We know firsthand that sometimes it can be challenging to balance your responsibilities as a business owner with your personal commitments, family duties and social life. In fact, studies show that small business owners work twice as much as the average employee, and 25 percent work more than 60 hours per week. Oftentimes this is not sustainable for entrepreneurs, and can lead to burnout. We’ve put together a few tips below to help you (and us!) maintain a healthy work / life balance.
Set Clearly Defined Hours for Your Work Day (and Perhaps Consider a Four Day Work Week)
In the era of flexible remote working and working from home, it can be especially difficult to set clear boundaries around when and where your work starts and stops. Even if you are based in an office, many business owners struggle with leaving at a reasonable hour, or spending time in the morning to connect with family, read non-work related articles, meditate, exercise or do anything except dive right into work. Do yourself a favor and set a hard start/stop time for your work day – then stick to it. Encouraging your employees to do the same will help you all hold each other accountable.
Many business owners are also considering the four-day work week as a more radical option to maintain a balance between work and life. In this arrangement, workers (and business owners) are expected to retain the same level of productivity, receive the same compensation, and work only four days a week. While it may not be the solution for everyone, the results of multiple experiments have been positive, so it could be something to consider for your business.
Take a Break (No, Seriously, Stop Eating at Your Desk!)
It has been proven that true breaks away from your task at hand can spike your productivity and creativity. Use these mental and physical breaks to reset, and do things that support the “life” part of work/life balance – whether it’s meeting a friend for coffee, taking a fresh air walk, hitting a mid-day yoga class, or ticking off necessary personal admin errands like going to the post office or the dentist (this last one frees up so much mental space to actually relax when your work day is done).
‘Do Not Disturb’ Is Your Friend
As a small business owner, it seems there is always someone or something that needs your attention. However, if you are constantly tuned in and responding to every notification, communication or task that pops up, you never really have a mental break from work. Politely show the world that you need a bit of ‘me time’ by turning on the Do Not Disturb setting on your phone and laptop, or setting an ‘Away’ status on Slack or G-chat.
Schedule Time for Personal Activities, Not Just Work Meetings
Your work calendar is chock full of meetings, brainstorm sessions, one-on-ones, strategy calls and whatever else requires you as a business owner to keep your company ticking. This schedule is your lifeline when it comes to making sure your business activities happen, so why not handle your personal calendar with the same zeal? Create actual written or digital calendar events for playground time with your kids, a movie date with your spouse, dinner with friends – heck, even a self-care night that only involves you and a bubble bath – put it on the calendar. Pursue whatever it is that fills your cup as a human being, not just a business owner. Keeping these dates on your calendar makes you less inclined to cancel or postpone personal appointments in lieu of more work.
Delegate and Outsource
Many business owners often assume they need to have their hand in every task because otherwise the job won’t get done right – but there is great power and freedom in learning to trust your team of employees or partners to take on tasks they are more than capable of handling. For example, you can outsource tasks that other people are better suited to do (like Sparrow Tech for your IT!) As the entrepreneur / founder / owner, your energy should be spent on your core business objectives – and business growth strategy. If you are trying to do all of that AND more menial tasks that don’t need your input, your work/life balance will definitely be out of whack.
Take the first step in improving your work/life balance – contact us today to start the discussion about outsourcing your IT to a trusted partner.