Improve work-life balance as a woodworker

How To Improve Work-Life Balance

The other day someone was concerned about our work-life balance. They wondered how it is we can work at a full-time job, manage family life, and start a home-based business.

The best answer that I was able to provide is that it is important to know the difference between work and life.  

Brenda wrote a blog a while back with her feelings on work-life balance here.

The way I see it is that it is important to keep in mind that work is something we do when we are not dealing with life.

The term work-life balance is a popular topic online and one where many people have many different views.

I'm not here to try and convince you into believing or follow in my interpretation but it may help you to understand how it is that we can manage to create a small business while we are working full-time.

If you come away with something we do that inspires you to make a positive change in your life then this blog has accomplished its goal. 

Yes, sometimes my blogs have a set goal.

What is My Definition of Work-Life Balance

Let's start by reviewing the most common definition:

Work-Life balance is the state of equilibrium with the demands split between professional life, family life, and personal life.

Work-life balance personal professional family

Sounds nice in theory but can that be managed in the real world?

How does one measure levels in professional, family, and personal life?

Seeing that time is a measurable unit then I believe that using time would be the most logical way to see if our work-life is in balance. 

If we use time as a measurable unit then we first need to understand what we define as work "time" and what consider to be life "time".

There are only so many hours in a day right.

Limited hours in a day for work

I mean if people like the former President of the USA ( we can't use the current as a good example) was able to manage time in his day, which has the same amount of hours as my day (last I checked) to be with family and friends then certainly someone with my lifestyle would have loads of time to spare.

Okay, let's start by defining what is work and what is life "time".

What is Work Time vs Life Time?

Work:

If we look at work using my current situation as an example I believe it to be similar to the majority of the working class as I work 8 hours/day.

I know some people's workdays are much more and some are less but again, remember I am writing this blog according to my situation in hopes that you can use some of the information to help you.

Oh wait, I don't really work 8 hours/day as I get 1 hour for lunch and two 15 minute breaks. So really I only work 6.5 hours/day.

Now I am fortunate, as most days I don't need to commute so that probably saves me a couple of hours per day compared to the average worker.

Okay, I know how many hours I'm at work so how many does that leave for life?

Well we all need to sleep, I tend to sleep an average of 8 hours (no breaks 😉 )

Now if we add 6.5 hours work plus 8 hours of sleep then that comes up to 14.5 hours /day

Work + Sleep = 14.5/hrs.

Life:

That means that we have 24 hrs/day - 14.5 hrs/work+sleep = 9.5 hours for life per day!

Wow! 

That is more hours than I put into my work/job per day and I haven't included my weekends off yet!

I know I shouldn't get too excited yet but I'm already feeling much more encouraged knowing that I do get more time for Life vs Work, or do I.

My situation is different as I get to work from home most of the time which makes a load of difference. If I had to commute to work for 1 hour each way then I would be left with only 7.5 hours/day. 

Now 9.5 hours/day sounds awesome but can I actually put 9.5 hrs/day towards our business?

I think this calls for a time audit exercise.

Time Management

The time per day for work, sleep, and for life we reviewed above gives us a quick snapshot of our daily time but what does the big picture really look like?

We now have to breakdown what I do for those 9.5 hrs when I'm not at work or sleeping. To get a true picture I listed my 24hrs.

Here is my average daily breakdown.