Work-Life Balance Tips from the Trenches

work-life balance

Work-Life Balance

How do entrepreneurs approach finding a healthy work-life balance? This can be a struggle for many of us. Finding the time to do both work and have a personal life tends to run together, which can cause stress and burnout.

Today, I am sharing some tips from some amazing women who are in the trenches with us. This group of entrepreneurial guests share their valuable insights and strategies for achieving a healthy work-life balance. From time management techniques to self-care practices and the importance of flexibility, these experienced sellers offer a diverse range of tips that are sure to resonate with educators and entrepreneurs alike.

Join us as we dive into these real-world tips and learn how they can help you find your own balance in work and life.

00:00 – Finding work-life balance – advice from peers

05:24 – Balancing work, family, and business

08:44 – The importance of self-care

12:21 – Entrepreneurs need diverse interests for productivity

13:38 – Focusing on personal hobbies

17:01-  Implement one tip for better work-life balance

Kristen 0:00
Hey y’all, and welcome to this episode of The Savvy Teacher Seller. I’m your host, Kristen Doyle. And today’s episode is all about finding a healthy work-life balance. Now I have to admit that this is something that I struggle with from time to time, as I know that probably most people listening do as well. Work-life balance is something that we as entrepreneurs, often have difficulty with. And I think part of it comes down to how passionate we are and how invested we are in our businesses. And the fact that it sometimes can be difficult to find other things that we are also passionate and invested in. And that can lead us down this path of having an unhealthy work life balance, and lead us toward burnout.

Kristen 0:43
So, since I can’t say that I am the expert, I thought we would do something a little bit different. Today, I am sharing some of your best advice for getting it all done and cultivating a healthy work-life balance. I’m calling it Tips From the Trenches because everyone who is sharing today is living in the same life situations that you are and that I am.

Kristen 1:06
You’ll hear from people who are working full time on their business, from side hustlers, who are working a full time job and then working to grow their business at the same time. You hear from women with very busy family schedules and lots of life situations going on. They are sharing some really incredible tips. So without further ado, here are our tips for finding healthy work life balance from some entrepreneurs that are in the trenches with you.

Angel 1:39
I’m Angel Hanz. One tip I have for getting it all done is to write down just three things I need to do on my next work session. I also add checkboxes because I like to check things off. I can always do more. But I’ll feel accomplished if I get those three things done.

Andrea 2:15
Hi, I’m Andrea from Outlet Learning. And my tip would be to use the Pomodoro method where you work for 25 minutes and have a five minute rest and I learned from Kristen Doyle. Another tip would be to have regular physical exercise like tennis or badminton or pickle ball, which I started playing recently. Okay, thank you.

Laura 2:35
Hi, I’m Laura from Oodles of Music. A Game changer for work-life balance was for me to quit using to-do lists and instead set aside a block of time and get as much done as I could. If your work time goes over, it’s going to cut into your personal life and your work time is likely to go over if you’re trying to check things off of a to do list. This idea comes from Nir Eyal who wrote the book “Indistractable.” it really helped me.

Jamie 3:00
Hi, I’m Jamie from Specialty Spanish. The thing that helps me balance it all is having a plan. Take the time to block out what you will do each time you sit down to work. I get so much more done when I already know that today I am writing a blog post about differentiation. And next Monday I will be updating my spring festivals resource. It helps me avoid spinning my wheels and makes me feel productive and accomplished.

Adriana 3:24
Hi, I’m Adriana from Fairies and Lesson Plans. As a full-time TPTer, I used to think I needed a structured schedule to be productive. I thought there were formulas that worked for better productivity and formulas that didn’t. Today, I know the best thing I can do for myself and for my business is to stay connected to my inner wisdom and to my own rhythms. That means my work schedule is different every day because I’m different every day. What matters is that when I’m working, I’m doing so wholeheartedly. So if you’re worried because it seems like you’re all over the place, consider trusting that you already know what works best for you. We’ve just been conditioned to think schedules need to look a certain way and they really don’t.

Kristin 4:04
Hi, my name is Kristin Menke from Integrated ELA Test Prep. I know that work life balance is tough, especially as a homeschooling mom of four who just had a baby six months ago. So one of my biggest tips is to think of life more like a seesaw. So sometimes you’re gonna you’re really productive and get a ton of assignments done and a ton of products completed. And then other times you may complete nothing or very little for that week in terms of your business, because your other things pulling you in different directions and that is totally okay. I hope this tip helps.

Wendy 4:45
Hi, my store is Wendy Wished and I work full time and create for TPT as well. I always felt like I never had enough time to devote to anything and then when I looked back I didn’t feel like I got things done. So I started writing a list of the things that I did get accomplished, so that eventually my page got longer and longer of the things that I did do, even though I was taking little chunks of time to get it done. So maybe that’s what will work for you to see those little baby steps turn into bigger and bigger things done.

Kristi 5:24
Hi, I’m Kristi from Kristie DeRoche Digitals and one thing I always struggle with is work-life-work balance. And I say work twice because I am still a full time teacher. And I do have a side business as well as having two children, and a whole household and husband to handle. So I found that to-do list, keeping it on my phone is the quickest way to stay on top of things being intentional with my time knowing when certain days of the week, I work on updating products. And then on other days of the week, I’ll work on any kind of new products and so on. So being intentional with your time so that way when you do have an hour, you’re filling it with things that you know you need to get done and not just looking around for what do I need to do today wasting any precious time you have. I use the time while my children sleep an hour before they wake up and an hour after they go to sleep. So that is my tip.

Natalie 6:19
Hey, I’m Natalie. I’m a former middle school ELA teacher and group fitness coach. While I believe there’s no such thing as doing it all, I do think we’re capable of more than we think when we are intentional about making time for what matters. I love to sit down at my computer with a cup of coffee in the morning, but before I do, I make sure to exercise for at least 30 minutes. Being a full time TPT seller is a very sedentary job. So being consistent with my workouts and elevating my heart rate gives me better energy and thought power. So I’m more effective when it’s time to work.

Natalie 6:54
The second thing I like to do is intentionally set life goals alongside my business goals. Each month I set goals for my business, then I set goals for my identity. What do I want to learn try or accomplish outside of my business? How many books do I want to read? What’s something special I want to do with my daughter, my son and my husband. And in order to achieve these goals, my time outside my business becomes just as valuable as my time inside my business, making it all the more important that I disconnect when the workday is through.

Lisa 7:27
Hi, everyone. I’m Lisa from Ripple Kindness SEL Activities, I have one more tip that I wanted to share. And it’s a big one because my life has been a little bit difficult in the last few years. I lost my mom, and it’s been very up and down and my emotions have been all over the place. One of the things that I’ve learned during that time, though, is that it is okay to just do what you can do. You have to be able to sometimes say to yourself, ‘This is all I can do today.’ And that’s okay. It’s good enough. And it will do. We have to give ourselves Grace during periods when things are not going so well. Or we have challenges in our lives. And I always thought I had to push through. You don’t. If you get two things done in a day, and you wanted to get five things done, it’s not that big a deal. And you really do deserve to give yourself a break. And when you give yourself a break, you’ll feel so good for. So please don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t do it all or if you have to take some time away because it’s important for you. And if you don’t look after you, you won’t be looking after your business or your family.

Andrea 8:44
Hi, this is Carrie from That Savvy Special Educator, as a teacherprenuer, a wife and a mom of six grown children, I’ve had first hand experience through the years with juggling so many demands that eventually you lose the rhythm as kept the pace going and end up with everything all over the place. It may seem counterintuitive, especially if you’re strapped for time and struggling to make ends meet. But to achieve the elusive work life balance, I have learned to intentionally unplug from technology and engage in self care practices. I make time to recharge and relax whether it is participating in an online yoga class, spending time in nature or indulging the spa day incorporating a pedicure massage or time in the sauna.

Andrea 9:27
I subscribe to the belief that investing in my mental and emotional well being is worth every penny. When I am full I can give more of myself to my business and to others connecting with nature through hiking, biking, kayaking, and paddle boarding also helps bring out this self care time without any work related stressors and distractions has helped me foster a sense of harmony between personal well being and work responsibilities and be able to be more present for my family and more productive in my work rejuvenated with a positive mindset and a nourished soul. If you haven’t, make time for yourself yet do it, you are worth the investment.

Joan 10:04
Hi, it’s Joan from Teaching Thrive, and my tip for finding the time to do it all, including working on your own TPT store is to work for an hour in the morning before your day begins. I know that sounds awful, but I worked my way into it. I set my alarm for 30 minutes early for a few weeks. Then when I got used to that, I added another 15 minutes, and then another 15 minutes. That way, once you go to school and the day gets crazy, you don’t have to worry you already invested in yourself and your business. And whatever the day brings. You’ve already quote unquote paid yourself first. Hope that helps.

Marcy 10:55
Hey, y’all, I’m Marcy from Saddle Up For 2nd Grade and I have been a TPT seller for 12 years, which seems so crazy to think about. During this time, I’ve experienced extreme burnout from many sides of the TPT business, from working it as a hobby and a side hustle to it being my full time job, and having a small team actually just returned back to the classroom this year. And while I’ve really enjoyed being back saddle up for second grade doesn’t go away. Balancing it all is not easy, whether you are doing it full time, or whether you’re doing it part time. And one thing that has really helped me is by not neglecting self care. I’m an Enneagram 2 and I always put other needs before my own. Self-care for me includes three things; that’s spending time in God’s word, working out and reading for fun.

Marcy 11:45
My routine drastically changed when I went back into the classroom. I’m not a morning person at all, Kristen can attest to this. So instead of doing my Bible study in the mornings, it’s now done in the evenings before I go to bed. I jump on my peloton and I work out as soon as I get home after school before I even sit down because if I don’t, I’m not getting back up. And I read for at least an hour before I fall asleep. I consider that my me time and it helps calm my brain down. I spent so many years focused on the grind and my mental health suffered big time.

Kristen 12:21
Wow, what a great selection of tips covering so many different things. As I was listening through all of the submissions that people sent in with all of their advice, I noticed some repeated themes throughout. And I wanted to kind of call those out here at the end of the episode. The first one I noticed is how important it is for us as entrepreneurs to have interests and hobbies that are outside of our businesses. It is so easy to let our business consume all our thoughts our free time. But taking care of ourselves outside of that work actually helps us to be more focused and productive when we are working to.

Kristen 13:01
And like Natalie said, having those personal goals that you set in addition to the goals you’ve set for your business is so good to keep us accountable for taking the time to do things for ourselves. That self care is just so very important. Whether that comes for you in the form of getting outside getting exercise, watching a movie or reading books, whatever it is that you need to do to cut your brain off from the work so that you are thinking about other things and doing other things. Because we really are all designed to be well rounded people who do lots of different types of things. And it’s just so easy for us as entrepreneurs, to focus in so hard on our business goals that we forget about all the other parts of our personalities. So definitely cultivate those interests and those hobbies and make the time to do those things. Whether it’s before work after work, or however you’re able to squeeze in that self care and those personal goals as well.

Kristen 13:59
One of the second things I noticed over and over and over was to have a plan for your work time. Whether that means you are setting specific times that you work every week, you are getting up early and working before school, working after your kids go to bed, those sorts of things, or you’re making to do lists so that you know what you’re working on on different days.

Kristen 14:20
Or like Angel said, making a list of those top three tasks that you need to accomplish. That is one specific strategy that I’m so glad someone shared because it’s one that has helped me a lot. I’ve actually been doing that for many, many years now. And I think I initially learned it from Angela Watson. But just jotting down those focus or priority tasks that really need to get done. And then letting the rest of the things be extras if you have time. That really helps me to stay focused to get the most important things done and not get sucked down the rabbit hole of you know some of the things that pop up and see what’s important or urgent but maybe aren’t actually those needle mover tasks.

Kristen 15:00
Now last but absolutely not least, is the importance of giving yourself grace to work within whatever flow feels good for you right now. That might mean you have seasons where you are focused and you are working really hard and other seasons where you let your business take a little bit of a backseat to whatever else is going on in your life. It might mean breaking out of the feeling that you shouldn’t be working certain days or times and you shouldn’t work others.

Kristen 15:28
As entrepreneurs, the idea that we should work a certain schedule just really doesn’t have to be part of our life. In fact, what we should do is we should be able to work anytime, anywhere we want and not work anytime, anywhere, we don’t want to that flexibility is supposed to be part of this entrepreneurship deal. So definitely embrace that and give yourself grace. For the days that work just isn’t happening today. And you’ll make it up at a different time.

Kristen 15:58
All right, to everyone who took the time to send me a tip. Thank you so so much for putting yourself out there for recording your tips for taking the time out of your day to send it in. Please, please know that if your tip was not featured today, it is simply because there were so many great responses and I didn’t want to end up with an hour long episode. So I tried to narrow down and eliminate any that were duplicates and things like that. But honestly, there were just so many amazing tips that were sent in. I may have to do another episode like this sometime, if you let me know that you guys enjoyed it.

Kristen 16:34
Thank you so so much for listening. If you have an entrepreneur friend who also struggles with work life balance, and let’s face it, who doesn’t share this episode with them and help them to find some tips that maybe they can put in place as well. Your action set for today is to just pick one of these tips that just hit you just right that made you feel like you know, that’s something that might help me implement that one tip and see how much it helps to just put into place one thing to help you find that healthy work life balance. Talk to you soon friends.

Kristen 17:15
I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you did, please share it with another teacher seller who would also find it helpful. For more resources on Growing Your TPT business. Head to Kristin doyle.co forward slash TPT. Talk to you soon.

Ready to see growth in your business? You’re in the right place.

I’m here to give you no-fluff tools and strategies that will really make an impact on your sales. We’re talking SEO, improving product listings, leveraging your website, and more. 

About Your Host

Your host, Kristen Doyle, has a decade of experience selling on TpT and has made all the mistakes so that you don’t have to! As a web designer and the go-to SEO expert in the TpT world, she loves helping TpT sellers stand out in the crowd & grow their businesses with passive income strategies.

Tune in to hear Kristen cover all aspects of running a TpT business – from leveraging SEO, to improving product listings, to effective TpT seller strategies for your store and website.

Want to DIY your website with guidance from a pro?