Managing to Maintain a Work-Life Balance
When you own your own business, it can be hard to switch off. Youve got a million decisions to make, and the buck stops with you. If anything goes wrong, it's on your shoulders.
This burden is made worse because youre always connected to your work, whether by syncing your emails to your phone or constantly checking in on social media. You can have access to your work 24 hours a day with no one to stop you.
Think about how this connectedness impacts your friends and family and whether youre starting to feel burnt out by the stress of always being in work mode.
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.
How do you 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; no one can read your mind to find out what makes you tick. Once you find out what makes you feel fulfilled, make your needs known to others and dont shy away from them. Make it known if you need to leave work at 5 p.m. on the dot to get home and spend time with your children. Let your team know that you wont be working overtime and any deadlines have to be met before 5 p.m. If you want to start leaving the office during lunch to attend a yoga class, then do it. Find what you enjoy doing away from the office, and do it.
2. Create boundaries and stick to them
There's always another email to read and reply to and another project to work on. But these things don't really have to be done at 3 a.m., 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 2 a.m., then they'll start expecting answers to their emails at 2 a.m. Set your boundaries and be firm with them.
3. Understand what's important
Have you ever been at 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 to focus on what matters; emails can wait a few hours until youre done with the urgent tasks.
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 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 to perfect your work-life balance.
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