Work-Life Balance

My Mother and Aunt on a rocking horse

My Mother and Aunt on a rocking horse

It's up to us as individuals to take control and responsibility for the type of lives that we want to lead. -Nigel Marsh1

It would be easy to balance your life with work if you were retired right? But, is it possible to enjoy the journey now and create a good balance between life and work? Finding the right balance is especially hard for someone who is working for themselves, as many genealogy entrepreneurs do. The life of an entrepreneur can be overly work focused. However, even in this demanding work situation, emotional, physical, spiritual health, and relationships have to balance with work in order to be happy and avoid burnout.

Key to balancing your life with your work is to set boundaries. How do you set boundaries? Saying no can be hard when you are working as a genealogy entrepreneur. Setting limits on the hours you work and when you will answer phones and emails will help you keep your sanity when you are working for yourself. Setting aside a certain place to work and not letting work bleed into other locations in life is helpful as well. Too much work may be a sign you need more help. Sharing some of your responsibilities with other people can help you find more time for the other parts of life. Many resources exist to help you hire virtual assistants and consultants who can temporarily or permanently help lighten the load at work. Evaluate what you need to do yourself and find help for the things that you can let go of.

Taking time to evaluate your priorities and make sure you are meeting goals in all aspects of life is key to being happy at work. A yearly wilderness retreat, by yourself or with co-workers, can help you plan and make course corrections. The negative consequences of letting work become disproportionately heavy are too great to play with. Your health, your relationships, and your sanity can not be sacrificed on the altar of building a genealogy business.

Balancing is really a set of course corrections as something continues to move and fluctuate from side to side. Sometimes, the focus leans to one aspect of life or the other and that is ok. Good balance can teeter back and forth between emotional, physical, spiritual, relationships, and work. One aspect can be more demanding than another for a while but as we strive to bring challenges in one aspect of life back into line, we find an overall balance through the long term. Finding a good life/work balance is a continual process, and an important one.


Janet Hovorka

About Janet Hovorka

Janet Hovorka owns Family ChartMasters, an award winning genealogy chart printing service that is the official printer for most genealogy software and database companies. She is the author of the Zap the Grandma Gap book and workbook series that help people connect to their family members by connecting them to their family history. Janet writes The Chart Chick blog, the Zap The Grandma Gap blog, has written for numerous genealogy publications and enjoys speaking about genealogy. She is a past president of the Utah Genealogical Association and teaches genealogy, business and library science at Salt Lake Community College.

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