Many people assume having your own business means lots of free time, but any entrepreneur will tell you it’s a lot more work than a 9 to 5 job. In 2006 an Ipsos Reid poll reported that 61 per cent of small business people thought they could do a better job of balancing home and work life.
Business coaches say the trick to finding balance is to treat family and personal needs with as much respect as work. That means scheduling a massage as well as another conference call, and preventing work from bleeding into family and leisure time. The five most common tips for the overworked are:
1. Set boundaries. There’s no question that entrepreneurs have to work longer hours in the early years of a business, or deal with crises when they arise, but even then it’s important to schedule overtime. Look at the job: will it take two more hours? Four? Schedule that time, and don’t work a minute more. That should curb procrastination too.
2. Turn off the gadgets. Computers, email, and phones leave many of us wondering how tools designed for efficiency have caused us to work around the clock. Protect private time by severing that electronic leash. Go cycling, take a walk, or have lunch with your spouse – all without a nagging gizmo at your side.
3. Get more exercise. Study after study shows that aerobic exercise is good for most of what ails us, and some research has found its even more efficient than drugs for lifting depression, a common companion for the overworked. A midday trip to the gym, or a yoga class will help you fight fatigue and increase mental alertness, which will save you time. You’ll work smarter, rather than longer.
4. Focus on solutions. When a crisis hits, it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of what went wrong. Take control by asking yourself, “What do I want to achieve?” Then work directly to your goal. Everything else is just a distraction. The time to analyze the problem’s cause is after it’s solved.
5. Remember what mom said. All those sensible rules she made still apply. Schedule adequate sleep. Eat balanced meals (not at your desk). Take regular breaks. Ask for help when you need it. Learn to say no.
Libro Financial Group
Beechwood 420 Erb St., Waterloo 519.725.6060
Williamsburg 170 Fischer Hallman Rd., Kitchener 519.570.9955
Waterloo North 55 Northfield Dr. E., Waterloo 519.744.1031
Contact a Financial Planner: