How to Not Feel Guilty About Your Work-Life Balance
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Do you ever feel guilty about your work-life balance?
Where you’re trying to balance your work life and your everything-else life — and worrying what other people think about how you use your time as an entrepreneur.
You’re Type A, you work a lot.
You’ve had the not-so-fun conversation (quite a few times, actually…) with your family and friends. The one where just because you don’t have a normal 9-to-5 schedule doesn’t mean you can do such n such. Fill in the blank — everything from randomly watching their baby to driving way across town for lunch to going shopping all day…you name, you’ve been asked it.
You’ve gotten the huffs and oooooookay’s from family/friends because you say you are neck deep in a project or are barely managing the workload you have, and there’s just not a way for you to add in something else into your schedule that day.
You work from home, so that means you have time to do whatever you want, whenever you want, right?
So if you say no to a favor or a get together because you’re working, you’re just being rude or selfish…right?
While that’s definitely not the case…it sure feels that way sometimes. Especially if someone reacts negatively to your response.
Or even if they’re understanding, you still feel a little guilty you can’t do everything for everyone.
Feeling guilty about your work-life balance
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you should be super ridged with your schedule and never take advantage of the fact you do work from home to do things you otherwise couldn’t if you were working at a cubicle.
But you have work to do. And sometimes that work takes longer than a normal 40-hour work week. And sometimes you have to say no, you can’t do xyz.
Some days for me are slammed. I’ll work 12+ hours and still have a mountain of to-dos left incomplete.
And then there are some days where my projects are super fast and I have a lot more free time than usual.
Or there are days where my brain is just worn out, and I need a break…so I don’t work like I usually do.
And so I go see a movie. Or take time to have a day date with a friend. Or take a nap.
But then sometimes I feel guilty because then I start overthinking.
What if someone who has questioned my schedule before finds out I took time off?
What if they think I’m being lazy?
Or that I just pick and choose when I want to be off and what I want to spend my time doing?
If you feel that way too…you aren’t the only one. It’s not very fun, especially when you’ve worked hard and earned the time off to breathe easy.
Learn how to handle the guilt
I’ve had to learn some people are just going to be a tad bit judgey sometimes because they just don’t get the entrepreneur life — no matter how many times you explain it.
And that a lot of other times, it’s all made up in my head and people really aren’t thinking I’m being lazy. They’re actually glad when I finally DO take a break.
Either way, how people respond to your time schedules working from home isn’t completely your — or my — responsibility.
It is our job to help others understand what entrepreneurial life is like and then be confident about the decisions we make about how we manage our time.
We also have to realize we can’t make everyone happy all the time — as much as we may like to.
If we need to work because projects are coming due and we have bills to pay, then we need to buckle down, say no to outside requests, and get to work.
And if we need to take a break and let our brains rest, then we take a break when we need to. It doesn’t matter what other people may or may not think about us.
It’s also our responsibility to remember that we do work from home so we can have the flexibility to break out of our routine sometimes to help or spend time with others. So take advantage of that — don’t hustle so hard you forget to actually live your life.
How do you handle your work schedule and other people asking you to do things they probably wouldn’t ask you if you worked a 9-to-5?
Do you ever feel guilty if you have to say no?