Owning or managing a business can feel like a 24 hour / 7 days a week job. Trying to get a good work/life balance and time off sometimes seems impossible. If you feel this way, you may be comforted to know that you're not alone. According to research conducted in 2019, small business owners spend over 17 full days a year thinking about work in their downtime. So how can you help to separate your work life and your home life?
Understand your to-do list
Understanding what your workload actually looks like can help you decide what needs to be done, and more importantly what needs to be done by you, right now. When your in the trenches it is easy for the overwhelm to take over. You may find that you have so much to do that you can’t imagine leaving the workshop at 5pm, or even taking a moment to prepare a to-do list.
However, there are many tools and organisation techniques that can help you to get a clearer idea of what you need to do each and every day. Having a checklist for the next 24hours can help you to compartmentalise each day and take them one at a time. It can also help you to feel “finished” at the end of day because you set yourself clear goals.
For more tips on organising your day, check our article “Tips to Keep Track of Your Workload”
Get transparency in your business
A lot of stress faced by business owners comes from a sense of uncertainty. Whether it's not knowing if there is enough work in the pipeline, not understanding where your money is going, or feeling like you are missing opportunities, there is a lot that can be keeping you from creating a good work/life balance.
Being able to clearly and accurately understand what is happening in your business can help you to a) feel more comfortable that you are in control and b) take more meaningful actions to improve. After all, you need to know what the issues in your business actually are before you can solve them.
Seeing quickly and easily that you are on track with your revenue, sales and profitability goals in a couple of clicks can do wonders when it comes to work life balance. Getting empirical data that tells you exactly how your business is performing might be the thing you need to leave work comfortable at the end of the day.
Celebrate the small successes
Building a business can start to feel like an endless grind, especially during challenging times. It is important to take the time to pat yourself and your team on the back and celebrate your wins.
If 12 hour days have been necessary to solve a crisis in your business, acknowledge that this is outside of the norm, and congratulate yourself for your hard work. Take the time with your team to talk about what went well and what you are all proud of achieving this week.
It’s not just touchy-feely stuff. Studies show that expressing gratitude can strengthen your relationships and make you feel happier in general. While things can be highly challenging and stressful, keeping an eye out for the silver lining can help to keep you moving forward in a healthy way.
Have a “breaker” activity
50% of small business owners say taking time off when they say they will help them maintain a work/life balance. But that's easier said than done when you have to contend with email notifications, phone calls and your own “just one more thing before I go”. It's important to set boundaries for yourself to follow to keep a strict work-time / home-time separation.
These can be practical routines that you put in place, like silencing your phone, turning off email notifications or putting an out of office on. However, it can also be beneficial to have a routine that you associate with ending the day. This can be a walk around the block, a gym session, a final checking off of the to-do list, or a short journal entry on the day. Any activity that helps you feel that the day is over can help you to keep work in work time.
We hope that these tips can help you achieve a better work life balance in the next 30 days. If you are looking for ways to improve your visibility over your projects, profitability and revenue to get peace of mind, then WorkGuru.io can help.
Reach out to the team today to see how we can help you understand what happens in your business.