Owning a business comes with many rewarding benefits and opportunities. However, it is not without its challenges. One particular challenge many business owners face is balancing their work and personal life.
According to Inc Magazine, business owners on average work 50 hours a week, with 25% reporting 60 hours per week. This is compared to the national average for employees who work on average 33.8 hours per week.
Working too many hours can lead to several negative consequences. These consequences were highlighted in a recent study by healthline.com. They are:
- More likely to turn to alcohol for relaxation
- Stall in productivity
- Lack of sleep which leads to daytime fatigue
- Feeling blue
- Stress which is hard on the heart
- Back and neck pain
- Suffering relationships
Just to name a few! No doubt about it, achieving a healthy work / personal life balance is a must.
Let’s take a look at some practical tips on how to achieve it.
Tip #1 Set achievable weekly goals for yourself
If you are setting achievable, quantitative goals, your productivity will increase because you’ll have a sense of purpose for what you are doing. Once the goals for the day or week have been completed, don’t stress yourself out by starting on another project, even if you get done early. Take the win and head home!
Tip #2 Take consistent short walking breaks
It seems everyone has a Fitbit or an Apple watch these days. If you don’t, set an alarm on your phone to alert you in regular intervals when it is time to stand up, go for a short walk and clear your head. This is essential to stay focused on your project. If we go too long without standing up and walking around, our minds tend to wander which leads to procrastination, which leads to stress that the project is not going to get finished on time.
Tip #3 Strive for excellence, not perfection
Executive coach and author of the book The Office Survival Guide, Marilyn Puder-York, PhD, says perfectionism is destructive. Business owners particularly juggle a wide array of responsibilities. Being a perfectionist often means spending more time than you should on any given task, leading to overworking yourself and less personal time. It can also lead to the business owner taking on tasks they should be delegating!
Tip #4 Unplug
Almost any book or article you read on achieving a healthy work / life balance recommends taking some time away to unplug, where you turn off the cell phone, email, Facebook, shut down the laptop and simply unplug. This is great advice because our bodies need rest and recovery. And the relationships with loved ones deserve your undivided attention, free from distractions.
Tip #5 Check your email no more than 4 times a day
E-mails can be a productivity killer. We’ve all been there. You set your goals for the day, you set out to accomplish them and your e-mail inbox dings. Regardless of whether it is spam, or a very important e-mail, it steals your attention — even if for a brief few seconds. Those brief few seconds are enough to interrupt your flow and completely derail your efforts. This is a very inefficient way to work. Our recommendation if you are in an industry that allows for it, is to check your e-mails at a set time each day, up to 4 times a day. Don’t allow that e-mail chime take you away from what you are supposed to be focused on. If it is urgent, your cell phone is still available for the sender to reach you. Chances are, it’s not urgent.
Have you already achieved a healthy work / life balance? Share your tips, comments and feedback on our social media channels! We’d love to hear!