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If you’re like most small business owners, you’ve probably struggled to maintain a healthy work-life balance since well before COVID-19 entered our lives. In fact, a 2019 survey found that only 36% of small business owners reported to have a somewhat healthy work-life balance.
As a small business owner, you’re often pulled in a million different directions and have to wear a lot of different hats. And with the complex demands of the new normal thrown into the mix, finding a healthy balance between your professional life and private life is not an easy task. Here are some tips that can help you achieve harmony in both areas of your life:
Learn to Delegate Your Work
Trying to do everything on your own is a surefire path to burnout. Try to identify tasks that are taking up too much of your time and delegate them to your employees. If you’re a solopreneur, look into hiring virtual assistants or independent contractors who can assist you with social media, content writing, monitoring emails, invoicing, or graphic design.
Ask for Help When You Need It at Home
Just as you should delegate your work tasks, the same holds true for your personal tasks. Don’t be shy about asking for help from family or friends. It really does take a village. Look for ways to hand off some of the items on your to-do list like food shopping, cooking, doing laundry, or picking up dry cleaning to your spouse, older children, or extended family members. The same is true for bringing kids to sports and afterschool activities or supervising children while they are remote learning.
Find a Schedule That Works for You
The traditional 9-5 workday isn’t ideal for everyone. As a matter of fact, 58% of self-employed professionals say they work irregular or odd hours. Maybe you’re most productive in the evening or perhaps you need to begin your workday at 10:00 AM after you’ve gotten the kids off to school. Create a schedule that works best for you and your family in the current circumstances. Most importantly, set a hard stop to your workday and stick to it. Once you’re done for the day, put your work down completely and enjoy your time with your family.
Overlap Activities to Free Up More Time
Consider ways that you can consolidate activities to get more accomplished. For example, if you are stressing out about being able to squeeze in a workout and have some quality time with the kids, why not try to find an activity that would enable you to do both? Take a long walk or go for a bike ride with your family after work and you’ll be able to exercise while giving them your undivided attention. Other examples would be listening to a webinar, podcast, or audiobook while cooking dinner or brainstorming about ideas for a project while taking a shower.
Nurture Your Relationships
Dedicate time every day to the people in your life who matter the most. It’s easy to get swept up in the daily grind and the responsibilities of your business. With the added stress of the pandemic, you may find yourself working extra hours or getting lost yourself in your work. But that’s not sustainable for maintaining healthy relationships. Consider making sit-down family dinners a nightly occurrence. Be 100% present by putting down your phone and resisting the urge to pick it up. Checking your phone sends the signal that you don’t value your children and your spouse as much as you value the email that you’re responding to. And remember, if you’re working too much you’ll miss out on precious moments and milestones that you’ll never get back.
With proper planning, delegating, and by being mindful of the time you’re dedicating to your work and your family, you’ll be able to maintain a healthier balance between the two. Although there may be times where there is an unbalance, always stay aware of your priorities and responsibilities and adjust accordingly to stay on track.
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