How to make the time to invest in yourself as a founder or CEO

It won’t shock you to note that a recent report by Xero found that Australian small-business owners have the second lowest overall wellbeing of the seven countries surveyed, ahead of only the UK.

As an entrepreneur and co-founder of Australian gifting Company Edible Blooms, that I established with my sister Abbey eighteen years ago, I know how striving for success in business can cramp your personal wellbeing as well as steal time away from the things that bring you joy.

Whilst there’s no such thing as the right balance between work and play, it’s important to make sure there’s time to enjoy life’s great moments.

So, here are my top five shares that help me to keep all the critical cogs of Edible Blooms going and make way for family and me time:

  1. 90 per cent is better than perfect
    It can seem that the grass is often greener in someone else’s back garden. I like to work actively on a philosophy that 90 per cent is better than perfect (please don’t look at my back garden too closely!). This has proved a winner for me on the productivity and well-being fronts. Perfectionism prevents you from getting to market ahead of your competition or getting to the finish line at all. It’s also true that the last 10 per cent can take just as long as the first 90 per cent, so ‘let it go!’.
  2. Find your tribe
    Consciously choose who you surround yourself with. Family is your family and always will be. I’m fortunate with my sister and co-founder Abbey and my husband Andrew in particular, we’re all on board to support one another’s goals. I also ensure my wider tribe is filled people who lift me up and help keep me on track. My business besties are an incredible group of women we’ve named the ‘Fearless Females’ and have started a Facebook page to connect with and inspire others.
  3. Step back, assess and delegate
    Choose what lights your fire and say no to the things that don’t. To give this tip context, pretend you have to be away from your desk for three months and determine what you need to implement to make this successful? This will help uncover the tasks which could be taken on by someone else or automated with technology or processes. Such a ‘break’ stands to be a game changer for you and empowers your colleagues.
  4. Live to learn – my favourite podcasts
    I love learning and I am also an avid podcast listener to continually invest in personal and business improvement. My current favourite go-to listens are:
    • Chanticleer – for a weekly finance wrap up.
    • Add to Cart – best Australian e-commerce listen.
    • Scaling up – lessons from world-leading CEOs and Founders.
    • This is Joy – our very own uplifting Edible Blooms podcast.
  5. List management
    No Executive Assistant? No worries! Become a list king or queen via the best trick I have discovered is to create just one to-do list combining all your personal and work tasks into one. This gives you peace of mind that everything you need to do is noted and is being done, it also helps you rationalise your time, and gives you a sense of accomplishment as you tick the tasks off.
    And, if your inbox can get out of control in a flash like mine, plan the day in blocks of time and only attending to the email inbox in times set aside specifically for this task. To further manage a bulging inbox, sort the emails by sender – you’ll be surprised at how this simple hack can help you get through your messages in half the time.

Now you have saved time by putting in place these time-saving strategies, it is important to use that time wisely…and for the very reason you intended – finding time for joy. Carving out time for yourself allows both personal and professional growth to happen.