Work-life balance is a worthy goal; it is the idea that it is healthy for a person to find a balance between their working hours and personal life (friends and family, exercise, hobbies, traveling, etc.)
Work-life balance is hard for most people but small business owners – with the many hats they wear – have an even harder time achieving this goal.
While work-life balance is a good goal, there are going to be times when work outweighs personal life or when personal life takes a front seat. For example, when a business is getting off the ground or growing, a business owner should expect to prioritize work at least until they are able to delegate tasks to employees or the groundwork is set.
Top 10 ways for small business owners to achieve work-life balance
While many business owners find satisfaction in their work, personal relationships and self-care are important parts of life. Business owners who are spending too many waking hours at work can benefit from implementing the following 10 tips:
1. Time management
> Create a list of to-dos for the week and prioritize tasks from urgent to low. Choose a reasonable number of tasks to accomplish each day and check them off as they are completed.
> Meal plan. Create a food and snack schedule so you know that you will have healthy, filling foods available on days when you are rushed. Ask a partner to prepare dinner if you need to work late.
> Schedule time for exercise or recreation at least three days per week.
> Set a sleep schedule. Your body needs rest to function at its best so set a time for bed and stick to it.
2. Choose a time to end your work day. Get as much done as you can during your work hours but close your laptop and turn off your ringer at a set time in the evening and on the weekends so you can eat dinner and relax with family.
3. Take a few breaks throughout your work day to relax and eat. Even 5-10 minute breaks can be helpful.
4. Choose a day to take off from work every week, if possible.
5. Schedule and take at least one vacation every year. While we may live in a popular vacation spot for others, be sure to also treat yourself to an unplugged vacation.
6. Designate an area for work, whether in the house or at the office, and keep your work in that area.
7. Set expectations around access. Unless your product or service isn’t functioning, let clients know when you will be available to help.
8. Delegate or outsource tasks in your business. Find employees who you can trust to take on some of your work load. Good examples are bookkeeping, payroll, data entry, and customer service tasks. Consider outsourcing tasks such as office cleaning and booking business travel.
9. Delegate or outsource tasks in your home. Talk to family members who may be able to take on more responsibilities at home. For example, kids may be able weed the garden. Teenagers may be able to do laundry, dishes and clean the floors. A partner may be willing to take on the gardening and grocery shopping. If family isn’t an option, consider outsourcing tasks by hiring a house cleaner, gardener, and maintenance workers for gutters, windows, etc.
10. Get comfortable saying no. There will be times when you are overwhelmed and people ask you to take on more. Weigh the request carefully and decide if it makes sense to set other tasks aside for this new request. If it doesn’t then it is appropriate to state a firm no.
The consequences of not setting boundaries around work hours are sleep deprivation, exhaustion, health issues, weight gain or loss, stress, and the deterioration of personal relationships. Set boundaries and stick to them. Make social and family commitments and stick to them.
Partnering with Makai HR
Is wearing too many hats in your small business eating into your life? We’ve got your employee needs covered with HR outsourcing! When you partner with Makai HR you can take HR needs off your plate; we take care of everything from payroll to taxes, health insurance/benefits and worker’s compensation. You also gain peace of mind that you are in compliance with all of Hawaii’s employer laws (if you’ve ever looked you know that the list is very long). We can truly improve your employees work benefits while freeing you up to run your business.
When choosing a PEO to partner with, there are many things to consider including cost, services and technology solutions. Our plans are priced competitively and include value-added services like time-in/time-out systems. Our three tiers of PEO service plans are tailored to the size of your business and specific needs.
What are you waiting for? Companies who partner with a PEO benefit from 7-9% faster growth, 10-14% lower employee turnover; and they are 50% less likely to go out of business. Contact us today to get started!