If you are a business owner, you probably work 50-60 hours a week. This doesn’t include time you spend collecting messages at home, making phone calls or just thinking about work. With today’s technology, the challenge is even greater because you are always “reachable’ and most people expect an instant response.
This happens because running a business involves so many activities that most business owners feel like they can get caught up in. This causes stress, which can affect health and relationships, as well as future success.
However, there are things you can do to help find a better balance between business, personal, leisure and family time.
Here are some tips:
Scheduling: Block off a few times each week for activities not work-related. Be honest and keep your expectations realistic. A few hours marked as “personal time” (for you) and “personal time” (with family/friends) is better than nothing. If you have an assistant who manages your schedule, make sure they also have these times blocked off.
Manage meetings: Meetings eat up hours of time, often because they get off topic. If you cannot control the agenda, announce ahead of time that you can only attend for a particular item or time slot. Then move on.
Tame email: Only allow a certain length of time to deal with email at a time, otherwise the day will disappear.
Find time in the time you have: For example, use the times when you are driving a child to hockey practice to ask about school, friends, what’s happening. If you have an errand to do on the weekend, take along your child or spouse and then include lunch.
Walk and talk: It’s not always possible to get to the gym but fit exercise in as you can, such as a walk after lunch, walking the dog in the morning, or a stroll in the evening with a friend or spouse to chat about the day. Walking and talking is great therapy for both parties.
Eat with a friend: Instead of skipping meals or eating at your desk, meet a friend or family member for lunch. If you stay away from the topic of your work (and your cell phone is off) this can be quality time for re-charging.
Use time well: Consider one day, or half day a week as “disengage time” for yourself and focus on that time. Turn off the phone/emails. Just do something you want to do.
In the same way, set aside time with your family without phones/emails. Talk about them, not work. Eat a meal together, go to a ball game or just watch a movie at home.