Small business owners often view their companies as their babies and dedicate most their time to making them successful. Spending too much time at your business can dampen your enthusiasm for it and could lead to burnout. Consider the following tips for getting a healthy work-life balance.
Doing too many tasks at work on your own can sap your energy. If your employees have the skills to do the tasks you often insist on doing by yourself, delegate some of the tasks to them for a better work-life balance. You can also use customer relationship management, accounting apps and software to automate simple tasks that take up a lot of time, such as general correspondence and bookkeeping.
Delegating tasks for a better work-life balance extends to your home life as well, as obligations such as cooking, house cleaning and yard work may overwhelm you after an already hectic workday. Hire a housekeeper once a week to clean your home; you can also pay your neighbor’s teenager to rake your leaves and mow your lawn.
You need energy to run your business but, failure to exercise could make you feel sluggish. To feel energized during the work day, exercise at least two or three times a week. Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore; choose an activity you enjoy, whether it’s an early morning yoga class or a brisk lunch-hour walk around your downtown area. Location permitting, biking to and from work is a fun way to get exercise that takes no extra time out of your schedule. Exercising also relieves tension, which helps you get a better night’s sleep.
Shutdown Smart Devices
Smart devices make it challenging to unplug from work, but staying online continually adds “an undercurrent of stress” in your life, according to Harvard Medical School professor Robert Brooks. To unplug from work, turn off your smart devices when you’re spending quality time with friends and family. If you must check your email and social media when you’re away from the office, set boundaries. For example, turn off smart and computing devices during dinner and family time. Let your employees and clients know you’re reachable during business hours.
Taking time to relax is an effective way to improve your work-life balance. Recharge your batteries by curling up in bed with a good book, watching a comedy movie marathon or taking a leisurely walk through your local farmers market. Engaging in hobbies, especially ones you put on the back burner to start your business, is also a great way to relax.
Take Baby Steps
Biting off more than you can chew can lead to failure. To reach a better work-life balance, avoid trying to achieve success as soon as you start working on it. If you’ve always worked through dinner, for example, try having dinner with your family one night a week, then eventually work up to three nights a week. The small changes you make in the short term for a better work-life balance can become lifelong habits.