Most people think that maintaining a work/life balance is easy when you’re an entrepreneur, especially when you have people working for you,that you typically work from home and you have no one else to answer to, so it should be easy to switch off.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. In fact, many entrepreneurs struggle to strike a healthy work/life balance because the lines are more blurred.
Here are a few tips for achieving and maintaining a healthy work/life balance.
Prioritise your time
You may have a to-do list with 50 tasks on it, so you need to prioritize those tasks into four categories.
• Urgent and important
• Important but not urgent
• Urgent but not important
• Neither urgent nor important.
Know your peaks and troughs
Are you a morning person?
If you are, assign tough, high-concentration tasks to the mornings. Don’t leave the tough tasks until its night time and vice versa.
Plot some personal time
When personal issues arise, it can be tempting to bury yourself in your work. Don’t do it If you don’t make time for your personal life – your “me” time, including your family and your health – you won’t have a business to go back to
Have set work hours – and stick to them
Set work hours for yourself and do everything in your power to stick to them. Otherwise, before you know it, you’ll be working until midnight every night.
Find time for your finances
Whether you work for yourself or not, it’s important to feel confident about your finances. In order to do this, you need to get some accounting software in place and use it from day one.
Cash flow is one of the biggest challenges facing small businesses. You should start using accounting tools early on so you know what’s going on, financially, from day dot.
Manage your time
Create a timeline of your activities. Specific computer programs can help with this, or you can customize your own Excel spreadsheet or Word table.
Put dates across the top and activities down the side. Break each task into components.
Include family commitments – such as holidays, birthday parties, etc. – so you don’t forget that you are unavailable for work on those days.
Tap into technology
Instead of driving to a meeting, use Skype or conferencing technologies like GoToMeeting. But remember to switch them off.
Know and nurture your network
Prioritise growing your network and have a structured lead/conversion system in place so you can track the time/cost involved to grow your network.
Set the benchmarks early on and learn the lessons early.
At the end of each working day, perform a little self-analysis. Ask yourself what worked today, what didn’t, what went wrong and how the issue can be fixed.
Remember there are thousands of businesses just like yours learning the same lessons every day. Don’t forget to tap into the valuable resources around you for help.
Get a business coach
Find the cash for a business coach. That way, you can find out sooner rather than later how to get rid of bad habits and implement good ones.
Take a break
Remember to take time out throughout your day.
Some tasks are easier than others, so if you find yourself with an hour up your sleeve, be realistic about whether you can “afford” to rest or not.
You might not have time every day to simply sit and “be”, but do your best to give yourself a lunch break.
Also, make a point of getting up and stretching every 15 minutes. It will help you become clearer, more focused and more productive.