Research shows that entrepreneurs often work 63 percent more than other employees. Being an entrepreneur can mean no guaranteed holiday time, no off-the-clock weekends and no steady 9-to-5 desk jobs. Running a business can stretch anybody’s work-life balance to the limit. Finding an appropriate balance of work and play is important to maintain a successful, happy, healthy lifestyle.
The first step to take in time management is to identify key uses of time, and determine whether the uses are valuable. Some successful tips that I have used to find my personal and professional balance include:
Prioritize tasks by assigning times and lengths for to-do lists.
Often people make to-do lists in no particular order. So I recommend after your list is done, go back and put the most significant tasks at the top. Think about how unproductive a day is when you do things that aren’t necessary to growing your business.
Remember, too, that every day more tasks will be added, so check off the important ones first.
Sometimes you just have to say no.
Entrepreneurs tend to believe that they have to adhere to everyone’s needs. This is generous but doing so can take up an excessive amount of time, and can add additional stress.
Entrepreneurs must be able to recognize the tasks that do or do not add value to their business.
Work 100 percent of the time while at the office.
It is so easy to be distracted while at work. People don’t realize the amount of time they spend on social media accounts, making personal phone calls or spending too much time having personal conversations with co-workers.
If you work while you’re at work, you will probably give yourself a few hours of personal time so that you can leave early to enjoy a leisure activity away from the office.
No cellphone usage during family time or in bed.
Constantly being on the phone interferes with our personal time, as well as with our sleep pattern. It’s distracting, and often it is the first thing that people reach for in the morning so they can check emails, lists, text messages, etc. Give yourself time to properly wake up in the morning.
Designate time for family, friends and hobbies.
To keep you afloat, you have to designate time to connect with your loved ones and old hobbies. If you are just constantly working, you are going to burn yourself out prematurely. Allowing yourself time away from the office refreshes your body and mind.
By giving yourself some “me” time, your days will be more productive, and your business will be more successful.
I understand that some entrepreneurs feel like they have to be in work mode at all times. But in reality, to achieve goals, we, too, must laugh, play, shower, exercise, eat well, get sleep and be with our family and friends. If you take the time to do this, your business will flourish.
Michele Cuthbert is the CEO and creator of Baker Creative, a global WBE-certified creative brand management firm based in Ohio.