All work and no play can damage your business
Balance isn’t easy. We struggle with it across the board and in many areas. We guarantee no–one has the perfect ‘life balance’. Whether it comes to maintaining a healthy diet, getting enough sleep and exercising, how much time we spend on our devices, and even how much time we spend worrying and obsessing over things we have no control over. At some point or another, we’re out of sync somewhere.
Balancing health across our physical, emotional and spiritual state requires constant assessment. At certain seasons in life we don’t always get it right. For those who are running and managing a business, it might be even more difficult. Trying to separate work life from home life can seem impossible. These areas most likely merge into one as the office never gets left behind.
The problem is we can only keep going for so long operating 100% on all cylinders before we come crashing down. For some, like Arianna Huffington, this can lead to a total collapse. For others, it could look like becoming less and less productivity and letting things slowly slip through the cracks. This could mean poor customer service, an undefined business strategy, poor time management, employee mismanagement and low morale, or poor financial management.
Creating a good work life balance is not only important, it’s necessary. This is especially true for small business owners who rely on their business as their source of income. When you’re immersed in the day-to-day ongoings of a small business, everything from marketing to hiring staff falls on your plate and there is no such thing as time off or a vacation. A vacation for some can mean no business is coming in, which means no income. But, working yourself to the bone isn’t going to make your business grow – that’s not top of the list of things to do when you read books and articles on ‘what it takes to grow into a successful business’ or ‘an entrepreneurs guide to a winning business’.
So how do you keep yourself in check and make sure you’re staying sane so that your business can run smoothly and operate well? We suggest thinking through some of the following things and considering taking them onboard if you think you need to find some balance again.
1. Learn to delegate
Small business owners often start off as the marketer, accountant, manager, sales person, PR specialist, customer service team, and receptionist all rolled into one. By the time their business has grown a little they are reluctant and fearful to pass on the hats. They fear the loss of control, but this fear can set you back in business. You can’t do it all, so stop trying to.
Alongside this, micro-management is never a coveted management skill in any business. Micro-management is as tiresome on the one doing it as the employees working under it. If you find that you have too many tasks to get through week in and week out, then you need to decide what and who to delegate to. Trusting your employees will not only free you up in certain areas but also motivate them to take more responsibility while you oversee things from a high-level.
2. Set aside some downtime
It’s well-known that spending time with family or friends, keeping fit, and making time for the things you enjoy contribute to being healthier and happier. Getting fresh air and getting the blood pumping is scientifically proven to provide your body with more oxygen, help you sleep better and boost your energy levels. Similarly, relationships are essential to a well-balanced life. You need down-time and it’s important to spend it with those you love or doing the things you love.
Schedule time in to run, read a good book, meet friends for a drink, bake, or switch off and watch your favourite series. Whatever it is that you want to do in your downtime, make sure you’re fitting it in. Not only is it important for your wellbeing, but it will benefit your business if you’re switching off to do something else for a while so that your brain can take a break from work and recharge.
3. Incorporate better time-management
Having said that, a good way to fit in downtime is to learn how to manage your time better. Determine what’s important and what is urgent, and accept that what is urgent isn’t always important.
Find out what times of the day you are most productive and make sure your important tasks are done at the time of the day when you’re performing at your optimum.
Make sure you use a calendar to schedule deadlines or notify yourself about important dates and meetings that are coming up for the week. But don’t stop there, ensure that you also schedule your daily tasks so that you aren’t trying to multi-task everything at every minute of the day but are dedicating specific time for specific tasks. It can be more productive concentrate all your efforts on one thing before moving on to the next, so schedule time to check and respond to emails and then move on to the next thing instead of trying to juggle everything at once.
If your biggest work stress is financial and you could use a little help with a small business loan then let us take the stress out of that for you. Lulalend offers small business loans to those businesses that have been operating for at least a year and are making a monthly turnover of R40 000. Our application is easy and fast – because we know that tedious paper work is the last thing you need when your time is precious and you have a lot to fit in in a day. We make sure we don’t encroach on your downtime because our application process is complete in 3 easy steps. With Lulalend it takes 5 minutes to apply and you can see funding in your account in 24 hours.