virtual Assistants and emerging entrepreneurs. We believe that everyone deserves to live a life that fulfills them and allows them to balance their careers and well-being. The GrowthFocus Blog is a space to inspire Virtual Assistants and grow-getters to create stability in all aspects of their life.
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