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How to Achieve a Work-Life Balance

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Owning your own business or leading a team of people takes a lot of time, energy, and work. It can be difficult to maintain a work-life balance, especially when you are taking on a new project, job, or business. 

Here are some statistics for workers in the United States:

  • The U.S. comes in at number 30 compared to 38 other countries on work-life balance
  • Full-time workers devote 14.4 hours per day to personal care and leisure activities, including sleep
  • 11.4 percent of Americans work 50 or more hours per week
  • 66 percent of full-time employees feel they don’t have a good work-life balance. 
  • 33 percent of adults work on weekends or holidays
  • 66 percent say they have bad or overbearing bosses, which causes their poor work-life balance

Not having a good work-life balance can hurt you short-term and long-term. Not focusing on yourself and family can cause burnout and fatigue.  If you are working long hours and not maintaining a good work life-balance, what are your employees doing? Do they have a good work-life balance? 

What are some things you can do to ensure you and your employees have a good work-life balance?

Establish good morning routines 

Many successful people claim good morning routines helped them become successful. They may exercise, eat a good breakfast, meditate, or even plan for their day. Learn from other successful people and see what routines they have. Whatever morning habits you choose, schedule your time wisely. Choose activities which make you feel your best. This will set the tone for the rest of the day. You feel more productive when your morning starts off well. 

Keep a running list and make a plan

Spend fifteen minutes a day making your list and plans for the day. What do you need to get done so you can mark things off your list? Keeping a to-do list helps you maintain focus and lets you know what you need to do now. Prioritize your list and force yourself to do the things you have been putting off. Don’t multitask too much. You want to focus on one thing at a time so you can complete it well. 

Restrict email responses to working hours only or scheduled times 

If you are a manager sending late-night messages, you are probably hurting your team. They feel they need to be working when they get the notifications on their phone. This isn’t good for you or your employees. You need to be able to disconnect from the office when you aren’t there. If you feel you need to work in the evening, schedule that time. Make notes of things you want to tell your employees the next day but try to limit late-night email messages. Let them enjoy their time away from the office. Turn off your notifications during certain times at home so you can relax as well. 

Think about important software which will help speed things up

For example, there are productivity tools which can help. There is also software, like a QuickBooks app for your phone, where you can scan your receipts immediately and log the information for taxes. You can also put in any mileage or other information as well. 

If you are a service-based business like a landscaper or cleaning service, invest in a time tracking app for small business like ezClocker which keeps customer information and schedules appointments and tasks for your employees. It will also help manage your employee’s timesheets instead of manually tracking their time. They can clock in and out from their phones anywhere and there is a GPS so you can verify their location. 

What apps or software would work for your personal and professional life? What tasks could be automated?

Need an Affordable Time Clock App for Your Employees?   Try out ezClocker for FREE!

Outsource or delegate what you can

Are you trying to write articles to build up your blog on your website? Think about outsourcing different projects on Upwork, a freelancing website. Do you have employees who are interested in helping you with the website or social media? Maybe you can delegate those tasks? Train them how to write articles or prepare social media posts for your business. You can be the final approver before the information goes live. It is much easier to edit than to write. 

What about your personal life? Do you spend your weekends cleaning or doing yardwork? Think about hiring someone to help you on those projects as well. What can you get rid of on your to-do list? Eliminate things you don’t need to do. What chores or activities could you give up? 

Offer flexible scheduling or remote working

For your employees, could you offer flexible scheduling to help them have a good work-life balance? Investigate the pros and cons to see if this is something you could implement in your small business. You want your employees to be engaged with your business. What could you do to help them stay focused and motivated? 

Schedule your personal life and leisure activities

What top three things do you want to do now? Do you want to hike or just watch TV? Have you been wanting to read a book but haven’t had time? If your life is hectic, even at home, think about scheduling your leisure activities like you would at work. 

Tell your family you would like one hour of alone time to do whatever you want to do. Just because you are an adult doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fun. What makes you happy? What do you really want to do with your time at home to help you relax? 

Take your holidays and vacations

You should not be working during these times. It is important to let go and focus on yourself during your holidays or vacations. Everyone should be doing this. Don’t send emails or texts to your employees during these times, unless it is an emergency. If you always work and do not take time off, you will become more stressed and burned out. Think about what your business needs and ensure you take care of yourself. 

[Learn How to Stay Productive During the Holidays]

Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People said“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” Know what your priorities are because those are the things which should capture your attention. Maintain your focus on the important things and don’t focus on things which don’t matter. 

Implement good time management tips. Make each moment count. Plan your day and your to-do list. Think about what you could delegate or outsource to others. 

As a small business owner, think about your employees. Ensure they aren’t working such long hours as well. You want them to be engaged and care about your business. They are probably not going to be as invested as you, but they want your business to do well. Most employees want to see your business become successful. 

Eliminate distractions. If you are spending too much time on something which doesn’t matter, determine a way to get rid of it.  

Think about offering productivity classes or time management training to you and your employees if you are struggling. Think about what you are doing and realize that some of your employees are probably adopting the same work-life balance as you. What could you change? What do you need to change? 

Author: Kimberley Kay Travis

Kim Travis has over 20 years of experience in business, human resource management, and leadership roles. She has specialized knowledge in employment law, employee relations, recruiting, management consulting, small business growth, leadership development, workplace safety and health programs, and writing business content.


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