We have turned this #WeeklyNRG over to you, our community. We thought we’d answer some of your questions in a series of Q&A blogs. Over the next few days, I’ll send six emails which answer the questions you asked me recently.
Here we go, hold onto your Easter bonnets. Here we go with question 1.
We’ve had a couple of questions about work life balance.
As a business owner, is it healthy to think about your business 80% of the waking hours and if not, what are the tricks to address this?
What is the best balance between work and personal life when running your own business? What are the key factors to remember?
Before I answer the question I’d like to make a point:
Balance vs Harmony.
Remember, something balancing is always moving, so I prefer to think of working towards ‘Work Life harmony’. EG getting the 2 parts of my life to work together.
POINT 1; I believe work life balance is personal. It’s as unique as our individual circumstances. You might have kids, you might be single, you might be training for a marathon, you might work at the speed of a tortoise or hare etc. What is the right balance for you might not be the right balance for me. So, the first step to finding ‘Work Life harmony’ is KNOW YOUR SELF. Understand your work preferences; when you are at your most productive? How to spot when you are getting tired? What gives you energy? Think about possible burnout? When you find it tricky to concentrate? Identify those things and plan your day/work/life around them. You might be OK thinking about your business 80% of the time. This might work for you, as it gives you focus, it cements your passion, for others this may be too much.
POINT 2; SET BETTER BOUNDARIES Clean up your blurred lines. With covid and raise of working from home, we’ve seen work and life move closer together. (In some instances, very close; like people working from their bedrooms.) Technology is another contributing factor to blurring the lines between our work and life outside work. (We have our businesses in the palm of our hands and can reply to that client from anywhere at any time.) Boundaries help us spend quality time on each part of our day; work or life. This is a key point it’s not the quantity of time on anything it’s the quality.
POINT 3; SWITCH OFF PROPERLY. Turn off notifications, put your laptop away at the end of the work day, close the office door. Plan breaks during the day away from the machine, plan breaks into your week, your month. I do the holiday thing; I make sure I go away at least once a quarter. I have a client who thinks about work all the time Monday/Friday but is religious about not working the weekend. Whatever works for you.
POINT 4; PERSONAL CARE; Physical and emotional fitness. Have fun, do stuff that gives you energy, that fills up your cup. This means creating time and space for you, not your family, not your friends. You. As an added benefit it’s important to realise that downtime helps creativity and problem solving. It could be better for your business to stop, be idle and relax for 15mins.
POINT 5; ASK FOR HELP; embrace automation and outsourcing. You don’t have to do everything yourself. It might be worth paying someone else to do a particular task, saving you time and helping you maintain ‘Work Life harmony’.
POINT 6; REWARD YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS. Setting goals is part of being a business owner, but don’t forget to reward yourself and celebrate the achievements. Positive recognition helps keep you going. Remember progression is very motivational. This will help keep any resentment of sacrifice and commitment at bay. Again leading to quality ‘life’ time.