As a business owner, it can be challenging to find a balance between work and life.
The term "work-life balance" has become a buzzword, but we prefer to use the term "work-life blend."
As a business owner, your work and life are not entirely separate entities, but rather, your work is just one aspect of your life.
The concept of work-life blend is all about finding a way to integrate your work and personal life in a way that reflects your love for your work and your business, while still having a life outside of work that fulfills you.
Next we’ll outline five tips to help you create a healthy work-life blend.
The first tip is to set clear boundaries and limit distractions.
You need to define the hours that you work, which may differ from the traditional work-life balance model. Some people prefer a more fluid workweek, while others prefer to stick to a set schedule.
The key is to be honest with yourself and set boundaries that work for you.
For instance, if you don't want to work after a certain time, set that boundary. If you need to work for an hour and then take a break, set an alarm on your phone to remind you.
If you get easily distracted, you can put your phone in do not disturb mode for certain hours of the day.
As a business owner, you might be tempted to take on every project that comes your way. However, saying yes to everything can lead to burnout.
You need to figure out what projects align with your goals and values and which ones you should turn down.
Remember, saying no to one thing means saying yes to something else.
The second tip is to make sure that you unplug from work when you do have downtime.
We get it, it can be difficult to disconnect from work, especially when we have constant access to emails and notifications on our phones.
One key tip here is to allocate specific times to check emails and notifications, rather than constantly being on-call.
This allows for dedicated family time or time with a spouse without being distracted by work.
It’s also helpful to have a dedicated workspace that can be closed off, both physically and mentally, during off hours.
This could include shutting down your computer or closing the door to your office space.
The third tip is to take breaks.
It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that sitting at your desk for eight hours straight is the best way to be productive.
But in reality, taking regular breaks is essential to avoid burnout and to do good work. You don't have a boss monitoring what you're doing, so it's important to put triggers in place to remind yourself to take breaks.
Even though it may feel stressful to take a break when you have a long to-do list, it's always worth it in the end.
Taking a break, getting some fresh air, having some water or food, and coming back with a fresh mind can actually increase your productivity and help you achieve better outcomes.
The fourth tip is to prioritise self care.
It's not just about taking breaks from work, but also making sure that you take time to do things you enjoy and want to have in your life.
This could be going for a walk with your family or your dog, dedicating time to a hobby, or even treating yourself to a massage.
Finding the time for self-care can be a challenge, especially when you're a business owner with a packed schedule. It's common to keep postponing that massage, golf day, or hair appointment until it never happens.
Try booking the entire year in advance for the self-care activities you do regularly. When it's on your calendar, you're more likely to follow through, as it's more of a hassle to cancel or move it than just showing up! It doesn't matter what activity you choose, as long as it's something you genuinely enjoy.
The fifth and final tip is to delegate.
Outsourcing and delegating tasks is key to increasing productivity and freeing up time for more important activities.
This can apply to both work and home life, as there are many tasks that can be outsourced or delegated to others.
For example, ordering groceries online can save an hour or more of time that can be put to better use, such as doing billable work or tackling a task that has been put off. The cost of delivery fees can often be outweighed by the return on investment of the time saved.
Ultimately, the key to outsourcing and delegating is to be conscious of the tasks that are taking up time and energy and evaluating whether they can be done more efficiently or by someone else.
Creating a healthy work-life blend as a business owner requires setting clear boundaries, learning how to say no, delegating tasks, taking care of yourself, and evaluating your work-life blend regularly.
By following these tips, you can avoid burnout and find a balance that works for you.
Remember, your business is just one element of your life, and it should enhance your life rather than detract from it.
To learn more about this topic, listen to episode 12 of the Get Savvy podcast ‘5 Tips For a Successful Work-Life Blend’