6 August 2014

Tips and advice on achieving the perfect work life balance

A recent survey has revealed that a third of small business owners have abandoned holiday plans, given up weekends and even ended a relationship, due to work commitments!

The survey conducted by One Poll quizzed more than 500 small business managers and owners, whose biggest worries were managing cash flow and HR issues.

The good news is that by following a few simple pointers it is possible to achieve a harmonious work/life balance, without having to resort to divorce or sneakily checking emails behind a palm tree*;

5 Easy Ways to Achieve the Perfect Work/Life Balance

  • Accept that you can’t do it all – there are only so many hours in a day and to free up your precious evenings and weekends, you’ll need to prioritise your time and/or delegate tasks. Focus on the time sensitive tasks and activities that matter, and plan your day accordingly. And if there’s a project that’s got you stumped, don’t be afraid to either outsource it, or better still, undertake a local training course to add those skills to your professional repertoire.
  • Perfect the art of working from home – I’ve just spent the last five years working from home and the best advice I can give is to treat working at home in the same way as actually going into an office. Have a dedicated work desk in a separate room or area that you can close down at the end of the day. Stick to set working hours, so that you and your clients respect your boundaries. And if it does all get too much, consider a virtual tenancy service, which can handle time consuming tasks such as post collection, telephone answering and parcel acceptance.
  • Separate work and home life – don’t encourage friends, family and neighbours to drop in for a coffee during working hours (unless they’re prepared to roll up their sleeves and help out of course). Use your evenings and weekends instead for your social commitments.
  • Surround yourself with positive people – in order to harness your own positive mental attitude, you’ll need to encourage positivity in your working life too. Focus on working with suppliers and contractors that don’t flap and fuss especially when something doesn’t go to plan (as invariably happens). And when you’re hit with a negative comment, spin it into a positive to restore balance – when a colleague moans about the rain, spin it into a positive as to how its saving you time watering the garden!
  • Take a step back – Running a small business is incredibly intense with a multitude of decisions to be made on a daily basis, and it’s important to take a step back every now and again. It’s hugely beneficial to discuss ideas and strategies with an impartial business advisor. Finding someone not directly involved with the business, such as a business mentor, gives perspective and independent thought.

*true story!

Image credit: Adrian Scottow via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Written by Julie Bowman @ Nwes

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