Work-life balance strategies for small-business owners

Work life balance

I’m not a big fan of the phrase “work-life balance” as it insinuates that “work” and “life” are two opposing or different things.  Let’s be clear, we have one life, not a “work” life and a “personal” life.  We should not be putting “work” and “life” against each other in a constant battle, but rather accept that they co-exist, and we should attempt for them to operate in harmony.

However, it’s evident not all of us think like this. Burnout is common for many small-business owners in today’s digital, “always-on” world, so setting some boundaries and having a strategy to remain in control, has never been more critical.  And if we reimagine our own definition of what work-life balance is, we can make a huge difference to our health and wellbeing.

Here are some steps you can take as a small-business owner to create more balance in your life:

Take a step back and reflect on the big picture

If you are unhappy with the number of hours you are spending at work, take a step back and reflect on the big picture.  What is being lost in the imbalance? Is your health, family life or relationship suffering? If these things are suffering, make plans and take active steps to take back some of the things you have lost.

Delegate, delegate, delegate (non-business critical tasks)

It’s difficult to let go of the business that you have spent countless hours growing and nurturing.  One of the most difficult tasks as a small-business owner is the transition from doing to leading.  But it’s an important transition all small-business leaders must make if they wish to grow and let the business become a business and not simply a job for themselves.

Set clearly defined working hours

If you are struggling with the blurred lines of work and home life, then a good tactic to embrace is setting clear working hours.  Set clearly defined start and stop times and most importantly, stick to them.

Take weekends off and smell the roses

In many jobs, it’s not always easy to take every weekend off, but if you are a business owner you should be able to pick and choose when you work, right?  It’s easier said than done in some businesses, but if you have the discipline to set weekends to take off, and then plan your working week around it, you might be surprised how it can become achievable.

Choose a job you love

We all know the saying, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. And that resonates with me. If you are working in your own business and you love what you are doing, then when does work start and life finish?  Or when does life start and work finish?  My simple answer is they don’t; they co-exist and if you (and your family) are happy with the way you are managing the two, then you are doing it right.