Finding time for your business and things you love while working a 9-5

By Carina Lawson

work life balance image featuredClocking in sun up to sun down and trying to keep your business afloat, you can most likely relate to having so many things that require your full attention that more often than not, you end up not being able to your full, undivided attention to even half of them, if any at all!

And not only does your business call for your attention but your family and home life require it as well, and just as much (if not more!)

It can sometimes feel like you’re being pulled in many different directions and more often than not, you’re left feeling exhausted at the end of every day or just confused about where to get started. With so many things demanding your attention and (what feels like) so little time to give to every single one, it can be difficult to focus on any one thing at all and then we start to feel like we’re falling behind in our work days both physically as well as mentally.

I’ve put together a list of my top tips that will help you feel more fulfilled at work, business, and home life without feeling like you’re letting one fall by the wayside!

Make space 

Your life is full—yet true fulfillment is found during those “in-between” moments. More than just helping you cross items off a to-do list. Being away even if for a little while, can give you a fresh perspective, allow you to rest, and come back refreshed to better serve your family, friends, and work. In your everyday, this could mean scheduling your Zoom meetings in blocks of time that give you some breathing room in between so that you can take a break, refocus, and bring in your best energy to the next appointment. Not every minute of your every day needs to be planned. White space to set intentions, reflect on milestones, and organise your day in tangible ways is just as important to give you the calm and clarity to move forward, on purpose.

Call it like it is

Our internal dialogue and thoughts have the power to give us hope, or the power to leave us feeling hopeless. Your work is not just your 9-5 but the place where you get to practice the skills for which you were trained, or the place that allows you to do the work that supports or family. Your business is not just a side hustle, it’s where you get to unleash your creativity. Your family are not just the people you need to cook for or you need to rush to see but the individuals who love you immensely and who take care of you. If you are a professional (insert 9-5 job title here) who is also a business owner with a beautiful family. Changing the way we refer to the different parts of our lives makes us pay attention more closely to the important roles we are lucky to have in our lives. By changing the way you refer to your business, you are giving each part the respect that it deserves and you place yourself as the protagonist in each of these settings.

Compartmentalise your time like a Pro

Productivity is something that every company, every business owner, and almost every person I know is striving for. When we are more productive, we accomplish more. A study published in Nature Communications highlights that our collective attention span is indeed narrowing, and that this effect occurs — not only on social media — but also across diverse domains including books, web searches, movie popularity, and more. You do your best work when you are not multi-tasking. In order to give each aspect of your life the attention and care that it deserves, you need to give it undivided attention with professional precision. It would not be professional of an employee of yours to be working on their business while on the clock for your business, would it? When you are at work, pause your business inbox on your phone so that you are not constantly receiving notifications.  You can also effectively use time-blocking so that you spend a certain amount of time in your business inbox and create a habit of only checking your emails at specified intervals. Compartmentalizing your time allows you to

While some may think of this as limiting, it can be incredibly freeing to know you do not have to check your business inbox until (insert specified time here). If you are able to outsource some of your business activities to a virtual assistant while you are at work, even better. That way, you do your best work when you are serving in your professional capacity at work and you have the space and energy to take care of business when you specified it to be appropriate, later in the day. When you focus on one task with intention, you complete it well. You are invested. You are present. Imagine how much more you can give in a conversation when you are fully present. Compartmentalising your time is a gift that allows you to turn your computer off so that you can shift your focus, fully – without giving the previous activity a second glance.

Make Realistic Commitments

Sure, we’d love to get everything done in a day. However, it is often not realistic that may be the case as there is always an opportunity cost with every choice. The opportunity cost of working on your business every day for 4 hours a day when you come home from work may be that you exercise less, spend less time with your family, or have less time to yourself. Instead, working on the right things that move the needle in your business with no distractions may allow you more time to spend with the people you love or pursue something that gives you pleasure. Making realistic commitments also means accounting for time when you need help and breaks time for you to show up at your best.

Carina LawsonAbout the author

Carina Lawson is a Time Management Coach and the Founder of Ponderlily Planners & Journals. See more at

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