Already finding this year to be a jumble of good intentions and unexpected challenges? Here’s how to make that healthy business balance a reality
2020 has been a tough one for business owners, to say the least. Many have been forced to work day and night just to keep their enterprise afloat, and no doubt a lot of us will be going into the new year exhausted, stressed and in need of rest.
Which is why establishing and maintaining a healthy work/life balance is a great goal to set yourself for the new year. Not only will this give you more time to rest, enjoy family life, and unwind from the day, but chances are it will also make you more productive in the long run. Despite the myth that the most successful entrepreneurs eat, sleep and breathe their business at all hours, Deloitte reports that companies promoting work/life balance record two times more productivity than those who don’t.
With that in mind, here are some of the best ways to ensure you don’t let 2021 get away from you before we even reach the Spring.
Let go of fear
Many entrepreneurs — especially new ones — struggle with the fear of failure if they aren’t working every minute of every day. They worry that the business will somehow go belly up overnight if they turn their attention onto other things.
However, fear is never a good motivator in business. Letting go of these worries can help to both improve your work/life balance and allow you to take more risks and reach greater heights.
Most entrepreneurs use scheduling of some kind to help them through the work day, whether it be a to-do list or a timed itinerary. But don’t just stop there. Scheduling can also be a useful tool when it comes to shaping your work/life balance.
Reserve set times in your schedule for activities you enjoy, such as meeting up with friends, exercise, family activities or hobbies. Give yourself things to look forward to which will motivate you while working.
Build a brand around your lifestyle
Spending 50+ hours a week working on a brand that doesn’t appeal to your wider interests can be extremely draining. That’s why building a business around your own lifestyle and passions is such a good route to take. When you love what you do, work/life balance becomes less of an issue.
Set boundaries and stick to them
You don’t need to be available at all hours. If a client emails you at 11.30pm with an ‘urgent’ request, you are perfectly entitled to wait until the morning to respond.
This is a trap that many entrepreneurs fall into. You set out with a goal to create a business that allows you to work to live, and you end up living to work. Set clear boundaries for yourself and stick to them. Clients have to understand that you are human, too.
Switch off devices
In the last ten years or so, establishing a work/life balance has become even more difficult thanks to the rise of remote working and smart devices. Nowadays, entrepreneurs are essentially walking around with their businesses in their pockets, so it’s hard to find a moment’s peace.
Switching off your smartphone from time to time will give you a well-deserved rest. Maybe you could give yourself a curfew so you aren’t working late into the night. If anyone needs to contact you for business-related matters, they can leave a message.