How to Find Sanity by Separating Work and Life

30-May-2013

Okay. You guys know that I am a total cheerleader for the live-what-you-love magic that happens in the work / life overlap. I truly believe that when we can create dream jobs for ourselves when we work from a place where we blend our souls with our skills. I created an entire Braid ECourse dedicated to getting cozy in that sometimes uncomfortable space where the personal and professional overlap. But sometimes the lines get blurred and that overlap begins to merge into one big overwhelming circle. All of this has got me thinking a lot about boundaries and how to keep some work / life stuff separate when lines get blurred or that overlap begins to merge into one big circle. You know … for sanity. 

Work Life Overlap

So how do you know when the overlap has become too … well … overlapped? Here are some signs: 
• You talk about nothing but work at the dinner table. I don’t care how cool your job is – if your talking nothing but shop with your spouse, friends, and family then your work / life balance might be out of whack. 
• You confuse your own self-worth with the success of your business. For example, have you ever found yourself saying “I suck.” because you started comparing your business to superstars like Bri Emery or Marie Forleo? Yeah … me, uh, either. (I totally have).
• You feel as if time is running out. You know the feeling – that sense of urgency around getting the work done right now. I think it’s okay to work hard but there might be a problem if you’re resentful that everything else you’re drawn to in life is put on hold so you can hit the pavement 100% of the time with your work hustle. 
• You’re wearing all the hats all the time. Your job duties include but are not limited to blogging, designing, networking, speaking, coaching, emailing, accounting, and erranding. 

And those are just a few examples. I’m sure we could all come up with a few more including talking in your sleep about work, working on the weekends, and skipping out on fun times with friends to meet pressing deadlines. 

Separation Between Work / Life

Here are some ideas on how to create some sane separation between work and life: 
• Delegate (or ditch) some of your workload. Write down all of your job titles and duties. Start circling the ones that you don’t like doing. (If you’ve circled all the things on your list it’s probably time to look at getting or creating a new dream job.) Then ask yourself “Do I have to do this? Why? Can I pay someone else to do this? Is this the best use of my time as it relates to my core genius or am I just being a control freak?” 
• Get a life. Now right down a list of things you want more time for. Schedule some of those into your day. For me it’s my afternoon workout. It’s on my Google calendar and I typically treat it as if it is the most important meeting of my day.
• Create a process. If you’re working in the same way every single time you won’t feel like you’re recreating the wheel with each new client. 
• Develop a routine. I love me some routine and I think self-imposed structure is especially important for those of us who are our own bosses. 
• Have policies. Throwing in the word “policy” makes tricky topics, like money, less awkward. For example, “It’s my policy to receive a 50% payment upfront”.
• Say no. We’ve talked about saying no before – but I’d like to encourage you to turn down work that doesn’t fit your dream customer profile. Trust me when I say it will make you happier, less resentful, and more of an expert. Don’t know who your dream customer is? Check out our Braid ECourse on Dream Customer Catching (now open for registration.) 

How do you separate your work from you life when you love what you do? Let us know on Facebook. 


Braid Method Branding for Creatives ECourse

The Braid Method Branding ECourse is for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to support themselves financially with their business, create a blog or consistent online presence, and finally turn the work they’re already doing into a digital product, package, or offering for dream customers. This branding ecourse comes with 7 learning modules in a 300+ page digital download, a workbook with 20+ branding exercises and scripts, a quarterly masterclass, and an exclusive Facebook group so you can connect with us and other students.

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