If you're in the process of starting your own business or maybe you already own your own business, you probably can relate to the long hours it takes to get the ball rolling. And while it does take a lot of time and effort to have a successful business, it's important not to forget about your life outside of work. With today's technology, it's a lot easier to stay connected to work but as a result we stay connected when we're at home, with family, on vacation, etc. When the lines between life at home and life at work become blurry, it can start to have a negative impact. Let's look at some ways to improve your work-life balance...
5 Ways to Maintain a Work-Life Balance
1. Leave Work AT Work
With smartphones, laptops, tablets, and even our watches it can be difficult to truly disconnect from work. This is especially true if you work from home. To truly achieve balance, you must separate your work from your personal life. So, while you're at home, you shouldn't:
Respond to non-important work emails or texts
Work on work-related projects at home
Use your work phone or work computer
2. Give Yourself a Reasonable Work Schedule
It's easy to feel guilty if you start convincing yourself you aren't putting in enough hours at your business. Working longer hours, however, does not always mean being more productive. You can set aside a certain number of hours per day to work on your business to avoid overworking. Working 40 hours per week and having more free time outside of your business is a good starting point. The time you spend away from work is beneficial to your health and may even increase your overall productivity.
3. Saying "No" (I promise, it's going to be okay)
Whether you've been in business for years or are just getting started, knowing when to say "no" can keep you from taking on more work than you can handle. If you're having trouble finishing your work, take a look at your current client list to see which ones are causing you stress and draining your energy. Inform these clients that you are unable to take on their business at this time. Taking on new business seems like a step in the right direction but it could do more harm than good if your work-load is at max capacity.
4. Delegate Your Work
When you're the mastermind behind your business, you probably have a certain way you like things done. Sit down and think about all the tasks you have at hand... Can you delegate some of those tasks to some of your employees? Remember your employees are there to make your life EASIER. If the tasks are a little more complex, mark out some time on your calendar and train them how to do it. This will also create a better relationship with your employees by making them feel more valuable. They may actually have some good ideas too.. Learning to trust your employees takes tedious work off of your hands and lets you focus on the big picture details and concepts.
5. Make Time for Yourself (put it on your calendar if you have to)
Take a second and think about why you started your own business in the first place... Did the word "freedom" come to mind? While there's always work to be done, don't lose sight at why you started your own business in the first place. You've probably put an insane amount of hours starting your business and as it grows, you should be finding ways to take advantage of that freedom you've worked so hard for. Make time for yourself, whether it's socializing with friends and family or pursuing a hobby. Or, hey take a vacation. Just know that it is not jeopardizing the success of your business. Instead, it aids in the improvement of your physical and mental health, as well as the improvement of your work-life balance.
I know it feels like there aren't enough hours in the day sometimes and deadlines have to be met but when you get a work-related text at home, stop and start thinking to yourself "can this wait till tomorrow?" Sure, it might be a quick question with a quick response but when the work wheels start turning, they can be hard to shut off. Think about some of the tips we discussed and start making your personal life a priority. Put your phone on do-not disturb if you have to and remember a healthy business owner=a healthy business.
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