Blurred Lines approach to balancing work and personal life

Almost exactly one year ago, Harvard Business Review published an article written in support of a more “blurred lines” approach to balancing work and personal life. The theory is that if you try to keep those boundary lines rigid, you feel a performance-compromising amount of stress when you’re at work, and a thought about home or the weekend pops into your brain. Ditto for when you’re on a family picnic and you remember a work email that you need to send. So much stress, in fact, that the thought can deplete your energy and focus from the thing you’re trying to concentrate on. The article reports that study participants who allowed their personal life to seep into their work day, or who allowed themselves a few moments of work during times with friends or family, were less stressed and performed better overall.

With small business owners who are working to launch and sustain a dream career, blending of the two worlds is inevitable; and, according to the study discussed above, it can be a good thing. But how do you keep your work hours in check? How do you find the right balance of work time and personal time, and how do you keep from feeling like you’re pulling a 24/7 shift?

Check your mood.

Stress is contagious. If you show up at work stressed about something from your personal life, or if you walk in the front door after work feeling frazzled from your day, the performance and contentment of those around you are affected. If necessary, take a few moments to foster a more peaceful transition by going for a walk or run in a favorite park, listening to favorite music or an audio book, or calling a loved one to say hello. Then, when you reach home or work, you’ll feel more content, and ready to embrace what’s there.

Get some space – literally.

Perhaps a Scottsdale office space to be exact. Yes, you’ll still likely work from home at times. However, taking your career outside of the home can do wonders for the “I’m always working” mentality; not to mention allowing your family to not feel like you’re constantly working when you’re at home. Psychologically, the very act of leaving your home to drive to an office can stimulate your mind and passion for your job.

Learn to say yes.

Keep tabs on the areas of your life that feel the most neglected, and take positive steps toward remedying the situation.

Are you missing some alone time with your partner?

Schedule a weekly date – this could be a Tuesday morning breakfast or a noontime walk on Fridays – it doesn’t have to be the Saturday night dinner and movie.

Do you wish you could spend more time with the kids?

Schedule some time to volunteer in their classroom, or take a rec center craft class together. Heck – isn’t this a big part of why you wanted to be your own boss anyway? So you could make time to do things like this?

Hire it out.

Let’s face it – you can’t be a fully-invested business owner, a committed family member, and also master landscaper/house cleaner/home maintenance extraordinaire. Give yourself permission to leave some of your household obligations to the professionals. Not only will this lead to more peaceful family interactions (no more blaming your spouse for not vacuuming), but it will allow your time off to really be a relaxing and pleasant respite.

Curious if a Scottsdale office space is the right step for you in finding your business/personal life balance? Give us a call and come by to see our beautiful offices available for lease. Before you know it, you could have work and home lives that just a little bit more separate, and a lot more enjoyable.

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