As a small business owner, you are probably ready to dedicate your life to making your business a success. You’re prepared to work the long hours, make sacrifices, take on any task and make tough decisions. While being a small business owner does ask a lot of the individual, you can’t lose sight of the fact that you do need a personal life as well. If you pour every ounce of yourself into the company without establishing a work-life balance, you run the risk of burning yourself out. When you finally do hit that wall, your performance at work will start to suffer. If you are struggling with work-life balance at your small business, the following tips can help you get things back on track.
Small business owners are used to taking on responsibilities that would normally go to several different people at most companies. With that being said, you might not be able to do it all yourself. If you are going to balance work and life, you need to be able to share some of the responsibilities with other people. Consider hiring additional employees or using small business resources like Funding Circle to take some of the workload off your shoulders.
Set a Schedule
You have to be able to manage your time effectively if you want to be able to get everything done while still having time for yourself. Since setting a schedule is the foundation of time management, this should be one of the first steps for small business owners who are trying to maintain a balance between their work life and their personal life. When your days are structured and you have a plan, it will be much easier to find time for the things you want to do.
You need to be able to set priorities if you are going to balance work and life. When you are setting your schedule, put your most important tasks at the top of your to-do list. These are the tasks that have the most urgency or the ones that will do the most to help you reach your goals. Additionally, set priorities in your personal life. You might not be able to get to everything in your personal life, but you will feel better about your work-life balance as a small business owner when you get to the things that matter most.
When you are at work, you want to stay focused on your goals. However, this doesn’t mean you should stay at your desk from the time you come in to the time you leave. Carving out a few breaks can be a good way to keep yourself fresh through the workday. When you set your schedule, make sure to add a little time to allow for breaks.
Get a Hobby
No matter what you do, work will occasionally find a way to creep into your personal life. It is just the nature of being an entrepreneur. To combat this a little, find an outside interest that is totally separate from what you do at work. Once you have this outside interest, make sure to schedule time for it every week.
Take Time Off
You need more than the end of each day as time for yourself. If you are working seven days a week, it won’t be long before it eventually takes a toll on your physical and mental wellbeing. You should try to take at least one day off a week, and if you have employees you can trust to run things, consider taking more time off when you can.
You might not be able to separate your work life and your personal life entirely, but you should try to create a boundary between the two. When you are at work, try to avoid distractions from your personal life. If it is your day off or the end of a day, try to put your work to rest. If something important comes up, you can still do work in your personal time, but you should try to keep your personal time just for things that involve your personal life.
Find Your Productivity
Getting the most from your workday isn’t always about how many hours you work. It’s often about giving your most productive hours to work. Maybe you do your best work in the evening. If that is the case, try to schedule more of your work for later in the day and keep some of the morning for yourself.
Part of having a personal life is maintaining connections with other people. It is good to have a healthy relationship with the people at your company, but they aren’t personal connections. Stay involved with your friends, make time to do things with your family and try to be an active member of your community.
Track Your Time
Much of maintaining work-life balance for small business owners is about managing your time. The problem is that it can be difficult to see where all your time goes. If you start tracking your time, you will be able to identify areas where your schedule may be inefficient or find things you are doing that waste time. Once you have enough time-tracking data, you should be able to analyze your schedule to find ways to free up more time.
Hire the Right People
Having employees can be a great way to open up more of your time. However, it will only take you so far if you are not hiring well. If you hire talented people who can run the business when you are away, you will feel more comfortable taking time off. Don’t just hire people to do some of the busy work; look for smart, responsible employees that can really take on some of the responsibilities that come with running your business.
Work-life balance is something any small business owner can achieve. With these tips, you can get started on creating a good balance in your life, but you have to remember to keep it going. If you are not careful, it can be easy to fall back into your old ways of working too many hours and not allowing any time for yourself.
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