Work life balance is nothing more than the ability to separate your personal life interests from those of your professional interests. Many business owners often struggle to maintain some kind of work-life balance and because of this inability to separate business from personal life, they simply end-up being workaholics. At one time, this was considered to be a noble trait among entrepreneurs and small business owners. Unfortunately, times have changed.
Work-life balance is more than separating personal and business interests, it is your life – period. It is time that you cannot get back. It is time to strengthen relationships, time to spend with your spouse and children. It is time to relax and regain your health. Sadly though, many business owners find it challenging to actually disconnect themselves from their work. Whether it’s due to a special project, running a team, or even tasks from daily office administration, there’s always endless tasks or something else that interrupts your schedule and requires your attention. Make no mistake about it, thanks in part to technology, our lives are moving so much faster today. This is especially true for many business owners, executives and leaders. The technology of cell phones for example has been a savior of such for many of the things we do each day. Yet, it can also be one of the greatest distractions in our lives. Achieving a work life balance involves time, but creating valuable time for yourself, your business and the ones you love can often seem difficult. Technology is something that always seems to be evolving. But, many of the advancements provides less and less time that we actually communicate with others on a face to face basis. This scenario may be great for many businesses, but the problem is that less time with face to face communication ultimately spills over to personal lives as well.
Learn to prioritize things in your life
You should start each week by prioritizing your responsibilities and commitments and schedule tasks and other things that need to get done. An important factor here is learning to schedule tasks according to their priority. Of course, the most important thing to remember is that you have a life, so make it a priority. Sit down and make a list of things that are important to you outside of your business or work. Do not try and be everything at once by filling a list with endless priorities. This will only make things overwhelming for you and could easily cause added stress. The key is to begin slowly and achieve a successful balance that eventually becomes part of your life.
Learn to reduce some of your tasks
Business owners often wear many hats in order to keep their businesses properly functioning. While this may be a limited condition for many small business owners, it doesn’t mean that certain tasks cannot be minimized or even completely eliminated. Ask yourself, are there certain jobs or tasks that can be minimized or even left off the table to make room for other priorities? After all, that is where technology gets a boost by learning to combine your efforts and completing necessary tasks sooner and faster. The advantage of this is allows you to free-up more time for the things that will eventually mean more in your life. Get assistance from key employees and utilize them to help reduce some of your responsibilities and tasks. Doing this will also give reliable employees the opportunity to learn and possibly advance from within your organization.
Learn to take time off
Yes, that’s right, take some time off. This might seem like an impossible task, but nothing is further from the truth, after all, you are in charge. First of all, you must begin to understand that time off for business owners and executives doesn’t always mean days or weeks. Sometimes, it may only be for an hour, a few hours, or maybe even for a day. You are human and no matter what you or anyone else might think, you need to relax. You must also understand that taking time off means getting away entirely from your business or place of work. Learn to block certain times during the week on your calendar. But, in order for this to happen you must first schedule the time off. Second, you must commit yourself to taking the allotted time off and treat it like you would with any other appointment or meeting.
Appoint an assistant
As a business owner, who can take-charge in case of emergency or other situation. An emergency, accident or any other troubling situation could cause an interruption with many small businesses that are not leadership prepared. In order to take time off where you don’t have to worry about the operation of business, you need a reliable assistant or someone you can place in charge while away. The best way to go about this is to inform people in your business including clients, customers, representatives, and vendors. In the event something happens during your time away from the business, people will know who to contact to resolve situations and to get things done. The secret here is to clarify this position early so you can continue without the need to worry. This is your opportunity to claim more of the things in life that truly matter, but you need to take the steps now.
The bottom-line is, running a business, whether you are a business owner or executive often means there will be something that needs your attention. Fortunately, if you keep in front of the things that matter most in your life, you will be able to create the ultimate work-life balance.