Will You Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance this Weekend?

Image of Balanced StonesWhat are your weekend plans?

Really, I’d like to know what’s on your to-do list for this weekend.

Will you be grocery shopping, doing laundry, taking the kids here or there or just lounging around the home? The usual weekend pursuits, you’d say?

Whatever you’re planning just be sure to make time for you. This is an area I know I haven’t quite mastered.

I work too much. It’s not a good thing. In fact, I need improvement in the work-life balance department (any advice?). But it’s what I know and it keeps me going everyday.

See, I already did my fair share of staying out all night at the bars and clubs. As of the past couple years, work and productivity are all I’ve been focused on.

But I’m not a robot. I’m human. You’re human. We are wired for community, interaction, and self-expression. Work doesn’t always foster an environment for all of those things. It can include elements of them but it isn’t a vehicle to meet those needs. We need normal, everyday life.

When you make every weekend productive it’s rewarding to think about what you’ll have accomplished come Monday morning. You become excited on Friday afternoons thinking about how productive Saturday and Sunday will be.

But, admittedly for me, all that productivity can lack social fun and frivolous vegetation. These things can be helpful even though we don’t feel at that time they move our businesses forward.

You probably could advise me on how to loosen up this weekend but I’d like to give this a go. Here is my take on this weekend and how to attain a reasonable balance.

1. Make time for you

Set aside “you” time first by making it a priority. This is similar to the personal finance realm where you should take a certain amount right off the top of your income for “priority xyz.”

For some, you’re in savings mode so you take $100 out of your checks and stash them in savings. Or some of us take $50 as fun money and reward ourselves with tickets to movies, a nice lunch or dinner or maybe buy a new shirt.

This weekend try to set aside time for yourself. Invest time interacting with people that you’ve missed all week or call your family. Use this time to just vegetate for a few and watch the TV shows that you recorded by DVR.

Try cooking that recipe you read about or remove the clothes you have draped over your treadmill and actually fire up that bad boy and burn some calories.

Let’s all do something that makes us smile and laugh. Whatever that thing is that nourishes our souls while we’re doing it. Let’s do a lot of that this weekend.

2. Make time for your obligations

Obligations aren’t fun or glamorous but you have responsibilities. Set your priorities in place by writing them down this afternoon.

  • What must you get done by Monday morning?
  • What are your long-lead tasks and can you work on a portion of them this weekend?

Establish a schedule and adhere to it as best you can. If you know you have to get something done then be specific about the time you will complete it. Committing yourself to a time increases your chances of accomplishment.

Let’s jot down our “must-do’s” and maybe even go so far to commit Friday evening and before noon on both Saturday and Sunday to meet our obligations.

3. Make time for your business

This is last priority for this weekend. Maybe I’m just on a kick but it’s been a long week. I need soul food. You do too. This isn’t a record-setting weekend for capturing new clients, completely redesigning your website, writing articles or taking a”heady” marketing course.

Focus on high-level priorities but make it a short list. Let’s pick three to-do’s, tops. Make sure you write down the business action items that will yield the highest return on your invested time. This means no busy work!

Make it a weekend to restore your healthy work-life balance.

Leap out of your room or office and run to the front door. Let yourself outside and draw a deep breath of fresh air. Invest 5 minutes standing or sitting in silence in front of your home and just stare out into the trees, fields, or immense snow banks (if you’re experiencing weather similar to the Northeast).

Let’s break up our normal routines, especially if yours is like mine. Even workaholics need relaxation time to replenish our creativity and energy. Those breaks will help us maintain our normal pace at 200mph 8 days a week. ;)

What will be your soul food this weekend?
Do you share the same work-life imbalance as me?
What would you add to help others (and me) get things done while still enjoying life?


Photo: natalielucier


25 Responses to Will You Achieve a Healthy Work-Life Balance this Weekend?
  1. Danny @ Firepole Marketing
    March 4, 2011 | 9:34 am

    Hi Jon, great post, and a great introduction to your blog. :)

    Let’s see… actually, my weekend to-do list has changed quite a bit since meeting my fiancee. It used to be that I’d schedule breakfast and maybe a couple of social activities, and then work the rest, but now I basically work Saturday mornings and afternoons, and the rest of the weekend is me+her time. :)

    I like your work, and I’ve subscribed. See you around!

    • Jon
      March 4, 2011 | 7:34 pm

      Danny, I’m honored to have you here. I was just looking at your Firepole Marketing program and mp3 and I was thinking, “Dang, these guys are good!” So thanks for the visit and your input.

      Congrats to you and your fiancee; savor every moment together. That is truly soul food, my friend.

  2. Sarah Russell
    March 4, 2011 | 2:16 pm

    Hahaha – funny you asked…

    This weekend I’m going to be part of a Newsies, “Seize the Day” dancing, protesting flash mob at the WI state capitol :)

    I don’t care what your political orientation is, you *do not* turn down the opportunity to be a part of a Newsies flash mob…

  3. Hector Avellaneda
    March 5, 2011 | 2:52 am

    Jon

    I plan to get my tires ont he passat rotated, get an oil change and get my inspection sticker renewed! HAHAHA.. it looks like this weekend is going to be all about my car! lol..

    Seriously though, I get where you are coming from with “making time for yourself”. Working on the business is exciting but you definitely cannot let it your life. That’s the main reason why most people start internet businesses in the first place – time freedom to do the things you want with the people you like.

    You have to spend time with friends, family and fellow entrepreneurs. Personally, about once every month I get together with a few of my buddy entrepreneurs here in Houston and while we are not necessarily working on our businesses, we have discussions and mastermind on ideas, topics and share things that work for us.

    thanks for asking!

    • Jon
      March 5, 2011 | 8:37 am

      Hector,

      Spoil that Passat this weekend hehe. I’m sure that mastermind group you have in Houston is helpful to have in your tool kit, good job man. Thank you, take it easy and enjoy your weekend.

    • William Tha Great
      March 5, 2011 | 11:49 am

      Hey Hector & Jon,

      I also had to get my oil, tires, and inspection sticker changed last week. It was coming to that time and I was able to knock it all out at once so tat was great!

      This left more time for me to come home and get straight to work on my business. That is what I love doing most so I have to make sure I make time for that. I wish everything could come second to that, but it isn’t the case.

      God bless,
      William Veasley

      P.s first time visitor and loving it!

      • Jon
        March 5, 2011 | 1:01 pm

        William – if working on your business brings you happiness that’s fantastic and will likely help you stay motivated to grow your business. Sometimes I forgo the social outlet of family and friends so that I can work but the problem is I wind up missing them. I love working just as you do but this weekend I had to question whether the amount of business/work is imbalanced for me.

        Thank you for sharing your time and input here, William. Please come back again!

      • Michele Welch
        March 6, 2011 | 9:03 am

        William, you are everywhere… I love it!

        Hi Jon,

        Your article hit home big time for me. I have to admit up until VERY recently, I been a workaholic all week long… weekends were no exception.

        As William, I am passionate about what I do and it’s difficult at times to break away.

        However, recently as new responsibilities and an ever growing to-do list continues to add on, I found that taking time on the weekends to give quality time for myself and my family, is not only a want but a necessity!

        The last few weeks I’ve actually made a point to schedule in something fun for the weekend, this way there are no excuses for me not to take some time away from work.

        Working so far. :-)

        • Jon
          March 6, 2011 | 9:58 am

          Michele, welcome and thank you. William certainly is making his way around isn’t he? I agree that “us” and family time becomes a necessity and not only a want. Good thinking by committing yourselves to a plan for the weekend; it locks you in. Enjoy your scheduled (and well-deserved) fun time.

  4. Tia Peterson
    March 5, 2011 | 4:01 pm

    Hi Jon – I certainly make it a goal to have a healthy work-life balance. I don’t have much choice since I have a three year old; he is the leveler in that situation.

    Right now, he’s napping and I am working. And that’s probably the only work time I’m going to get all weekend. I wish I had 32 hours per day!

    • Jon
      March 5, 2011 | 5:36 pm

      Tia thank you for stopping by. Ah, yes the little one keeps you hustling all day. But good for you finding the balance and maximizing the quiet time you have during his nap!

  5. Jk Allen
    March 6, 2011 | 8:10 am

    What’s up Jon! I love the direction of this post, pushing for BALANCE in a world where much balance doesn’t exists. For me, it does…especially on the weekend!

    As a husband and father of 3, there’s nothing that I look forward to more than undisturbed family time. For this reason, I’m leaving this comment at 6am, and have been up for two hours. Once the kids start waking up – the computer lid closes.

    Today, I have a training to conduct at church – which will be centered around empowerment. The training is for current and upcoming church leaders.

    Well, I hear the little starting to wake up (through the baby monitor), better tend to my duties!
    PEACE

    • Jon
      March 6, 2011 | 8:58 am

      It’s wonderful to hear you value family time. This world needs more family time. Discipline and drive wake you up at 4am; I got up closer to 7:30 ;) Best wishes with the church training; you’re touching lives and doing big things, Jk.

      • Jk Allen
        March 6, 2011 | 11:50 pm

        Jon – one more chime in on this bad boy…the church training went really good. Better than expected.
        Wish the weekend had one more day in it…but I’m happy to have had the two days – they were nice!
        PEACE

        • Jon
          March 7, 2011 | 7:01 pm

          Fantastic to hear, Jk. Sounds like it was a pleasant and inspiring weekend. Mine had a touch of work but I was very good about stepping away and incorporating more offline living.

  6. Paul Wolfe
    March 6, 2011 | 9:17 am

    Jon

    Great points – for me the weekend is about doing stuff with the kids during the day, and then working when they’ve gone to bed.

    (Though I have to confess, they wanted to watch one of their favourite TV Shows BEFORE we head off to the park to play soccer – I’m taking advantage of that by catching up with some blog reading and commenting!).

    But the balance is crucial. You do need to spend some time relaxing and away from your work related activities otherwise you suffer from fatigue and your work will suffer.

    Catch you later.

    Paul

    • Jon
      March 6, 2011 | 7:13 pm

      Hey Paul, no worries I cheated a bit too and snuck in some commenting and blog reading. I’m so weak ;) Absolutely agreed, your work will suffer if you don’t “unplug” from time to time.

  7. Timo Kiander
    March 6, 2011 | 1:56 pm

    Hi Jon!

    I think that you address a very important point here. Life isn’t just working – you have to take care of yourself as well.

    No matter how passionate we all may be about what we do, we owe it to ourselves to stop for a moment.

    In fact, when we do something completely different than just work, we are the most creative then. At least I have realized, that many times I got the best ideas when I wasn’t working on my computer.

    About my soul food for this weekend …

    Besides of all the sports activities I have, me and my wife went to see a choir that was performing in a local church. We also rented couple of movies and went for a walk today. I loved every minute of it :)

    • Jon
      March 7, 2011 | 7:19 pm

      Welcome, Timo, and thank you for sharing your time to comment. I wholeheartedly agree that some of the best inspiration comes when you step away from work. Timo, it sounds like you had a phenomenal weekend. All those activities were likely very enriching and I bet you’re still enjoying good vibes from your soul time!

  8. Martyn Chamberlin
    March 6, 2011 | 7:07 pm

    Hey Jon,

    Thanks for stopping by. Appreciate the encouragement!

    You’ve got a great blog yourself, and certainly have more experience than I. This business of loosening up over the weekend is something I need to pay more attention to. It’s easy to get caught up and forget to relax! :)

    That being said, you’ve still found time to comment, right?

    Look forward to following this.

    • Jon
      March 6, 2011 | 7:11 pm

      Ha, yep you caught me commenting on “my weekend off.” Hey, so I slipped in a comment here and there no harm done :) Anyway, thanks for stopping by and for the compliments. I’ll see you on your site again, now off I go to relax as stated.

  9. [...] felt great to step away from the computer and just get things [...]

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