When running your own business, it’s easy to spread yourself too thin and be pulled in multiple directions at the same time.
You’re the CEO, but also the sales manager, the VP of marketing, and occasionally the receptionist.
You wear all the hats.
You’ve become accustomed to multitasking even during your downtime – listening to a webinar while you’re working out or checking your email while you’re out to dinner.
As an always-busy entrepreneur, it can be darn difficult to establish work-life boundaries when all the business operations rest on your shoulders.
I know you find it stressful to choose between working on your marketing strategy, taking your clients out to lunch, exercising, helping your kids with homework and other activities that all feel urgent.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your packed schedule while striving to juggle business and family, this post is for you.
Let’s take a look at how to maintain a healthy work-life balance, even when your to-do list feels never-ending.
Table of contents:
- 3 factors to consider when reflecting on your work-life balance
- How to improve your work-life balance as a business owner
1. 3 Factors to Consider When Reflecting on Your Work-Life Balance
If you search on Google for “business owner personal life”, you’ll come across dozens of articles stating that running a business can significantly impact family and friends.
Here are a few examples:
- Business owners struggle to ease work-life imbalance
- Who has time for a personal life? SME owners are addicted to the job
- How does running your own business affect your personal life?
- Entrepreneurs suck at relationships
- Why does business suck the life out of your personal life?
As you can see, it is well-known that most business owners have a hard time finding a healthy work-life balance.
However, work-life balance is achievable, and there is a handful of reasons you should care about it.
Perhaps the most convincing reason why you need to pay more attention to work-life balance is that it can actually strengthen your business’s overall success.
This is because establishing a sustainable way to work while maintaining general well-being can help you lower stress levels, boost motivation, and improve focus.
However, before having a look at the best practices for improving work-life balance, it is important to reflect on your current daily habits and evaluate your personal experiences.
Here are three questions to ask yourself:
- “How do I really spend my time?”
Being busy does not equal being productive.
In this post, I go over the key differences between busyness and productivity. I suggest you read it to learn why the culture of “busy” is just an ongoing trend, while productivity is the real secret to success.
Then, take an inventory of your typical day and track how you actually spend time.
For example, Mind Tools provides a great work-life balance assessment that helps you determine what areas of your life are off balance and need more attention.
- “What are my priorities?”
Each person has different personal needs. For example, if you’re married with kids, you need to take these factors into consideration when scheduling your day.
Remember, not everything is urgent and important all the time. This means that each area in your business and personal life needs different levels of attention.
That’s why it is essential to determine what needs to be done now and what can wait. Establish your priorities by learning how to differentiate urgent from important.
As the famous entrepreneur Stephen R. Covey once said, “most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”
- “How does work affect my well-being?”
Too much stress can affect your physical, emotional, and mental health. Not to mention that it can interfere with your productivity and performance.
Do you often eat on the go? Do you skip the gym due to being too busy or too tired? Are you unable to keep up with your hobbies? Do you stay up late because you need more time for yourself?
If work is negatively affecting your health, it’s best to change your habits now before it’s too late.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the adage that says, health is wealth, which tells you that health is a crucial element in your life.
By genuinely answering these questions, you will be able to determine whether you’re spending too much time working and not enough time with your family.
So, how healthy is your current work-life balance?
If you have difficulty juggling the demands of your work and your non-work life, follow the tips below. They will help set your business up for success while also finding time for yourself and the people you care about.
2. How to Improve Your Work-Life Balance as a Business Owner
You’ll know you’ve achieved a healthy work-life balance when daily activities no longer feel like a chore. You have enough time to prioritise health, and you’re not worrying about work when you’re at home.
Sure, getting there when your startup requires a lot of dedication, determination, and hard work isn’t an easy feat.
But putting in the effort is totally worth it – for your mental health, physical health, personal relationships, and the success of your business.
- Minimise time in meetings
Many business owners spend a large portion of their time in unnecessary meetings. Of course, some meetings are important to attend, but others are just not worth your time.
As a general rule, it’s best to only attend:
➤ Meetings that provide you with the information you need to complete your tasks
➤ Meetings where you provide others with information they need to complete their tasks
- Stop doing everything yourself
Are you suffering from doing it all yourself syndrome?
Hate to break it to you, but you can’t protect your business’s finances by handling everything yourself.
I know that every dollar matters when you’re building a company from the ground up. But as an entrepreneur, you need time to focus on what really matters – that is, your core business.
That’s why it’s best to outsource simple administrative tasks to free up your busy schedule.
For example, instead of answering your own phone, you can let a professional virtual receptionist manage your customer care. Not to mention, a virtual receptionist is extremely affordable, so it wouldn’t be a financial burden on your business.
- Add “Me Time” to your daily schedule
When creating your daily schedule, reserve a couple of hours per day of “me time”.
Whether you want to work out, read a book, or paint that empty canvas, it is important to include these activities in your schedule without seeing them as something that can be easily put off.
When you integrate your work and personal calendars into one, it becomes easier for you to prioritise activities in both areas.
- Cut your commute time
Sometimes, commuting can be a good time to wind down after a long day at work.
But let’s be honest, commuting to work is eating more than one year of your life.
Working remotely is the ultimate way to cut your commute time so you can improve your work-life balance while also achieving more in a day.
If you have the ability to operate your business remotely, consider renting a professional virtual office. Not only will it enable you to save valuable time, but it will also help you save money on overhead so you can have more funds to invest in your business’s growth.
- Avoid multitasking
Even though multitasking is sometimes inevitable, it’s best to focus on one task at a time.
Once a prized skill, multitasking can hinder your productivity by reducing your attention and overall performance.
This is because doing multiple complex tasks at once means you are shifting your attention from one task to the next, causing mental blocks and hiccups that can actually slow you down.
Conclusion: Your work-life balance is something that can be easily put off in the early stages of your startup.
However, an optimal arrangement of your work activities and private time is the secret weapon for long-term business success.
So, even with a hectic schedule and lots of responsibilities piling up at work, it is important to set time aside for yourself and your family.
Luckily, you are now armed to revisit your work-life alignment and seize control of your life so you can achieve all of your work and personal goals.
Looking to lighten your workload and get more free time? With virtual office space, you can reduce the commuting burden and outsource some of your regular tasks so you can regain control of your schedule and make more time for yourself. And what is more beautiful about virtual offices is that you can enjoy all the benefits of a traditional brick and mortar office – but at a fraction of the price. Get your virtual office in Melbourne today to keep your business on the right track while freeing up your busy schedule!