What could be more important than growing your brand new business? Or building an already thriving business? The reality is that being a business owner is all consuming no matter the size or maturity of company, but life outside of work really is just as important. Work/life balance is an issue WE all struggle with at one time or another but as a business owner, how do you ever switch off and truly relax? Without balance, you could lose everything you have worked so hard for Stress and exhaustion can erode your health and you can lose precious time with your family and friends, including those real milestone events. Achieving balance sounds sensible but it isn’t always easy to put into practice, so here are 7 tips to developing your work/life balance more effectively:
Plan out your day. Strip it right back and look at whether you are more effective in the morning or afternoon. Early bird? Get those difficult tasks out of the way and leave the mundane jobs for the afternoon. Knowing what you plan to achieve and prioritising will help you structure your day and allow you to get stuff done! Remember that multi-tasking doesn’t work, and distractions can be time vampires. Be clear on your plan, focus on one thing at a time and don’t let unnecessary distractions get in the way of achieving your goal. Don’t forget to schedule in your social life – make time to attend family functions, catch up with friends, go to the gym. Fit in time for you and your physical and mental health will thank you for it.
DELEGATE, DELEGATE, THEN DELEGATE SOME MORE
Of course no one can do it better than you but employ the right people, trust them, and then give them the responsibility and authority to do a brilliant job. Delegation builds trust, develops your team, builds morale and releases you to achieve more within your business and your personal life. We aren’t saying it’s easy to let go but you cannot do everything - so get your people right and then let them get on with making your business awesome!
BOOK THAT HOLIDAY
Just because you own a business or are part of the senior management team, doesn’t mean you should forgo holidays. In fact, it becomes even more important that you take time out to recharge the mind and the body. Depending on where you are in terms of the growth cycle of your business and/or your budget, a holiday may mean a trip to Tuscany for a month or a long weekend camping trip out in the bush. It doesn’t matter what it is, just make sure you get away and reboot.
LEAVE ON TIME
It may be tempting to get a few more hours in when your team have gone for the day, but working for too long can be unproductive. Working too much and the stress that it can cause can lead to depression, sleep problems, impaired memory and even heart disease. Think about it, do you really make your best decisions after a week of 11 hour days? Thought not. So go home and get some rest so you can do it bigger and better tomorrow.
LEAVE YOUR WORK AT WORK
This is a tough one. As a business leader, you don’t really have the luxury of downing tools (or laptop) and skipping off home every night like an employee can. But if you plan your days and delegate well, you should be able to fit in more R&R type activities that replenish the soul and keep you on top of your business game. Try to give yourself a decent break from emails and phone calls – this space will once again allow you to recuperate and think more clearly, making you a better manager and leader.
We don’t just mean bring in an amazing team like HR Staff n’ Stuff to manage all your HR challenges – although that is a great idea! Take pressure off yourself by outsourcing your bookkeeping, social media management, technical support, cleaning, data entry. The list is endless and is defined by the needs of your business and your budget but think about taking some pressure off by outsourcing if possible. You will find extra hours in your week where you can get big picture stuff done that will drive your business forward and you won’t have to do invoicing at 11:30 at night as that is the only time you have spare!
KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE
If you don’t already have some ideas on the goals you want to achieve, then get on to it now. And then make sure you put them somewhere you can see them. These will be a clear reminder of what you are doing, why you are doing it and will focus your attention and determine your long and short term priorities.
Business leaders have full responsibility for their business successes or failures and the result is that it can be difficult to remove yourself completely for any length of time. Think about what you can change – one small step at a time - and reap the benefits of bringing balance back into your life.
If you do need help as it is all too overwhelming, contact us and we’ll help you remove some of the burden in your business and restore your work life balance!