Balancing your business and home life

Trying to manage the demands of your business and your home life can be an ongoing challenge. Achieving the perfect work-life balance might seem like an impossible goal, but there are always ways you can improve your current situation.

Balancing work and home life without guilt

To find your work-life balance, you’ll have to first consider all the daily tasks that compete for your time. Then, you’ll need to determine which ones to retain and which ones to cast aside.

The right work-life balance for you will most likely change over time. For example, if you created your business when you were single but are now married with children, you’ll be looking to achieve a different balance from your younger days.

Utilize technology to your advantage

So many of your organizational tasks as a business owner can now be achieved more efficiently, in less time, and with less stress. Whether it’s:

  • Keeping your accounts.
  • Storing documents and files.
  • Managing inventory.

The technology is there, so find out which software or applications suit your business best and utilize them.

As Richard Branson once explained, “I find that technology is a great help – I use phone calendars, email reminders and mobile reminders to maneuver my way to each meeting, event and party. You can also use these things to make sure you have time to eat regularly and that you can get a good sleep.”*

Use your smartphone wisely

It has been said that smartphones are the entrepreneur’s biggest blessing and biggest curse. Because of your intelligent mobile device, you can work from anywhere at anytime as a business owner – essentially breaking up the boundaries between work and home life.

Aim to get the most out of your business smartphone to make your working life easier (and home life more relaxing). For instance, you could:

  • Create a virtual filing cabinet. Record and store your essential documents electronically, whether they’re invoices, receipts, documents or business cards. An app like Evernote can easily record these.
  • Digitize your printed marketing material. Use an app like Camscanner to transform your business’s brochures into PDF documents that you can email to your customers.
  • Produce instant testimonials. If you’re talking to one of your satisfied customers, ask to take a short video of them giving your business feedback – then upload it to your website as a testimonial.
  • Schedule video conferences while on the move. Your time is precious so employ the services of an app like Google Hangouts to meet with your staff ‘virtually’ while traveling to work, or while making your way to meet an important customer.

Finding out how to integrate and connect a successful business and a happy home life has to be one of your goals – and your smartphone can help you achieve it.

Remove that guilty feeling

As a business owner, you might be having trouble overcoming the guilt of working long hours while accepting that you need personal time for yourself and your family.

Put some measures in place to lesson your guilt, such as:

  • Creating one calendar for both work and home life. Sync your calendar with the smart devices of your staff and family so they’re all aware of how you’re allocating your time.
  • Sticking to a daily routine. Ensure that you don’t miss that phone call with your partner (or the weekly baseball practice with your son) by adding these home life routines to your daily schedule.
  • Adopting a positive mindset. Optimistic people are healthier and live longer than pessimists – and they’re able to stay motivated, manage stress effectively and be ready for the unexpected.

Allow for some private ‘me’ time

Plan time to completely disconnect from your business. This is where having trustworthy staff that you depend on can help prevent you from burning out.

You can build up your trust in your employees by increasingly delegating them more challenging tasks or roles. As you begin to understand how much workload they can manage and what tasks they do exceptionally well, you’ll start to feel more relaxed about entrusting your business to them.

As a result, you’ll be more comfortable about taking time out to refresh, revitalize and to enjoy family time.

Accept a level of sacrifice

When you decided to launch your business, you were probably aware that your life would be slightly out of balance at the expense of family, friends and personal time.

You may not be able to reach your level of perfect life-work balance, but you can get as close to that level as possible (and remove any guilty feelings in the process). Accepting a level of sacrifice to meet all your work and home life demands is ‘par for the course’ for most entrepreneurs.

Next steps

Appendix

* Richard Branson: ‘Reap the rewards of workplace flexibility’

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