Did you dream that as a business owner you’d be able to call the shots while you took the odd day off to play a round of golf or take a trip to the coast? Maybe it’s not working out quite like that in reality.
While you no doubt knew you‘d have to work long hours, you may have thought you’d feel more in control of your schedule.
Well, you’re not alone. The perfect work-life balance can be difficult to achieve. In fact, we’d go as far as to say the very phrase is misleading as work is an integral part of life, not the opposite. Being satisfied at work contributes to your overall life goals and personal sense of fulfilment. It’s important, however, that while striving to make a successful business, you make time for your family and friends too.
When you first set up your business, it’s inevitable that you’ll be really busy as you get it off the ground. And at this stage, you’ll be fully prepared to put the hours in. You may have to make certain sacrifices but you trust that the rewards will be worth it eventually. So, while you may not be able to see the children before they go to school or may miss their bathtime sometimes, the blood, sweat and tears will pay off hopefully in the long run. Keep reminding yourself why you’re doing it.
Keep focused on your short-term objectives and long term goals. If you feel like you’re always running round like a headless chicken or endlessly firefighting, take a step back and review your priorities. Use technology and automation as much as possible to create a scheduling system and organise your diary. Project management software can set and assign tasks to other members of the team, giving you a clear overview of where any project is up to.
Getting up and running
At this stage, you should start delegating certain responsibilities. It’s all too easy to get bogged down in the day to day running of the firm. Remember, your role is to oversee the growth of your business so make sure you give yourself the space and freedom to do so. Consider hiring one or two extra employees. Think about using freelancers if it’s just a short term need and if your business is seasonal, temporary staff can be a flexible solution.
Maintaining the flow
Create opportunities so you can spend more time with those close to you. One of the perks of being your own boss is that you’re in charge of your schedule, so make sure you book lunch with a friend or your spouse from time to time. And keep to those engagements as you would a work commitment. Don’t get into the habit of always eating your lunch at your desk. Try and leave work early occasionally for a family outing or weekend away. Above all, put your health first – if you can, fit a swim or yoga session in at lunchtime or organise things so you can run or cycle to and from work.
And finally, mark those achievements. Thank all those who’ve helped you get there, your employees and your support team back at home. By keeping a healthy work-life balance, you’ll be sure to have plenty more milestones to celebrate!