Top tips for a better work-life balance
If you are finding it difficult to juggle the responsibility of your job with the rest of your life, you're not alone. Here is how you can enjoy your home life as well as keeping on top of your career.
Author: Charlotte Cobley
Most small business owners would agree that you need to demonstrate super-human levels of effort and commitment to have a chance of establishing and growing your startup. Practically speaking, this often involves working long hours, juggling responsibilities and making sacrifices.
But if you plan to run your business as a long-term venture, you’ll want to aim for a rewarding work/life balance, too, or you could end up wondering whether it’s worth the effort.
So, what can you do to balance the scales?
If you have the opportunity to work flexibly, make the most of it. While the downside of this way of working can mean there’s a blurring of boundaries between work and leisure time, it can also deliver the bonus of an hour off in the afternoon for a spot of exercise or the school run.
Avoid becoming isolated. If you’re ploughing your own furrow 100% of the time, you’re apt to lose perspective and exaggerate every knock and bump along the way. Share your plans with people you trust and sound out ideas when you can – an objective point of view is sometimes just what you need to regain your sense of direction.
Manage your workload
Prioritise tasks and set realistic goals for achieving them. See if there are any processes that can be automated or that would benefit from streamlining. If you’re panicking because you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, it may be time to consider outsourcing tasks like admin, accounting and marketing to a third party.
Build a team
You may get to a point where you have to grow your team in order to grow your business. If you find yourself in the happy position of having consistently high levels of work plus healthy sale projections, start thinking about recruitment. Focus on delegating the tasks that will free you up to do what you do best.
Easier said than done, obviously, but you do need to strike a balance between worrying about missing something important and enjoying distraction-free leisure time. Consider allocating specific times to check email and have a cut-off time each day when you switch off and power down.
Make tech work in your favour by choosing and using the apps that give you more time. Hootsuite helps you streamline your social media output, while VOIP apps like Skype enable face-to-face meetings without the travel time. Cloud storage solutions such as Dropbox let you manage, access and share files on the go
It’s your business and only you can decide how to find the right balance between work and free time. Some people are happy to work the odd evening or Saturday morning if it means they can collect the kids from school, others prefer the discipline of keeping stricter hours.
Whatever your routine, it can be hard to disconnect, especially when the buck stops with you. So make sure you set some boundaries (and stick to them), schedule time with family and friends, look for ways to work smarter rather than harder and keep reminding yourself why you did this in the first place!