If you own a business, you know how hard it is to keep it running without neglecting the other important aspects of your life. And yet, we need to set clear boundaries if we want to stay healthy and have fulfilling relationships with our families and friends.
This article will highlight several strategies I’ve used over the years. They aren’t very easy to implement, but they do bring results. I know that if you work from home, it will be a bit more difficult to differentiate work from personal time. Nevertheless, you can create a dedicated space for work-related purposes, and then treat it like regular office space.
1. Set boundaries.
Begin by setting boundaries. It’s easy to get really involved and work 14-16 hours a day for years in a row, but this may affect your health. So, set your working hours, announce them to your team and clients, and then stick to the schedule no matter what happens.
It is also important to set clear expectations when it comes to communicating with colleagues and clients. Decide how and when you can be contacted. If you aren’t working, turn off your laptop and your work phone; you will be able to call people back and reply to their emails next morning.
Now that you’ve earned some free time, choose how you are going to spend it. You should spend time with your family (your spouse strongly agrees with me on that), and you will need to spend time on your own as well.
I can’t stress this enough: be sure to prioritize self-care. If you work yourself to death, your business will collapse! So, get plenty of sleep (seven hours would be a minimum in my book), eat healthy foods, and exercise five days a week. Relax each day, doing things that bring you joy. Grow a network of family members, friends and colleagues, and then meet with them a few times per week. Discuss your struggles and challenges with them; this will greatly reduce stress levels.
2. Delegate tasks.
Just like you, I want to do everything on my own, to ensure that all things get done properly. However, if you choose to delegate some tasks to other team members, you will free up your time. I assume that at least some of the things you’re doing for your business do not require your specific skills, so they can be done by another team member.
Choose the proper person for each task you’re delegating; always evaluate their skills and experience before assigning them a specific role. It helps a lot to let your colleagues know what you expect from them, and then give everyone the detailed instructions and resources that they will need to bring those tasks to completion. Don’t forget to make yourself available for any questions that your teammates may have and meet with them regularly to stay up to date with their progress.
3. Use automation.
Modern technology can automate repetitive, boring, time-consuming tasks, saving you time and increasing efficiency. More than this, automation has the potential to reduce human error.
Do your research to discover, and then compare the software and platforms that can help you save time. Make sure you understand how each system works and then pass the information to the people who will be using it. As an example, you could use tools such as Hootsuite to post messages to your company’s social media accounts automatically.
A final piece of advice: Very few entrepreneurs take breaks throughout the day, but this is one of my secret weapons. So, take 10-20 minutes off when you feel you’re tired. Go for a walk, buy yourself a good cup of coffee, and I promise you will feel so much better when you return to work.