Starting up a new business is hard work. But it can also be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. Small business owners are some of the hardest workers among us and are arguably the backbone of our economy.
As important as it is to work hard for your business, it’s just as important, and you could even say detrimental, to your business's success for you to understand when to say no! Are you feeling burned out? Do you have no social life? Are you constantly working morning and evening?
If so, it's time to work on your work-life balance!
Important for anyone, and especially for someone experiencing the stresses of running a business, is self-care. When you are in charge of your own business’s success, you may want to work yourself to the bone , however, you may not know that risking your health will have the opposite effect.
You’ll want to ensure that you’re looking after every aspect of your physical and mental health. This includes making sure you’re taking breaks from long periods of work and staying well-nourished and rested.
Failure to do this can result in your emotional and physical well-being declining which can lead to burnout – which is a success killer! To prevent this from happening, you’ll want to make your health a top priority and practice self-care techniques as an absolute necessity.
o Eat 3 balanced meals a day
o Exercise for at least 1 hour a day
o Sleep 8+ hours (this varies between individuals)
o Having enough downtime (reading a book or other relaxing activities in the evening)
o Decreasing screen time (this one is especially important if you deal with electronics at work)
o Spending time with friends and family
o Spending time in nature
Automation is your best friend
Your tasks at work may be filled with monotony, but with the software available today, that doesn’t mean you need to be too! There’s a high chance that around 40% of your workload is packed with monotonous tasks and by utilising automation you can spend so much time on better things for your business.
You can use automation software like Hive automate to free up your schedule and claim back some time to spend freely. So don’t hesitate, declare your time as your own and let automation help you out!
Lots of us are guilty of overworking ourselves. We work more hours than we’re supposed to and give our free time away to meet last-minute deadlines. If this sounds like you more frequently than not, that’s a sign that your work-life is unbalanced, and you need to set clearer boundaries.
You can set boundaries at work by first defining them to yourself, before clearly communicating to your employees and/or client base what your limitations are. This can look like ‘All emails sent after 6pm will be responded to tomorrow morning’ or ‘I will not work this weekend and will enjoy the time with my family’.
You should never feel guilty for setting boundaries and taking these steps will help you to set yourself up for success.
Recharge and Rejuvenate with Breaks
We have had a strong ‘hustle’ work culture for a long time, and this isn’t something that has changed in recent years. While hard work does pay off, it's proven that encouraging breaks at work improves creativity, performance, and engagement.
All of these are incredibly important for business growth and success, which is why it's important to take regular breaks from work.
A break can look however you need it to, and can be anything from a quick trip to the shops for an energy top-up in the form of a snack or drink to a brisk 15-minute walk, or a phone call catch up with a friend. Ensuring you take rests throughout your working day will help you to achieve more with a refocused mind.
Take Time for Hobbies and Interests
It’s important to make time in your schedule for hobbies and interests, and a hobby can range from something as simple as knitting to a physical activity like tennis. If you do it for enjoyment and in your leisure time, it’s classed as a hobby!
The secret to implementing a hobby successfully into your routine is spending your time wisely and making sure you’re prioritising what matters to you and finding the right balance between work and play. Even if it's just setting a small amount of time aside every evening, we recommend you spend at least 15 minutes a week doing something you enjoy.
Indulging in hobbies that exercise the brain and body has been studied and shown to positively impact productivity in the workplace, so ensuring you have time to partake in your favourite extra-curricular activity may just contribute to your long-term professional goals!
Having Good Relationships with Colleagues
It’s very likely that you will spend a lot of time in your business with your colleagues or clients, so it may be a good idea to harness open and collaborative relationships to foster a happy working environment. There are many benefits to building good relationships in the workplace such as a sense of connection, opportunities to connect, and increased mental health.
There are several steps you can take to create a pleasant work environment and grow positive relationships with your colleagues/clients, and a good place to start this would be when you first meet.
You may want to show interest in getting to know your new colleagues and make it obvious you are friendly and approachable. This could look like joining in with conversations, going to lunch together and maybe even creating out-of-office plans to spend time together.
When you are socialising with your colleagues/clients you will want to show respect by practicing common courtesy and politeness and valuing their time and workloads. To ensure you are building good foundations for a positive working relationship, you will want to keep all communication to a positive level and not partake in office gossip.
Ensuring you are building and maintaining good working relationships will have a positive impact on how you feel about being at work, which can improve your mental health and sustain good productivity levels, making you feel more engaged and prepared to do work.
Accepting a helping hand
Your own time is limited, and as such you need to look after it and spend it wisely. As the time comes in your career when you need to accept help, as your business enters a growth phase, you will need to learn to assign work so that you can balance your workload.
If you don’t yet have a team, and your workload is becoming too much for you to handle on your own, you may want to consider hiring extra staff. You can delegate tasks around things such as e-commerce (website building and maintenance), marketing (designing marketing materials) and customer service, so you can focus more of your efforts on tasks like brand strategy, investments and social networking.
Allowing yourself the time to focus on your priorities will contribute to your overall business success.
Achieving a healthy work-life balance is crucial for the success of your business. While it may be tempting to work endlessly, neglecting self-care can lead to burnout and hinder you and your business's ability to thrive. Prioritising your physical and mental health through proper nutrition, exercise, rest, and leisure activities is essential.
Remember, a healthy work-life balance is not a luxury; it's a necessity for long-term success. Check out our blog post focusing on the consequences of not taking breaks at work for a deeper dive into this section of work-life balance!