The concept of work-life balance is difficult to achieve, especially for business owners. Their jobs may entail 24/7 demands, cutting into family time and causing stress and overwork. Parents, in particular, need to make sure that they are carving enough family time out of their busy schedules. Though it may seem like a daunting prospect, work-life balance can be achieved. Here are 5 ways Darren Ewert and Mike Dreher, collectively known as the marketing duo Darren and Mike, have found to effectively split their time between business and family concerns.
- Take Time for Yourself
Many business owners neglect the most important person in their companies: themselves. It is all too common for business owners to fall prey to the extreme levels of stress involved in their jobs, leading to health problems, diminished family relationships, and overall dissatisfaction with life.Every business owner should be prepared to take care of themselves. Make sure that you exercise and eat right. Get all of the regular physicals and medical care that you need. Engage in whatever activities help you feel more centered and less stressed. Some suggestions of common stress relieving activities are meditation and yoga.
You will also need to engage in activities other than work. Keep up with your hobbies, like golf and woodworking. When you take the time to relax, you will find that you can do your job better and that you are a more relaxed and happier person in general.
As Darren and Mike discovered when they were still working in the corporate world, if the stress of work is inescapable, it is a sure sign that you’re in the wrong job. Their solution was to create their own company and work on their own schedules, but the solution is different for everyone. The key is to find your passion and deal with stress proactively.
- Plan Your Hours Carefully
As much as possible, create a schedule and stick to it. You should take notes about how and when you perform the basic functions of your job. Identify areas where time is being wasted and when you are pulled away from your job to deal with a crisis. Many people find it beneficial to block out time in their calendars for each activity.For example, when you first arrive at work in the morning, you may want to spend an hour going over all of your emails. Next, you may want to have a meeting with your subordinates to make sure they are staying on target. Be sure that you take time off for lunch, rather than eating on the run, then you can think about traveling to your worksites to stay in touch with your employees.
Toward the end of the workday, plan out a time to put everything you have learned during the day together in a document. When you look back on your records of the day, you will remember how to solve problems and keep your company running efficiently.
It is understandable that you may need to be available for emails and texts 24/7, but try to minimize this as much as possible. When you are spending quality time with your children, try to turn off your phone and laptop if you can. If you are constantly running to check your electronics, your relationship with your children will suffer because they will believe that they are not important to you.
- Hire Wisely
Make sure that the subordinates you hire are completely capable of doing their jobs and can take over for you whenever necessary. If you feel like you can trust your managers, you will be able to relax when it is time for you to pull away from work for a little while. If you are constantly worrying that your employees will cause problems, you will never be able to relax while you are not at work.Your employees may need more training to come up to this standard, or you might need to let them go and find someone else who does not have any bad habits to begin with. Particularly in a family business, it is possible that your coworkers might not be one hundred percent committed to their jobs. Make sure that these people have the correct priorities in mind.
- Eliminate Wasted Time
This was touched on above, but it is a crucial component of work-life balance. If you can identify parts of your day where you are wasting time, you can eliminate them.For example, long chats by the water cooler should be cut short. You should keep your office door shut to prevent unexpected chats from your employees. Give your assistant the power to be a gatekeeper for you. While it is important to remain accessible to your employees, you can also prevent them from wasting your time.
Another area where many business owners waste time is in reading emails. It can be a good idea to set aside just one or two hours a day to read and respond to emails. Checking them all day long will only lead to inefficiency.
- Keep Your Priorities in Mind
When you are setting your schedule to promote work-life balance, it is important to keep your priorities in mind. Take the time to sit down and write what your priorities should be. As much as possible, conduct your business activities in accordance with these priorities. This will save time and prevent you from becoming sidetracked into activities that are not part of the scope of your job. This will preserve the time you need to manage people and activities.
Work-Life Balance Doesn’t Have to be Elusive
Many business owners feel harried and stressed and feel as if they will never be able to achieve a positive work-life balance. When you use these 5 tips, you will be able to prioritize your day and make sure that you are meeting your most important responsibilities.
Make sure that your family is at the top of your list. Children grow up quickly, and you will only have a limited time to spend with them at each developmental stage. Missing out on their childhood will cause a serious level of regret in the years to come, and you will never regret not spending enough time at work.
Do your best to promote work-life balance by using these tips that worked for Darren and Mike, and watch your productivity rise.