Nowadays, we are collectively spending longer hours focusing on our jobs. The way the world depends on technology also means it’s hard to switch off from a workday. As a business owner, balancing work and your personal life can be especially challenging. The idea of a work life balance for business owners is that acquiring a fulfilling lifestyle outside of work will help to improve productivity and performance during work, along with benefiting the business itself. Essentially, the time a person spends working should be balanced by time spent with family, friends, or engaging in a hobby.
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What is Work Life Balance & How Can I Maintain One?
Work life balance is just that, balancing your work life in conjunction with your personal life. This is the ideal goal for a majority of people who open and run their own small businesses. A good balance between managing your business and getting in that quality personal time can preserve sanity when faced with stress along with additional benefits to your overall wellbeing.
Once you’ve determined where the problem lies between your work and personal life, implementing a balance isn’t too difficult – it’s the change that people typically struggle with. We’ve collated a list of work life balance for business owners’ tips that will help you diagnose whether you need to make a change.
Leave Work at Work
Nowadays, so many businesses rely on technology day in and day out, and this means that a lot of business owners are still focusing on work after hours. To disconnect, refrain from taking any business calls or answering any messages once you get home or leave your desk. This goes for your weekends as well. Designate quality time over the weekends so that you’re refreshed and energised when Monday rolls around.
Another way to break the cycle is to stop yourself from completing any tasks after a certain time of the day. Although a lot of companies stop servicing the public from around 5pm-5:30pm, business owners work around the clock. Once the company closes for the evening, it is okay for you to stop working as well. This allows time to focus on family, friends, or personal time, while allowing your brain to rest and recover. Remember, your brain is working a lot during the day as well.
Take Breaks During Work
Taking a break, or even a few, is important in the way your brain will function throughout the day. Failing to give your brain a break could increase the risk of mistakes in your work along with increased difficulty when it comes to completing tasks. Not only are breaks great for the sake of your brain activity, but it’s good to give your eyes a rest from the computer screen (or tablet, or phone) along with stretching your body out from sitting for long periods.
Though it’s imperative to give yourself some rest, don’t neglect that your employees also need microbreaks throughout the day. This can increase their productivity, creativity, and their overall mood while producing an enjoyable working environment for everyone.
Leave at a Reasonable Hour
If you’re the type of person who spends excessive hours at the office or in front of your computer, it’s time to step back at a reasonable time and break that ball and chain cycle. If you’re continuing to focus on work even after you’ve left the office or put your computer away, you’re at a greater risk of developing a multitude of health and wellbeing issues. This can include a loss/lack of sleep, becoming increasingly unfit, obesity, depression, chronic stress, just to name a few.
Working overtime may make you feel like you’re getting enough done or even getting ahead, and stepping back may leave you feeling guilty, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being productive. The time you spend away from work is said to increase your physical and mental wellbeing, which makes you easier to work with, easier to approach, and more effective in the way you get your work done.
Create a Designated Workspace
After the events of 2020, more than ever, people are working from the comfort of their homes. If you’re in this position, it’s imperative to create a designated workspace to allow yourself to step away and disconnect from the stresses of work after hours. Don’t create a work zone in an area that is specifically designed for something else. Not at a desk in your bedroom, not at the dinner or dining table, not in the living room or the lounge room. These are all made for comfort and should not be used for anything to do with work as your brain will start to refer to these rooms as a ‘workspace’.
If possible, restyle one of the rooms in your home into a defined work-from-home office where you can have your technology, files, and documents all in one space each day. This also prevents people from interrupting you during work and allows you to be a lot more focused than if you were central to the home space.
Make Time for Yourself
Whether this is in the form of socialising with friends or family, or indulging in your hobbies, making time for yourself outside of working hours could improve your wellbeing and, in turn, create a better mood while at work. An important thing to remember is that giving yourself time away from work doesn’t mean your business is going to struggle or fail, instead, by improving your physical and mental health, your business’s efficiency, environment, and ability to maintain staff also improve.