Maintaining a work/life balance is easy when you run your own business right? You typically work from home and you have no one else to answer to, so it should be easy to switch off.
WRONG! Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. In fact, many home-based sole traders struggle to strike a healthy work/life balance because the lines are more blurred.
I know how difficult it can be to strike that balance that entrepreneurs dream about. I’ve experienced it first hand! That’s why I’ve put together 13 top tips for achieving and maintaining a healthy work/life balance.
1. Prioritise your time
You may have a to-do list with 50 tasks on it, so you need to prioritise those tasks into four categories.
- Urgent and important
- Important but not urgent
- Urgent but not important
- Neither urgent or important.
2. Plot some personal time
When personal issues arise (and they always do!), it can be tempting to bury yourself in your work. But don’t do it! If you don’t make time for your personal life, including your family and your health – you might not have a business to go back to.
3. Manage your time, long term
Create a timeline of your activities. Online tools can help with this, or you can create and customise 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.
4. 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 one!
5. Make exercise a must-do, not a should-do
It can be so easy to cancel the gym, the evening run or the yoga class because a client wants something done yesterday. It’s even easier to fall down the slippery slope of “I’ll go tomorrow”.
Instead, ensure exercise is given as much priority as your clients and making money. A healthy body means a fresh mind, which means you will function better and complete tasks in less time.
6. Take a break
Remember to take time out throughout your busy work 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 at least 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.
7. Be realistic
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 – your friends and peers – for help.
8. Have set work hours – and stick to them!
I know this one is easier said than done! 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.
9. Manage your mindset
When fear, self-doubt or anxiety creeps in, do some work on your mental health such as meditation or reading a business book.
Alternatively, call your girlfriends and spend time with someone who will lift you up and support you.
10. 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. A business coach will keep you on track and accountable as well as being your biggest cheerleader! You can’t afford not to get a business coach.
11. Meet clients halfway – literally!
If you’re pushed for time you don’t always have to meet your client at their office. Ask them to meet halfway, perhaps at a café or restaurant. This will save you time and energy, not to mention money spent on travel.
12. Do what you love
Make time for something you love – other than work – and give it the time it deserves. Go shopping, go to the beach, go for a hike or just stay in and watch some true crime on Netflix!
It will energise and refresh you, and enable you to nurture the creative thought that is essential to every business owner.
13. Have that holiday
Make time for a holiday and book in breaks, at least quarterly. Even a long weekend every quarter is better than nothing!
But remember to advise your clients and customers as far in advance as possible.
Remember if you ever need someone to support you in your business endeavors, book your Free Strategy Session with me now. Alternatively, head over to my Facebook Group where I share my free, expert advice with a bunch of like-minded business women!