Research shows that the average entrepreneur or business owner works 44 hours a week as opposed to a full time employee who works 39. The average holiday an entrepreneur takes during the first year of their start-up is 9 days with 63% saying they were busier than when they were employees but 81% were happier (1). It’s easy for your company to become your life and soul when you’ve invested so much into it along with the expectations and dreams you have. But sometimes stepping away can help you refresh your mind and prevent you from losing sight of other things that are important as well such as your health, hobbies, family and friends.
Know when to switch off
It’s easy to not be able to switch off when you’re an owner of a business, but trying to do everything all at once can affect the quality of your work. When you’re starting out, it may be that your home is your office but try to draw a line between your work area and relax area. Whether it’s having a separate room or a separate table, this will help your mind to distinguish between work time and leisure time.
Look after yourself
Only by re-charging and looking after yourself can you keep going on your business journey for a longer period of time. Keep your energy levels up by having proper breaks for food and rests; try to keep these times relatively consistent day to day. Finish work at an appropriate time of the evening and getting enough sleep to let your body and mind re-calibrate is vital. A recent survey revealed that people spent an average of 8 hours 21 minutes sleeping a day but 8 hours 41 minutes on media devices(2). By not putting your health as one of your top priorities, you can end up driving your mind and body into stress.
Learn to prioritise and manage your time well
You’re never going to finish everything you need to do, there’s always going to be another email you need to send, another issue you need to tend to; the list is endless. Prioritise what tasks need to be done imminently and what can wait. Work on items that are instrumental to the success and functioning of the business first to help you spend more time on what really matters. Keep a strong focus on work when you’re at work rather than tending to personal issues, this will help you be more productive, enabling you to leave on time and use those extra hours to have fun.
Outsource if needed and don’t be afraid to ask for help
You have to be honest with yourself, you most likely don’t have the skills set to do everything and even if you did, you wouldn’t have the time to do it all efficiently. Know when you should outsource tasks so that they can be done by people who know about it better, e.g accountants and lawyers. This will allow you to spend time on other tasks of the business which need your attention more. If the tasks aren’t large enough to be outsourced, think about delegating small chunks of tasks to staff members.
In today’s world where everyone is time poor, prioritising your personal and work life can be a real challenge but a poor work life balance can result in unhealthy levels of stress, unhappiness and even reduced productivity. Strike the right balance to really have the nirvana of a work-life balance.