Managing to Maintain a Work-Life Balance
When you own your own business it can be hard to switch off. This is due to the fact that the buck stops with you. If anything goes wrong it's on your shoulders.
It can also be hard to switch off when you are connected to your work via email and social media, meaning you can have access to your work 24 hours a day if it's what's needed.
This is bad for you, your family and your friends.
Switching off doesn't mean that your work will be affected, in fact it could improve the quality of your work as you have taken some time away from it and can go back feeling refreshed.
So how do you manage to switch off when the responsibility is all yours?
1. Be open and honest about what you need
Find what makes you feel fulfilled and tell others about this, they won't be able to read your mind to know what makes you tick. Don't shy away from what your needs are. If you need to leave work at 5pm to go home and have a meal with your family, then do it. If you want to start leaving the office during lunch to attend a yoga class, then do it. Find what you enjoy doing that's away from the office and go do it (so long as it's not actually during working time if you're employed by someone).
2. Create boundaries and stick to them
There's always another email to read and reply to, always another project to be working on. But these things don't really have to be done at 3am do they? You need to start creating boundaries for yourself and you need to start sticking to them. If you don't then who will? If colleagues see that you're answering emails at 2am then they'll start expecting answers to their emails at 2am. Set boundaries and stick to them.
3. Understand what's important
Have you ever been in work and spent all day answering emails and working on little things? Do these really help drive the business forward? Of course they don't. So why do them? What you should be doing is concentrating on what drives the business forward. Plan out your day so that you're focusing on what really matters, things like emails can wait (for the most part).
4. Learn to shut off
We mean literally shut off. See the power button on your device? Use it. When you're at the dinner table don't take your phone. When you're on vacation with your family, be on vacation and be with your family. When you start to step away from technology you'll notice something beginning to happen. You'll be more present in everyday life and you'll start to be more aware of your work. You'll be able to respond to emails in a more logical way rather than an emotional one.
5. Find the right pace
As anyone who does sport will know, you need to know when to push yourself and when to hold back. It's the same in business, sometimes you need to really push forward and other times you need to take things a little more slowly. Find the right pace for the moment and learn when to change it.
No matter what happens just remember that you need to look after number one as well as the business. So try not to get too wrapped up in work and try and perfect your work-life balance.