Take care of you. When you don’t eat, don’t exercise and get no sleep, and have been living off adrenaline way too long, your productive output suffers as a result. Your decision making suffers. Your business suffers.
Everybody has “stuff” To do.
Achieving the perfect work-life balance as an entrepreneur or small business owner can be a difficult task.
In this post, we are going to talk about how to achieve as close to the optimum work-life balance possible with 18 actionable tips you can implement right now.
Let’s dive right in.
What is Work-Life Balance?
Many small business owners have trouble with work and life and wonder how to find the perfect balance?
Work-life balance refers to a concept that centres around prioritising between your ambition and career and your lifestyle outside of your work setting.
A large proportion of those self-employed feels a dissatisfaction and an imbalance in their work and personal lives.
When setting up your own business, it can take a lot of effort from a time investment standpoint along with the emotional rollercoaster that comes along with it.
Further, you are also supposed to do activities outside of your work that helps you identify with who you truly are. For some, these two separate identities merge together to become one, resulting in stress and unhappiness; not what you originally pictured when starting life as an entrepreneur.
24 Work-Life Balance Tips for Entrepreneurs
So, the question is how do you manage work and home life?
Many companies have adopted practices that give their employees benefits that assist them in achieving their own work-life balance.
For small business owners, freelancers, and entrepreneurs, achieving work-life balance can be difficult as there is an added stressor of being in complete charge of your workload and its success.
Here are 24 work-life balance tips for entrepreneurs and small business owners so that you can start reaping the benefits and have a happier, healthier lifestyle.
1. Manage your time
Time management is an effective strategy for many aspects of your life. For work-life balance, it means that you have to decide hard deadlines for yourself.
If you compartmentalise your workload into set time frames, you’ll remove a huge amount of stress from yourself. This also helps with boosting productivity as you’ll be setting goals for yourself to get tasks and assignments done.
A large proportion of the most successful entrepreneurs performs some form of meditation as part of their daily routine. In fact, there are 76 science-backed reasons why you should meditate. http://liveanddare.com/benefits-of-meditation/
Meditation can be the solution you are looking for if you find it difficult to take a step back from all of the thoughts racing around in your head.
3. Have a social life
Those who have to focus too much on work tend to let their social life slip into the background. While employees are good to talk to, you want to keep that professional persona intact and keep the conversation steered toward work activities.
Having an activity planned for the week with your friends helps give you something to look forward to if your workload becomes stressful. For self-employed work-life balance, remember to schedule your work around your life. Don’t let work dictate what you want to do in your personal life
4. Take time for yourself
While having time with friends is nice, you also want to plan some time for yourself. This is where the real relaxation begins. Those days where you have an open slot of time; it may seem like available time to be social or to fit in some extra work, but this time should be spent doing something for yourself.
This “me” time doesn’t have to be going to the spa to get a massage. It can be as simple as doing some exercise, sign up for a local yoga class, enjoying an hour of your favourite TV show, or going to the cinema.
5. Enjoy weekends and holidays
You need to remember to truly enjoy the time off that you’ve given yourself as a small business owner.
When on holiday, do not answer work-related phone calls or emails or spend time on work assignments.
By taking the time to relax and chill away from your workspace you will feel revitalised heading into the new work week.
6. Be Productive, Not Busy
It is very easy to “feel” busy; staying up late and working weekends. Actually, this does not always result in getting tasks done.
Productivity is about doing things effectively not being a hero by missing sleep or skipping meals, in fact, it might even be killing you!
Focus on what business tasks you can automate or even what you could outsource to a virtual PA. This will allow you to make better use of your time.
7. Set aside time for loved ones
If you have a partner and kids waiting for you to get off the job every night, you will no doubt miss them when you’re overworking yourself.
You never want to let your work keep you from missing out on important life events in your family. If you have a young child, you will want to be there for their first steps or that first day at school. These are the key moments in life that truly hold sentiment.
You will also want to be there when your partner needs you. For entrepreneurs and freelancers, it’s easy to let work take over your life and linger in the back of your mind even when you are present for special moments.
Remember to set work aside every now and then and truly enjoy the moments you have with your loved ones.
8. Get housework and errands done
You don’t want all of your free time away from work to be dedicated to working around the house. Many people neglect their house cleaning and errands from exhaustion due to overworking.
A messy living area only adds to the stress caused by working.
By prioritising what you need to do around the house, you can finish all errands at the beginning of the week and dedicate the rest of the week to time blocks of relaxation and work.
9. Set boundaries in the workplace
By being in charge of your own work, you have an easier chance to manage your work-life balance than those who work 9 to 5 for an organisation.
With no supervisor, you can easily slip into doing too many personal things while on the clock.
You need to avoid having your personal and work life blend or you’ll begin to feel like you’re always obligated to work.
If you have any employees under you, you need to set boundaries between yourself and them. You need them to see you as a boss; being friends outside of work can make you feel like work is following you home. Boundaries help to compartmentalise your work.
10. Schedule yourself shifts, don’t feel obligated to work while off the clock
Being your own boss gives you the complete power to decide when you work. While that freedom may seem like a good thing, it’s easy to let your time slip to just an aspect of life causing you to easily neglect your work or hyper-fixate and only work without a set schedule.
It’s recommended that you still set a schedule for yourself. For work-life balance, you need to set hard boundaries on when your work day ends and what needs to get done during times of work.
11. Leave your inbox alone
As a business owner, your inbox plays a vital role in everyday operations but there is no need to check your mail every few minutes.
Studies have shown that people who look at their email often, have a harder time recovering their chain of thought.
Having a clear mind helps for productivity and helps reduce stress; unless it’s an emergency, do not respond to emails while at home.
Wait until the next day when you’re in your office to break the habit of replying to emails all day.
12. Turn Off Distractions
Distractions can take many forms. As a fast thinking freelancer, there is often many around you. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/smartphone-usage-estimates_us_5637687de4b063179912dc96
85 times a day you check that little device which is most probably on your desk or even in your hand right now. As a generation, we let social media take over at times.
Try turning your phone off for a couple of hours a day or set it to flight mode, I wonder what will happen?
13. Be sure to enforce authority on and off the clock
Your employees need to look at you as an authority. While you’re looking to seem like a cool boss to your employees, you also need to make sure they don’t take advantage of your kindness.
More importantly, you need to assert authority with yourself. There’s no one above you to make sure you finish an assignment or clean the bathroom.
Sometimes you just don’t feel like doing anything, but by making sure that you get tasks done both at work and at home, you ensure that you’re cutting out stress.
14. Make sure your routine is focused on the times you feel most energised
Some people are morning people, some are night people, and some people just enjoy the middle of the day.
For freelance work-life balance, the time that you should schedule yourself to work should be the time that you’re most energised. This will make sure that you’re at your most productive.
15. Block out time for yourself like you would an appointment
It’s already been established that time for yourself is extremely important. To efficiently do this, act as though your time to yourself is scheduled like an appointment. Doing this gives it importance so you don’t feel the urge to blow it off.
Go book an appointment with yourself now!
16. Connect with others like you
When things get overwhelming at work, you should have someone who you feel comfortable with to talk to.
Talking to your employees about problems you’re facing can be seen as unprofessional.
Forming relationships with other entrepreneurs and freelancers gives you a chance to not only vent problems you may be facing with your business but also gives you the opportunity to learn from their progress as well.
Often the people you meet will have gone through almost the same pains as you and are able to relate and offer advice from a fresh viewpoint.
17. Get Some Beauty Sleep
This tip is perhaps easier said than done. Even when you feel shattered, bedtime can often be a stressful time. http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2017/05/8-sleep-experts-on-what-to-do-when-your-mind-is-racing.html
Getting a good nights’ sleep means that you will wake up the next day ready to go and may even mean you get finished a little early and find some time to focus on you.
18. Track your habits and learn from there
By journaling, you can track your work and personal habits to see where your work-life balance is and what areas you need to adjust.
You’ll see that most of the time you spend is wasted. With optimised time, you’ll be able to relax more.
19. Take time when hiring new employees
While you’ll want the extra hands for your small business, you don’t want to rush through the hiring process.
You want your employees to match the atmosphere of the business you run. You want dependable people around you so that when you go on holiday and take weekends, you know that your business is well taken care of and you can rest easy.
20. Plan ahead for the future
Utilising planners, schedules, and journals can assist you in planning your personal life and when you work.
Having a plan ensures that there is no rushing to get things done and that you have an ample amount of time to relax away from the job. Or ample time to relax away from the job.
Simply putting a weekly plan in place is the easiest method to help balance work and personal life.
21. Pursue new hobbies to take the focus off work
While having time away from work is nice, you may find that you don’t know what you want to do and your mind will drift back to matters of work; try finding activities to do while you have time scheduled off. Take up yoga, sign up for a new class at the gym, or get outside and take up a new adventure activity like mountain biking.
22. Give Yourself Permission
Not all of us have the dreams and aspirations to grow a business into a multi-million pound one. Which of course is okay!
But if running yourself into the ground all the time and giving 100% is not required to get to your goals, ask yourself if working at 80% capacity can get you there? Or if you are in no rush, would 50% effort work?
The great thing about the above is that you won’t burn out and probably accomplish more over the long haul.
23. Become comfortable with saying no
The biggest stressor that you can experience when working is the pressure to say yes and accommodate every request that is asked; it adds tremendously to your workload.
Learn to assess what is needed and what can be passed. It will become cathartic to say no.
24. Things will Go Wrong but Don’t Worry
Every entrepreneur will make a mistake or two, it is only natural. The most important thing to do is learn from it and get back on the horse straight away.
Try not to spend too much time dwindling on the issue. Just make sure you get it right next time.
How to Start Achieving a Good Work-Life Balance in Your Life
Your personal best work-life balance will vary over time. There is no ‘one-size fits all perfect balance’ that you should strive for. Work with these tips and other methods to find the balance that works best for you.
You don’t even have to do it on your own.
SmartPA is on hand with access to the best administrative assistants that are ready and waiting to help you improve your work-life balance as a small business owner.
What is the Meaning of Work-Life Balance?
The whole point of finding a balance between work and personal life is to reduce stress while achieving the greatest possible productivity.
This does not mean that work and personal activities will equal the same amount of time. The secrets to achieving a good work-life balance as a business owner are not universal.
The balance is fluid and will alter depending on your energy, health, and how you are generally feeling.
There is no hard and fast way to succeed as a business. It’s a hard and gruelling process that takes a lot out of a person.
It can be rewarding but you shouldn’t risk your health while achieving your dreams.
The Benefits of Work-Life Balance
Okay, so you knew this wasn’t going to be easy if it was there would be successful businesses popping up everywhere and everyone would be happy.
Some may be wondering what are the benefits of a good work-life balance?
Those who have obtained a good balance report seeing improvements in their quality of life, with their health and well-being improving tenfold.
Being overworked often leaves workers to be more susceptible to illness. You’ll no longer feel the adverse effects of stress, a weakened immune system, or exhaustion when you find your work-life balance.
You’ll have more chances to be productive both in and outside of the workplace when you learn to balance between work and personal life.
You’ll be able to finish that home renovation project you’ve been working on. You can finally pick up that hobby you’ve been interested in for years.
Without a balance in your life, you may start feeling a dread about going to work every day.
How else do you maintain work-life balance? Share your ideas and tips in the comments!