Don't worry about striving for an unattainable life-work balance - it's a myth! Instead, focus on your priorities and create systems that support what you love. Life will never be perfectly balanced but don’t beat yourself up over it – some days are just going to look different than others!
Have you ever felt overwhelmed with trying to balance your life, hobbies, and creative business?
It can be challenging to juggle all of these things at once, especially when all of them are important to you. However, finding a "sort of balance" is possible with the right mindset and strategies.
To achieve any meaningful goals in life, it's essential to prioritize what matters most and find ways to make those priorities easier. Don't be fooled by the 'perfect balance' myth—there isn't one!
But don’t fret if you feel your attention shifting from time-to-time; that's just part of living an authentic and fulfilled existence.
In this blog post, we will be exploring some tips and tricks to help you balance your life, hobbies, and creative business. Let's get started!
1. Prioritize Your Time:
One of the best ways to balance your life, hobbies, and creative business is to prioritize your time.
I'm not talking about time management. I'm talking about defining what is most important to you in life and then making things happen in those areas.
Begin by identifying your priorities and allocating your time and energy accordingly.
Consider setting aside specific times during the day or week to work on your creative business or indulge in your hobbies. If you have a family, what events or things do you want to make space for?
Think about the most important things to you and then start to think about you can make space for those things.
By prioritizing your favorite things and putting them on the calendar, you can achieve a more balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.
As a busy mom myself I try to schedule "mother and son" play dates for special time one-on-one as well as dates with my husband. I also try and plan one "crazy" day a month where I have no plans or purpose except for adventure. We also like to plan play dates and family outings in advance and sometimes I put time on my calendar just for my own hobbies like sewing or going to art shows.
Planning things that are most important to you is one way to make sure your favorite things always happen—get it on the calendar.
2. Go Another Step further and Create a Schedule:
Another effective way to balance your life, hobbies, and creative business is to create a consistent schedule.
Creating a schedule can help you to stay organized and manage your time effectively. Consider using a planner, calendar or digital organizer to map out your day, weeks, or months.
Divide your time into work, hobbies, leisure, and other activities. Make sure to include regular breaks in your schedule that allow you to rest and recharge. By sticking to a regular schedule, you can achieve a balanced routine that works for you.
For me I like to schedule my days by task.
Monday = Marketing
Tuesday = Client Tasks
Wednesday = Client Meetings
Thursday = Kid's
Friday = Course Work
We also have weekly family things...like my husband and I take turns planning a weekly date on Wednesday nights. And you can be guaranteed to find us doing some kind of family thing on friday nights—complete with pizza. This allows me to simplify and prioritize our family for those specific days and I always know I need pizza ingredients on hand or plan to order-in.
I also plan on fitting in a few daily tasks that help me run business a bit easier too.
1. 20-30 minutes of marketing or social media engagement.
2. Finances - 10-15 minutes of budgeting.
3. Systems implementing or reworking - 10-30 minutes.
Doing simple things like this helps me run my business and life a bit smoother.
Try doing this yourself;
Monday = Marketing & Social Content and Meetings
Tuesday = Making and Product Development
Wednesday = Shipping & Packing
Thursday = Inventory & Collaborations
Friday = Making & Marketing
3. Delegate Tasks:
If you feel overwhelmed by trying to balance your life, hobbies, and creative business, consider delegating tasks.
Get that stuff off your plate.
Despite the courage of aspiring creative entrepreneurs, many still struggle with delegating and outsourcing tasks for their businesses. It's understandable to feel a sense of failure when stepping away from control; believing that wearing all the hats themselves can help them succeed as an independent venturer.
But in reality, it is often those back end activities which are outside our skillsets or unenjoyable that we need to outsource if we wish to thrive professionally!
I tell the students of MyMakerSchool that they should be focused on either the "income" producing parts of their business or the parts that truly bring them joy.
This is going to look different for every creative and every situation.
Delegate tasks to family members, friends, get help from a VA or other professional.
Heck I even hire a cleaning crew.
This will help you to free up some of your time and energy while still getting things done. Delegating tasks can also provide an opportunity for others to learn and grow, making it a win-win situation for all.
4. Create Systems:
If you are not already a systems thinker—it's time.
From the dawn of time, humankind has been connected to its environment and everything within, in a vast and intricate web of relationships.
What we eat, drink, and breathe come from natural systems that have existed since long before us; it is an unbroken chain stretching throughout history right up to this very moment. Systems are everywhere and everything is a system.
Think about your day, how you get your water, gardening, your family, how our bodies work...EVERYTHING IS A SYSTEM.
Martin Luther King Jr., one of humanity's most beloved spiritual leaders, summed up these connections when he said: "We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality... Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly." Our lives on Earth truly depend on our understanding and appreciation for how everything is intertwined together!
If you can become a systems thinker your whole world will change.
It's all about simplifying your tasks and seeing how everything is pretty much a system and we can either make it easier to get things done in less time or we can put out the fires that we make because we don't understand how we are running our own systems.
Think about your biggest tasks, then break down how they all get accomplished. This is a system.
Here's an example:
Laundry...it's the bane of my existence and I am sure it's yours too. Especially if you have a family.
First, think about the steps that you are currently taking to do your laundry.
Is it the same every week?
Where do you fold your laundry?
How does it get put away?
Can you make it easier?
Do you have a system already?
Is it working?
Then map out a new system.
Can you make it easier by doing one load a day of just baby clothes?
Is it easier to do one load a week for each family member? What day?
You can do this to every part of your life. Creating systems for all of our responsibilities and tasks helps us to feel less like a crazy person running around trying to get all the things done....blindfolded.
If you find yourself feeling like you have a million fires to put out but no water...then you need—scratch that—you HAVE to create systems, or you will burn out my friend.
If you’re feeling like the world is spinning out of control, then it might be time to take a step back and think systemically.
Systems thinking will help bring order and efficiency in your life as well as for your business.
Put those fires out without breaking a sweat; get things done with less effort—you owe it to yourself.
Don't let your to-dos become an inferno! Systems thinking is the key to saving time and energy, allowing you to focus on what matters most. Make it easier for yourself by developing systems that make hard tasks simple - you won’t regret it!
5. Seek Support:
Seeking support from trusted family members or friends can go a long way in helping you balance your life, hobbies, and creative business. Having someone to talk to, who can provide advice or encouragement can be a great comfort. Surrounding yourself with positive people who support your creativity and goals can also help to keep you motivated and inspired. Don't be afraid to ask for help or support when you need it.
I also encourage all of my friends and creative connections to find a mentor or business coach that will help you see the gaps and areas in your business that you can be more efficient. If you don't already have someone that you can lean on, I want to encourage you to actively seek someone out. I promise that once you find someone that will connect with you and push you to get things done...encourage you and be your greatest cheerleader you will get amazing things done.
Whether you're embarking on a creative business venture, refining your life balance routine or exploring new hobbies—don't forget to rely on the people around you for help. Having trusted family and friends by your side who can provide advice and encouragement is like having an extra set of hands!
Finding motivation from positive people in our lives is so important but if needed, reach out further; find yourself a mentor or coach that can fill any gaps with their expertise. Take it from me: Don’t be afraid to ask for support – it could make all the difference!
I offer one on one consulting and coaching for creatives looking for help in this exact area. Send me a message and I would be happy to chat and see if we are a good fit.
5. Learn to say NO:
One of the most important things you can do to achieve a balanced lifestyle is to learn to say no.
It's easy to get carried away with commitments, projects, and social events that can eat up your time, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
Plus, think about your family and your spouse if you have one. Are you giving up your family for something that's not as important?
Start by evaluating your commitments and recognizing which ones are truly important and which ones are not.
Be realistic about what you can and cannot handle.
Saying no to certain things can help you focus on what truly matters, leading to a more balanced and fulfilling life. Achieving balance in life starts with learning the power of saying no.
Although it's natural to want to take on all opportunities, sometimes we need a little reminder that not every offer is going to bring us joy and fulfillment.
Take some time for yourself today: look at your commitments, prioritize them based on what matters most, and start releasing those activities that just don't fit into our lives right now — you'll be surprised by how much better you feel afterwards!
Marc Anthony said, "If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life" and I sooooo believe it. When we set out to create a business out of our passion we do it because we love it.
Sometimes though we can get caught up in it and forget about the other things in our life.
I truly want to encourage you to pursue your business with a gusto only equivalent to a high school boy looking to get his first date.
The key to finding joy as a creative business owner starts with learning that you can't have everything and be everywhere and do everything at the same time.
As a mom of 5 I know this first hand.
I am often asked for a peanut butter and jelly at the same time as my 3 year old needs her boo boo kissed. I can't do everything or be everything to everyone.
That's why I say balance doesn't exist.
Have you ever tried to balance two toddlers?
It's not possible.
There's no such thing as work-life balance, it's all about choosing what is the most important thing in that very moment or day. Then making a plan to get the most important things done...
It's not work-life balance it's more like work-life choices and if we are prioritizing the right ones we will feel more at ease.
Living a balanced life is not about better time management it's more like creating and setting better priorities and boundaries and then enjoying those choices.
I am ok with spending time playing with my kids or getting a work project done and leaving the dishes until later.
In conclusion, achieving a sense of joy and success in life starts with prioritizing what's most important to you and letting everything else go. By prioritizing your time, creating a schedule, delegating tasks, seeking support, and learning to say no, you can achieve a fulfilling and balanced lifestyle. Remember, there isn't one perfect way for everyone, so don't be too hard on yourself.
If you feel like you're constantly juggling life, home responsibilities, and your creative business and it feels like you're always dropping the ball and you can't seem to get ahead then you need to show up ro my #LunchBrunch Saturday Morning workshops where we take a deep dive into topics that you might find helpful in running your creative business and your life. We will be talking about this very same topic and diving in a bit deeper.
I used to feel super overwhelmed alll the time trying to juggle being a stay at home mom and working full time agency life…until well, I created some systems, prioritized what's most important and started slowly putting the fires out.
At this workshop, you will learn how to manage your time better and find a balance that works for you. You'll learn how to prioritize and streamline your workflow and make more time for what's important. Plus, I'll show you how to take care of yourself so you don't burn out.
I will teach you everything I've learned about balancing family life with a full-time creative business.
Keep moving forward, and you will find your own unique mix that works for you. Good luck!