Work/Life Balance – It Is Possible
Small business owners are lucky in a lot of ways – too many to mention. However, it often becomes a juggling act considering your business, family, health, life, and achieving balance with it all. Seems overwhelming at times, doesn’t it? How can you possibly do it all, and still have time for a life? Although you may not realize it at this very moment, there IS life after work.
First, realize there’s no possible way to be everything to everybody. Try to do it all, and you’ll quickly burn out. Think about the “3 D’s” which are delegate, delete, and defer. When possible, you as the business owner should focus on priorities, while delegating, deferring, or completely deleting those things that aren’t absolutely necessary. Some days it works, but always keep in mind tomorrow is a new day.
Figure out a schedule that works, and keep a calendar. Maybe you have kids and want to make sure you leave three nights free every week to eat dinner with the family and enjoy a movie or outing. Perhaps your priority as a single small business owner is to work out two evenings a week and spend one night with friends or family. Whatever it is, keep a calendar on your computer and/or phone, make a to-do list of your work priorities, and mark them off as you complete them. During work hours, focus on working hard and putting your nose to the grindstone so you’ll have the time off necessary to rejuvenate and reinvigorate. Keeping it all in order is a MUST DO.
On that note, set your work hours. Naturally there are times you won’t be able to adhere strictly to a 9 to 5 schedule (or whatever hours you set), but make sure you do at every opportunity. The reason people start their own businesses is to set their own hours and realize a dream, rather than making someone else rich. Who becomes a small business owner with the goal of working 18 hours a day? No one! What this will lead to is lots of stress and an early grave.
Value the time you do have. Way too many small business owners spend what little free time they do have worrying about how to balance it all! It is a balancing act at times, but learn how to value the time you do have whether it’s 15 minutes or two days. If you have an extra 15 minutes in the morning to spend having coffee with your significant other in the mornings, be sure you do it. Have Saturdays (or the entire weekend) off occasionally? Make the most of it by making it valuable whether it’s taking the kids to the beach or museum, or getting away with your spouse to a romantic B & B overnight. Realize that family and relaxation time is a priority, just as work is.
Sure it’s tough juggling priorities when you’re a small business owner who’s also a mom, dad, spouse, friend, sports enthusiast, or who has hobbies and enjoys spending time outside of work. Investing in time away from work will make you stronger in the long run.