7 business owner work-life balance tips
Work-life balance as a business owner is about striking an equilibrium between your work life and your personal life (such as family time, relationships, exercise, travel and hobbies)… and it isn’t often considered one of the defining characteristics of a business owner, but business owner work-life balance is a vital, though underrated, part of business success.
With 18 months in and out of lockdown, working from home has for many people facilitated a tendency to ‘keep working’ – not separating work and personal life as we did before Covid.
In fact, recent research reported in TechRound found that people who have now gone back to the office in some capacity have felt a significant improvement in their work-life balance.
The importance of managing work-life balance for business owners
Work-life balance isn’t necessarily about finding a 50-50 split; it is highly nuanced and individual, and about what it means to you and your circumstances. But it’s worth bearing in mind that in recent years the evidence has stacked up that working more hours does not lead to getting more done – or greater productivity. In fact, it can have the complete opposite effect and lead to high levels of stress.
Here are seven ways to find a happy, healthy equilibrium and enjoy a fulfilling business owner work-life balance inside and outside of work.
Take the time to look at all of the demands on your time and select the most important things to focus on – discarding the rest.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? It is actually pretty hard to do, but if you’re honest with yourself and practice the art of prioritising both at work and at home, you will start to reap the benefits quickly. Dig deep and really challenge yourself here. You’ll get there – even if it feels a little alien at first.
2. Don’t try to do it all on your own
Delegate, outsource and use your network. You may think you can do it all on your own – you very rarely can.
We’ve talked before about how to get the most out of your accountant, beyond looking after the books. Take this principle and think about other areas that could free up your time and improve your overall well-being. Is it a virtual assistant to help with diary management and administration? Is it using your team more effectively and fully empowering them to do what you hired them to do?
This applies at home too – anything from dog walkers and household cleaners to having a family rota for household chores can help to spread the load.
3. Say no
The power of no cannot be understated. It feels easy and natural to say yes to every opportunity, every client, every task that comes your way – especially if you are in the early stages of your business.
Saying no can feel pretty scary, but to keep your well-being and work-life balance in check, saying no is a skill. Use your knowledge, experience and evidence and combine it with the power of the gut to make those yes/no calls.
Trust yourself and get comfortable saying no!
4. Use technology and tools
Embrace technology and tools wherever you can. There are so many incredible tools that can save you time and improve efficiency. Think about where technology can automate regular tasks, such as creating and sending invoices to your clients with Xero and then integrating Xero with Hydr to pay your invoices within 24 hours and take care of everything with that invoice, freeing you to focus on other things.
Time is one of your most valuable assets and is at the very core of work-life balance. Using technology and tools to reduce the time spent on work tasks can give you time back to put into personal projects and passions. Explore what is out there!
Diarise absolutely everything. Whether it’s work or personal, put it in your diary and follow it as best as you can. If you have a school sports day to go to at 3pm – put it in your calendar just as you would a meeting. If you want to go to the gym three times this week, look at your calendar and schedule your gym time in a realistic spot.
It isn’t a weakness to take time out of the working day for your personal priorities – in fact, you’ll find it enhances your productivity, motivation and overall well-being.
6. Set a defined workspace and routine
So many of us are working from home for at least some of the working week. Creating a defined workspace at home can really help in finding your balance – somewhere to start and end the day that is separate from the rest of your house. Establishing a routine within a defined working area, including an end-of-day finish time will improve your work-life balance as a business owner.
7. Constantly review your work-life balance
Our priorities and focus areas at home and at work are ever-changing, so in order to maintain work-life balance as a business owner, you need to constantly review what is working and what isn’t. Set review dates in your calendar, it could be monthly, quarterly or every six months – what matters is taking the time to review the previous period and make the tweaks and changes needed to tackle the period ahead.
How invoice finance can help business owners to manage work-life balance
Invoice finance can save you valuable time and stress in waiting for and chasing for outstanding invoice payments – ultimately supporting your work-life balance goals as a business owner. Find out how an invoice finance partner like Hydr can help you save valuable time today.
Business owner work-life balance is a key element to overall business success that is all too often overlooked by business owners. However, armed with the right strategies and tools, and with a little discipline, any business owner should be able to achieve an effective work-life balance, and see both their professional and personal lives thrive.