Running your own business requires you to be constantly on, because let’s face it – there’s always more work to be done. While there might be the need to work hard, it is important to draw the line between working to make your dream come true, and starting to let work rule your life.
Knowing where to draw this line can help you switch off when you leave work and give you the chance to enjoy the life part of work/life balance. Here are my tips on achieving this:
#1 – Differentiate with space
Ensure your office is clearly separated from the rest of your space. While it’s easy to simply add a desk to the living area, try to ensure that it is closed off, as it becomes tempting to log back into work in the evenings. If need be look into renting a space outside of your home, which is more accessible than ever with new co-working spaces like WeWork and Inspire9 providing affordable options for a range of different budgets.
#2 – Hone in your hours
A huge advantage of being a small-business owner is being able to set your own hours. Take advantage of this and set a schedule that works for you and frees up time for relaxation and recreation. Customers are not concerned that you work long hours, but that you are available when you say you’ll be. Set hours that work for you, and communicate these to set realistic expectations.
#3 – Do your homework before you get home
In the tech age there is no excuse to leave admin until the last minute, as it is easier than ever to complete important tasks on the go. Digital tools like Invoice2go allow users to send invoices on the spot, right when they finish each project. Don’t fall into the trap that business owners sometimes do and wait until the end of the day, only to go home and face a mounting pile of homework. Invoice2go also helps you capture receipts the moment you receive them, allowing for more efficiency and less to do at the end of the day.
#4 – Two is better than one
Is your business phone also your personal one? Consider getting a second phone for business to keep your personal line separate. This allows you to have control over who you are accessible to at any given time. A second line can also make it much easier to stick to your set hours, and close off your business properly at the end of the day.
#5 – Create a carefree commute
If you end the work day with a commute, this can be used to tie up the last last few items on your agenda and then transition into something entirely different. Focus on something fresh by listening to music or podcasts that help you detach from the day gone by. If you work from home, it’s important to create a transition activity between work and personal time to allow your mind to unwind, like making dinner or walking the dog.
By taking into account these simple tips for leaving work at work, you can learn how to be efficient without burning the candle at both ends, meaning you’ll be your most productive self at work and also enjoy time outside the office.
Chris Strode, Founder, www.invoice.2go.com