Business owners are passionate about their companies. They spend as much time as possible refining and improving it. Whether meeting customer needs or developing a new product to scale the business forward, entrepreneurs spend a significant amount of their time focused on growth and success. This leaves little time to enjoy the spoils of that success. Finding a way to balance work and life to ensure a higher quality of life is essential, though rarely easy to do. Those who achieve it may get the best of both worlds.
1. Get Realistic
Before focusing on creating some utopian balance between what you do at work and what you experience at home, be realistic with yourself. There is no way to do it all. It is not possible to dedicate the same amount of time and attention to both tasks and to thrive at each. However, it is impossible to improve your day-to-day life. While you may be in overdrive right now as you focus on your business, there are steps you can take to become at least a bit more focused on life outside of the office.
Recognize your goals, too. Do you want to improve relationships? Do you need to spend more time at the office to help your company to thrive? Create some basic goals for yourself and your company.
- What needs to be accomplished? Do you need to allot more or less time to specific tasks?
- Who needs to make these changes? Is it a company-wide change or something you are personally responsible for?
- What will create more of the peace and balance you are seeking? What is it that you want to do?
Even a small amount of improved balance can help you, your family and your business to thrive.
2. Create Specific Boundaries
Perhaps the most important first step to take is this. Create boundaries for both work and life. Small business owners often bring work-related tasks and concerns home with them, creating a mash-up of both. This becomes frustrating. That does not mean you can never work weekends or that you have to give up personal time. However, it is important to create some specific boundaries that help you define when you are spending too much time on the wrong tasks. Here are some examples.
Where Are You Working?
Sometimes, it is best to simply create a solid break here. Work does not come home with you. You do not bring home contracts to look over or make phone calls at home. At the same time, you refrain from allowing too many home tasks get lumped into your workday.
Who Can Contact You and When?
Middle of the night phone calls are something most small business owners experience from time to time. And, in an emergency (e.g., the building is on fire) it makes sense. However, in most cases, you should never be called during your off hours.
What About Time?
Your boundaries should also outline the amount of time you put into your home life and your work life. To live a balanced life, you need to spend some time at home. How many hours a day are you doing that now? Use your vacation days. Take time off to create more time away from the office.
Creating boundaries sets the stage for building a successful life outside of work. However, these tasks are not all you need to do.
3. Delegate Tasks for Better Results
Delegation is a task many business owners struggle to do. It makes sense. No one knows your business like you do. No one can do what you can do to make your customers happy. However, there are tasks others can do to minimize some of your work. Here are some suggestions to think about now.
Can You Use Other Employees to Manage Some of the Day-to-Day Tasks?
This may include moving a few time-consuming errands or tasks to someone you trust to accomplish them.
Can You Hire a Third Party to Manage Some of Those Tasks?
For example, you may need some help with the accounting. Hire a third party to manage your accounting for you. Maybe answering customer questions ties up too much of your time. If that’s the case, use a third-party customer support service.
4. Get Some Organization
If you are a business professional trying to juggle many tasks, you may find yourself overwhelmed with knowing what to do right now. Where should you spend your time right now? Organization is always a concern because it limits your ability to do everything you would like to during the course of the day. You overcommit to clients. You miss that soccer game. You’re late for dinner again.
Getting organized takes just a few steps. First, organize your work tasks. Again, use a third-party tool or service to help you with this. Project management services can help you to manage workflow more efficiently. Next, invest in a phone app or calendar to incorporate your life tasks.
5. Communicate Better
Finally, communicate with family and friends, employees and managers. Tell them what you are doing, why you are doing it and why it matters to you. When you let others into your life and into knowing what you are prioritizing at that moment, they are more willing to support you.
Are you doing all you can to balance your work and life needs? Small business owners will find it’s worth working toward these goals.
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