Business owners are known to have busy schedules, with many different and often conflicting responsibilities, and a steady flow of important decisions to make. To remain successful long-term, you need to find a balance between your business and your personal life. Work-life balance refers to the quality of your life, and the satisfaction and enjoyment you get in proportion to the things you do. Your work-life balance goal should be to find ways to get satisfaction and enrichment from life that makes the work you do worthwhile.
To this end, here are five suggested ways to help you create a work-life balance.
1. Set Boundaries
The most important step for creating a balance is in setting boundaries with customers, employees, and vendors. Your need a clear idea of how you want your business relationships to be structured, so you can create habits that reinforce that vision. If you think through the areas where you feel you need to create more structure, and be clear on how you want to communicate and interact with your business contacts, then you need to share those policies so you can create boundaries that honour your time.
2. Create Rules for Yourself
Just as you need to set rules that manage your contact with others, you also need to set ground rules for yourself. It is way too easy to take that late-night call “just this once,” or give out your personal cell phone number to a trusted client. Make a list of unacceptable personal actions that contradict your boundaries, and keep the list in a visible place. Check it often to ensure you are respecting your own boundaries.
3. Develop an Emergency Test
Things happen in business that may cause you to have to bend your own rules from time to time – this is the nature of business. In the heat of chaos it can be difficult to remain objective about what qualifies as an emergency. If you create a checklist that outlines what factors should exist before a situation is classified as an emergency, it is easier to understand when and how your boundaries should be bent, as well as what you should do after the situation is resolved to restore the limits.
4. Be Consistent
Setting boundaries is all about creating habits, and the best way to create a positive habit is to do something consistently. If you give in once, or let something slide, you’re going to have to work twice as hard to respect your own ground rules next time.
5. Allow Yourself to Take Breaks
Work-life balance requires that you dedicate time to focus on all aspects of your life. You cannot give your personal life focus without investing time in it. So if you are usually overscheduled with work, there will not be much of a chance you will be able to take a break, or do anything non-work related without shuffling your time and increasing your stress. One way to ensure you take time out for your personal life is by scheduling in the time as if it were another work responsibility. Over time, this will become second nature, and it will be one of the most valuable slots of time during your day.
Creating a plan that develops work-life balance will help you reduce stress, ultimately being a happier, and more successful, business owner.