Giving you quality time on both sides of the scale.
Ahh work/life balance – it’s something that everyone we know is trying to achieve and likely, if you’re reading this, you’re in the same boat. According to research, only a third of people in the UK are happy with work/life balance – that leaves two-thirds of us who feel that the scales are tipping further and further into the work side. Which sounds about right.
A misaligned work/life balance tends to happen when we have too much on our plate – work-related-work and life-related-work (we’re looking at you, life admin). When all of this piles up, it can lead to burnout, stress and in general, makes us feel just a tad overwhelmed.
If you’ve ever read the phrase ‘you have as many hours in the day as Beyoncé’ online, we’re here to call it absolute bullsh*t. Sure, technically, we all have 24 hours in a day, but unless you have someone taking care of meals, housework, flying your private jet with zero airport queues and the rest, then all those Beyoncé hours are gone in a flash and yes, what remains tends to be taken up with work. That aside, if there’s one thing we can learn from Bey, it’s the power of outsourcing.
There are lots of different things that can contribute towards work/life balance – flexible working, working for yourself, part-time hours – but all of these things can be made even more productive with outsourcing. This idea is the whole premise behind Tim Ferriss’ outsourcing bible – ‘The 4 Hour Work Week’ where Tim writes about how delegation can free you hours-upon-hours of time.
“Being overwhelmed is often as unproductive as doing nothing, and is far more unpleasant. Being selective – doing less – is the path of the productive. Focus on the important few and ignore the rest.” – Tim Ferriss
This concept is also the whole point of ibLE – we wanted to give everyone (business owners, busy parents, flexible workers) access to fully-qualified virtual assistants with years of experience, whenever they need them most. Our VA’s can be booked for as little as 5-minute increments, so you only pay for what you need without having to hire your own assistant. For us, outsourcing is the secret to work/life balance, here’s why…
Automation can only do so much
Before you hire a Virtual Assistant, it’s worthwhile looking at how you can automate certain tasks and processes. The technology is out there and one little time investment could help to save heaps of time along the way. However, there are some tasks that AI can’t quite master (yet) and also need more of a human touch. More often than not, these are the tasks that end up on even a pro automater’s to-do list, but by outsourcing, they too can be managed.
It allows you to work on the stuff only you can do
In his book, Tim Ferriss said “I expected the company could very well fail without my constant management and I’ve accepted that if the company couldn’t coexist with my life, I was willing to sacrifice it.” – sound familiar? As CEOs, it’s natural to have an underlying panic that the business can’t possibly survive without your constant attention – but in reality, it will probably do just fine (no matter what anxiety or egos have to say about it). A Harvard study revealed that even on “days off”, business leaders worked nearly two and a half hours per day – which doesn’t do too much for the whole work/life balance thing. When you outsource, you can delegate all of the tasks that don’t need your attention, and instead, free up your time to concentrate on only the things that you can do.
It gives you space to focus
How many times have you been in the middle of something important, but you’d had to stop to answer an email, or arrange a meeting, only to find yourself trying to refocus for the next 20 minutes? These interruptions can kick your mind out of something called ‘Flow State’ a concept coined by Psychologist and Author, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi that describes a state of heightened focus and immersion that hits the sweet spot between enjoyment, challenge and ease. Outsourcing frees you of these flow-blocking interruptions, giving you the space to complete your work in the most effective way possible.
It gives you quality life time
After 8.5 hours at work, you come home, sit down (again), grab your laptop (again) and spend the next 4 hours taking care of life admin. Even though this is technically on the life side of the scale, it’s still work. There’s a common misconception that Virtual Assistants should only be used for work-related-work, but really, it’s those life-admin tasks that eat into that all-important life time. By outsourcing these tasks, you can make the most of that time.
That’s the thing about work/life balance – it’s not necessarily about time, but more about the quality of that time. You could have 4 hours of stressful work, matched with 20 hours of hectic life and the scales still won’t feel balanced – if you’re overwhelmed on either side, it can throw off the other, unless there are processes (eg: outsourcing) put in place to set things right. Above all, prioritise the quality of your time, making the most of both work and life to achieve that fine balance.
Get started on finding that balance today with an ibLE Virtual Assistant.