If finding a healthy work-life balance and setting boundaries in your business is a challenge for you, welcome to the club. It always has been for me – and still is to this day! I wrote this post to help you start shifting toward a life where you have time to do the things you truly love!
I’m a type “a” personality with workaholic tendencies. So it’s easy for me to get out of balance and spend way too much time working and not enough time doing the things I created my business for.
Freedom, that’s why I started my business in the first place. To give me the time and space to enjoy life and not work all the time. But instead of enjoying my newly found freedom, I was spending all my free time working.
There is always more to do and that never-ending to-do list was getting the best of me! I was of the mindset that you had to work all the time in order to be successful. I finally realized that I needed to set boundaries with my business and find a healthy work-life balance after several rounds of burnout and getting sick.
It’s not been easy but I’m learning to break the bad habits I set years ago that have kept me stuck in a never-ending cycle of work. So if you find yourself in a similar situation, these healthy work-life balance tips are for you. I got these tips from a life coach that helped me get out of my own way. I hope they help you as much as they have me!
How To Achieve A Healthy Work-Life Balance As A Virtual Assistant
#1 – Set Concrete Boundaries
- Structure your day to include the same things as a JOB: Start and stop times, breaks, lunch…
- Share your schedule with your clients and your family as needed.
#2 – Take Scheduled Breaks
Take time to move on your breaks, especially if you’re sitting all the time.
- Try a tool like Stretch Clock to remind you to move with simple stretching exercises.
- I use a Fitbit that reminds me to move every hour – without it, I would forget.
#3 – Find A Hobby That Gets You Out Of The House
- Since you work from home, it’s easy to get sucked in by the never-ending to-do list on the weekends. I have to watch myself on this one!
- Find something outside of the house to help you unwind and unplug from all things business.
- The goal here is to enjoy your life and forget about business for a while.
#4 – Automate All You Can
Use technology to automate tasks that can free up your time such as:
- An online calendar to schedule all your appointments and send reminders. For example, Google calendar.
- An email scheduling tool so you can write them ahead of time and then schedule them to be sent out. Boomerang is a great one.
- A task management tool to keep track of all your to-dos and deadlines.
#5 – Use An Alarm Clock
- Use it to signal the end of your day or when it’s time to get up and move.
- There are online tools too but there is nothing like a real alarm clock!
#6 – Unplug From Your Business
- Take time off! I mean real time off which means NO working.
- Find a Trusted Partner if you’re worried about leaving your clients without help.
- Unplugging from your business is one of the best ways to recharge your batteries and get refocused.
- Take that vacation you’ve been planning and leave your work at home.
#7 – Find An Accountability Partner
- Find someone who can help you stay accountable to yourself. It can be a friend, family member, or colleague.
- Don’t be afraid to ask in FB communities, there are many people who need accountability to stay focused.
- They don’t have to be part of the VA industry, just someone that you resonate with and can help you stay on task and target.
#8 – Delegate
- Delegate tasks you don’t want to do or can’t do.
- Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. There are probably things you are doing that you shouldn’t be.
- Take an inventory of admin-type tasks that you could delegate to free up your time to do something else.
Use these tips to help you become aware of the things that you might need to change or tweak. Awareness is the first step to change. I’m still working on creating a healthy work-life balance in my business and breaking many years of bad habits.
It’s a WIP (work in progress) for me and it might be for you too and that’s OK. I still struggle with quitting on time but I’m getting better. I think I’m going to start using an alarm clock to remind me when it’s time to call it a day!
If you’re just starting out as a VA have a look at my Ultimate VA Success Guide: How To Start A Virtual Assistant Business. It will help you to lay out a structure so you don’t “over-work” yourself.
I’d love to hear if you have any tips that have helped you, please share if it feels right.
Thanks for reading – Susan
P.S. If you're ready to invest in yourself and a professional future, please check out my VA Success Training. It's for people that are serious about running a successful Online Business. It includes everything you need from business set-up, getting clients, client management, a WP website, coaching, a supportive community, and so much more.