One of the biggest struggles for any working professional is obtaining the perfect work-life balance. For business owners, discovering that sweet spot is more difficult because the line between business and personal can become blurred. But sometimes the best way to take back your personal time is to develop your time management skills and map out your schedule. The key however is embracing it and making your fun time work for you!
Determine if you are an early bird or a night owl.
Odds are, you either prefer to get your work done in the morning or at night. Either work seems to take longer to do when you are exhausted from the day or when you are distracted thinking about the day ahead. A perk for business owners is being your own boss and being your own boss means setting your own schedule. If your schedule does not work for you, then you have the power to change it!
It almost seems too simple, but you have more personal time when you spend less time working. Getting down to business in the hours when you are most motivated creates a great work-life balance by improving productivity. If you’re a morning person, start working right at dawn, then leave dusk for unwinding and getting to bed early. If you’re a night owl, hit snooze and do your personal routine in the AM, then get to work when the sun sets in the PM.
Physically separate work and play.
For business owners, working at home is impossible to avoid, but it is possible to maintain a little separation. Create a designated workspace. Keep records, research, or plans for your business there, and only work there. Resist the urge to take it to the living room in front of the TV or into bed where you can get more comfortable. You will never have a work-life balance if you work while you play. Reframe your social engagements and see them as networking or media creation opportunities. Maximize your effort.
Make a digital to-do list.
The ever-growing to-do list will never be completed until the day the business closes its doors for good, which can make it difficult to determine where to start. Order tasks on your list by balancing the necessity and urgency of each task. Tasks that have the closest due dates and the direst consequences should be done first and set dates on when each task should be completed. Utilize technology and apps to provide you with reminders and organize tasks better… You know we Click Up!
Lock in your hours.
As a business owner, you have to report to a lot of people, and you have a lot of people who report to you. Open communication is a must, even on your personal time. Because technology has made it possible for work to follow you out of your business, it can feel like you never left work at all.
Set a strict close of business for yourself. At that time, stop replying to non-emergency emails and answering work-related text messages. Disengage from the technology that can keep you from fully being off the clock. Unless it is an emergency, it can be a problem for tomorrow. Make sure your customers are aware of your schedule and always acknowledge the contact as soon as possible.
Remember, there is no perfect work-life balance, but you should try your best to check in with yourself to get as close to happy as you can… without you there is no business!