We all make New Year resolutions – then we break them soon after! But one resolution that you should stick with is to achieve a work-life balance. Your health matters and you should put it first in everything you do – even when growing your business.
We live in a very fast world, and we work fast to keep up. Nowhere is that more evident than in the business community. Whether starting a new business or growing an established one, we spend more hours doing that than we do at home with our family and friends. Then, we feel guilty because we’re not achieving that work-life balance that we crave and the resulting stress leads to poor performance in business.
Three major areas that we can look to improve are our Health, Family and Business.
Health and Well-Being
Your health and well-being matters – this year make it your priority. There’s no point in giving your all your energy to your business else you risk burn-out and stress. And, your business won’t survive if you become ill. Your family won’t fair too well either. In addition to eating healthily and getting plenty of exercise, learning to relax more can help you de-stress and become more focused.
Each morning, take a few minutes (or longer if you can) to relax and meditate. Take deep breaths and calm your senses before you start your working day. Do this before or after your morning shower or wash so that it’s easier to make it a habit.
Throughout the day, when you can snatch a few minutes from your busy schedule, do the same. Learn the art of mindfulness which is an incredible way to meditate and help you to feel relaxed and grounded.
Each evening before going to bed, calmly reflect on your day and focus on everything that you did right or did well – and park stuff that didn’t go so well. Taking a few minutes of relaxation will help you to sleep better and reduce your stress levels.
These small steps can lead to developing the habit of relaxing our minds and bodies, and you’ll be amazed at how well you feel when you practise deep breathing exercises on a regular basis. And, they’re easy to do when you need a time-out at work.
Spending time with family and friends can become low on your list of priorities when you’re working so many hours, even weekends, on building your business. If your partner feels neglected, then your back to. You can, however, nurture your relationship by getting into the habit of spending quality time with your partner. Even spending half an hour each evening before bed to listen and talk with your partner will make a difference. Also ask family and friends to babysit so that you can go out together on a regular basis, perhaps to the cinema, for a meal, and so on.
Spend time with your children too. Learn to be playful and play with them again. Enjoy family games and family outings one afternoon a week if you can manage it. This will cement bonds and help to provide support to your spouse who usually has to cope on their own. If you’re a lone parent, it’s critical that you have quality time with your children. It’s also important you socialise with friends whenever possible to relax and enjoy yourself.
Whether you’re an employer or a sole trader, use your budget to automate your systems wherever possible. There are plenty of digital management tools to choose from to suit your business needs and your budget. You can automate systems to help with emails, phone calls, bookkeeping and so on. You could go further if your budget allows and install a CRM tool to take care of your marketing and customer relationship requirements. Or, there are social media management tools to consider manage this to save you time.
Delegate wherever possible. You may think you have to do it all, but you don’t. ome of your workload. Outsource if you must or at the very least, use a virtual assistant to help you. If money is very tight, think about offeri – Many will work for a significantly reduced fee, or even for free, for the opportunity to gain experience in a particular industry.
Consider asking for help from a successful business owner. If you network on a regular basis and people trust you, look around for a business owner who will be happy to mentor you through the tough times and provide ongoing support and advice.
There are ways to achieve a work-life balance, but it doesn’t just happen – you have to make it happen. Learn how to meditate and relax and make this your daily priority. The more you do it, the easier it becomes to make it a lifestyle habit. Prioritise time with family and friends instead of working long hours or taking work home. Get out of the office and meet people in real life rather than doing all your business online. Go for a brisk walk each day to clear the cobwebs and refresh your mind – you’re more likely to make sound business decisions and be more productive if you’re less stressed . Having a work-life balance will mean a healthier lifestyle for you and your family, and also help you to work to your optimum best while growing your business. Go for it!