Maintaining work-life balance as a business owner in a way that keeps you productive, happy, healthy, and sane is a big deal. It’s definitely not always easy. The busier we are at work, the harder it is to devote time to ourselves, our family, and our friends.
Business owners are at particularly high risk of neglecting their personal lives because of professional demands. The responsibilities and stresses of running any enterprise can be there around the clock, 365 days a year. But neglecting your personal life jeopardizes your mental and physical health, as well as your personal and professional relationships and your ability to focus, make smart decisions, and remain highly productive.
Here are some important tips to help ensure you’re maintaining work-life balance as a business owner.
How to Keep Work and Life in Balance
- Sit down and determine exactly what a healthy work-life balance would look like to you; it’s different for everyone. But you can’t achieve a goal you don’t define.
- Set work hours and stick to them. Put personal time into your schedule and stick to it, too.
- Remember that personal time sometimes means alone time.
- Personal time must include at least a brief break in the middle of your work time.
- Keep daily to-do lists ordered by priority and attack things in the order they need to be taken care of.
- Include even the smallest items on your to-do lists so you don’t miss things and end up having to do them outside of an appropriate time.
- Stop thinking of downtime as an opportunity to work ahead.
- Start distinguishing between when your perfectionism matters and when it’s just consuming more time and energy than it’s worth.
- Disconnect from your computer and mobile devices during personal time so you don’t get sucked into work.
- Learn to delegate. It’s hard for many business owners, but it’s essential. Invest some time into finding and training the right people and let them help you.
- Similarly, outsource some personal responsibilities. Have groceries delivered, hire someone to mow the lawn, look into personal assistant services that run errands, etc.
- Staff your company with people who have strengths that make up for your weaknesses.
- Encourage your employees to achieve a healthy work-life balance and help them do it. Make it a topic of conversation in your workplace.
- Make plans as needed if you’re one of those people who hangs around at work if you don’t have a set reason to leave.
- Identify people and activities that waste your time and/or energy. Force yourself to say no to things that interfere with maintaining work-life balance as a business owner.
- Don’t ignore it when your family or friends complain that you’re spending too much time working. It’s not nagging; it’s concern for you, and it means your relationships are suffering.
- Ask your family and friends periodically how they perceive your work-life balance. You might be surprised what you learn from outside perspectives.
- Find a way to volunteer in a way that’s meaningful for you. If possible, get some of your family or friends involved.
- Get some exercise every day. This too can be done with friends or family to combine an important activity with spending time with important people.
- Make time every week for a hobby. Again, if you can involve your spouse, kids, friends, or someone else, it’s a beneficial overlap.
- Get involved in a regularly recurring social activity or two so that you always have something fun built into your schedule.
- Be careful about over-committing your time; the stress it creates is detrimental to feeling like you have a happy, healthy balance going.
- Take vacations periodically—even if they’re mostly just staycations, day trips, or weekend getaways.
- Don’t bring work along on vacation.