Finding the perfect balance between pressure and leisure is like discovering Shangri-La for most modern workers. However, many of us find it hard to perfect even one of these fields, let alone both. As a result, something has to give; with workers regularly unable to participate in family activities, or pursue their private external interests to the full.
With the rapid increase in the number of freelancers, more and more people are at last finding a semblance of that so desired balance. But, for many others the struggle continues to somehow harmonise a productive business life together with a healthy family life. In order to help you reach both your professional and private goals, we’ve tried to compile seven useful tactics for combining pressure and leisure.
1. Don’t bring work home
Although many working people will say that this is easier said than done, not bringing work stress home should be the ultimate rule for every employee or freelancer. The pace at which you climb the company ladder will depend on your organizational skills, rather than the number of work hours you put in. Improving your in-office time management, will pay dividends in your private life.
The early bird catches the worm. Those old proverbs didn’t just come about by accident. Try and get to the office before others start pouring in and breaking that golden silence. You’ll be amazed how those two or three hours will free up a lot of precious space later in the day. In addition, many top achievers constantly claim that those first few peaceful hours can be the most productive of the entire day.
When it comes to working from home it really is imperative to keep your work space and private space separate. Such an arrangement will prevent you from intermixing these two abstract areas of life and avoiding the conflict and problems which inevitably arise. Once again, try to start your day early and make use of those golden hours of super productivity. Just because you happen to work from home shouldn’t mean you can stay in bed all day.
Potential aide: Simplenote
As the name suggests, Simplenote offers a high level of functionality, packed in a simple and sleek design; meaning you can start taking notes in a matter of seconds regardless of your physical location.
It also allows you to create and edit notes in the offline mode, ready to be synced next time you go online.
The app also enables you to access previous edits of the same note – a super productive hack for the forgetful or harried business manager.
When you make notes of your ideas and obligations they become clearer and tend to become a reality in a more scheduled and time-saving manner.
2. Control the workload
Losing that precious balance between pressure and leisure often comes as a result of poor project planning and estimation. Driven by a strong desire to provide more, you may often end up with less, and may even result in missed deadlines. Biting off more than you can chew can ruin your reputation and reduce profitability. For these reasons it is essential to make an accurate estimate for every single project. By doing so clients will gain trust in your work and on a personal level reduce the amount of work-induced stress.
When preparing a work schedule a good rule of thumb is to allot more time than necessary for a project’s completion. If possible, negotiate a bonus for early completion. This way, you’ll protect yourself from penalties for late delivery, and on the plus side may even result in extra profitability.
Potential aide: Teamgate
Keeping your workload, your schedule and employees in harmony will be easier if you use a proper Sales CRM tool. This is where Teamgate comes to the fore. The Teamgate web based Sales CRM is a full sales process software product which can greatly assist you in organising your teams, and allow you to follow their contributions on every stage of a project. Moreover, this Sales CRM solution will assist in sourcing and organising your leads. It will also provide you with easy to read stat’s and analytics from which you have the ability to make comparisons between sales goals and actual current results.
3. Aim at a higher income
When you’re just starting out, a person is usually happy with the fact that they’ve managed to land a job. Nevertheless, if you want to intensify that feeling of contentment, aiming at a higher income is a must. While this goal might be more easily reached by freelancers, company and SMB-workers shouldn’t give up.
As advised by the experts from Forbes you should ask for a raise at the right moment. Salary budgets are usually set in advance making it vitally important to accurately judge that right moment. Sometimes that right moment may be just after the successful completion of a major project. An honest conversation with your boss is also sometimes recommended and may bring produce dividends – but, it may also do the opposite, remember to judge the situation well. Never overdo your salary requests – once a year is enough. And most importantly, never ask for more than you are realistically worth to a company.
Freelancers, as a golden rule, should never increase rates mid-project.
It stands to reason that by making more money and working less, you’ll manage to reach a balance between work pressure and leisure more easily. But that’s only if money is really an important part of the equation.
Potential aide: Mint
In order to curb expenditure and make savings on your budget, perhaps you could do with a little extra help. In the recent past Mint has become one of the most appreciated apps for just that purpose. Simply connect this app with your business or personal accounts and let it track how and where you spend your money. Its functionality depends on your preferences. For example, you can add or exclude some of your assets to the equation allowing for more concise results. It can also provide you with regular reports on your expenses, as well as launch alerts if your accounts run too close to red.
4. Team up with other people
Personally, I know many freelancers who are very headstrong individuals and don’t like to share their work with others. However, successful workers – both freelance and company employees – can often work well under much pressure. Their clients and bosses know how much they can rely on such workers, so in turn their assign load gets bumped up. Be extremely careful when accepting extra projects.
It is vital to ensure that you avoid burnout at work. Taking on too much responsibility will quickly take its tole on both mind and body, often with disastrous results. In order to displace some of the load from your shoulders learn to team up and accept the benefits it may bring. In addition, outsourcing is now more affordable and more available than ever before. Through shrewd outsourcing or delegating some of your workload to other colleagues, or freelancers, you’ll free up more time and notice the benefits almost immediately.
Not only will these benefits contribute to the improvement of your personal life, they will also make a healthy contribution to your productivity at work. CNN’s Brigit Schulte brings us a very imformative piece on the benefits of leisure, as linked to increased productivity.
5. Make technology work for you
In the 1930s, John Maynard Keynes hypothetically predicted that by the year 2030 people would work a mere 15 hours per week. This is the goal (however possible) every modern worker should strive for. Technology can be of great assistance in attempting to achieve that objective. One small example is to turn your tablet or smartphone into your mobile office or workspace.
Thankfully, it is now possible to rely on a wide range of online business tools to ease your work load, tools such as; Google’s G Suite, Microsoft’s Office 365 and many others. They potentially free you up to perform even more productive tasks while on the go, and allow you to collaborate more easily in real time with co-workers.
In addition, modern workers can now utilise the flexibility of numerous software solutions via the cloud, saving you money, and a lot of time. In return, the surplus of these two resources can be redirected and used as your leisure fuel.
Potential aide: Dropbox
An increased number of online businesses requires online storage tools. Dropbox is one of the most popular and reliable such solutions. From 2.5 GB of free storage space to 100 GB that costs as little as $100 a year, you and your employees can store and keep track of a wide range of files, folders and multimedia material on this virtual hard drive. In addition this facility allows you access to this stored data offline when marked while online.
6. Schedule your free-time routines
It’s often much easier to juggle your work and social life when you schedule your routine in advance. It may be more beneficial to schedule with business affairs in the first instance allowing you to be aware of available time to spend on your personal life. Even if you happen to be a freelancer, it usually proves counterproductive to be available to your clients at all times. Choose the time of day when you feel most productive and stick to this arrangement.
Likewise, your free-time routines should also take place at a particular time of day. For instance, if you like jogging try to create a daily routine which becomes so embedded in your schedule to be virtually impossible to erase.
By implementing a well-planned scheduled your family, friends and work colleagues will come to recognise when they can count on you, and your time. Creating a well-refined balance between all of these factors will go a long way towards ensuring a higher level of satisfaction and productivity, both at work and at home.
Potential aide: Wunderlist
A borderline case between a business app and a free-time tool, Wunderlist can be employed to help manage either, or both spheres of your life. On the one hand it can remind you of upcoming or important business tasks. Alternatively, or in addition it can be populated with all of your various leisure and family activities. It’s also possible to add your business partners, friends, or family members to your events allowing you to share your experiences. However, in our opinion, Wunderlist appears to be slightly more practical for use with personal and family affairs due to the sheer volume of business specific apps available on the market.
7. Work harder on your social life
Business success and determination should by no means exclude the existence, or importance of having a social life. In fact, improving your social skills can be greatly beneficial in improving your business efficiency. Never forget, it’s equally important to leave work and grab a cup of coffee with family or friends from time to time. It’s widely known that spending time with our loved ones improves the condition and wellness of both our mind and body.
Pressure is good for nobody, in fact the opposite is true, and needs to be unleashed when possible. Any down-time you can introduce into your life will provide your brain with new information and new stimulation about the world and people around you. As the saying goes, a healthy body is a healthy mind.
Potential aide: your friends 😉
Managing business and free time can become a real nuisance for modern workers. Exposed to dozens of challenges, expectations, and stimuli we can easily get carried away from our goals. However, reaching success in business on account of your private life won’t bring long-lasting harmony. Therefore, take your life in your own hands and make sure you find at least some time for leisure and recreation. We hope our tips and advice will help you get there faster than you’ve expected, happy, healthy, and productive.