You see, as much as we get fed up of hearing about it, it probably does ring true for most of us. At the end of the day, we probably would like to spend more time at home and less time in the office.
"But when you have a business to run, that's easier said than done!"
Research has shown that entrepreneurs and business owners spend at least 52 hours a week working. That's 63% more than the average office worker. Personally, I'd say that many of the business owners I associate with work a heck of a lot more than that!
Now, they might not be the most exciting ways to maximise your time, but the 6 tips I'm about to share with you are some of the best ways proven to improve your work-life balance ...
Only do things that enrich your life
Time consuming tasks that you completely dread can drain your energy and leave you feeling deflated and totally demotivated. Delegating these tasks to someone else or, if possible, getting rid of them completely will keep you on track and stop you from procrastinating and wasting time.
Sometimes they are things within our business, sometimes they are things within our personal life. Whatever it is, if it isn't enriching your life or leaving you feeling enthused, drop it!
Give yourself plenty of 'me time'
As a business owner, it's often difficult to get a moment's peace and even when you do get a second to yourself, it tends to be almost immediately interrupted by a client with a question or an employee having a crisis!
By setting aside just 10 – 15 minutes a day where you can switch off your thoughts and listen to some of your favourite music or delve into another chapter of the latest novel you are reading, you can get the much needed space to make you feel refreshed and replenished before you start or carry on with your busy day.
Turn off distractions
I know I preach this a lot, but only because I truly believe it's a huge factor in determining the amount that you can get done. At the end of the day, the first step in improving your work-life balance is learning how to maximise your time.
Nowadays, distractions come in many different forms – texts, Twitter updates, Facebook updates, emails, phone calls, just to name a few amongst the huge number of others. Switching your phone off, blocking social media updates to your computer and logging out of your inbox, even for just a couple of hours a day can give you the uninterrupted time you need to get stuff done!
It can instantly eliminate the need for you to stay behind late into the evening to get those final tasks finished.
Choose your support network carefully
We are often told that who we hang around with matters, a lot! Having a good group of fellow entrepreneurs or business people around that can offer you support and advice in tough times is invaluable.
Not only that, but we are heavily influenced by those that we spend time with, so if those within your network have a good work-life balance, why can't you?
Make commitments to your family
Nobody likes to let someone down, so when you commit yourself to something you're likely to ensure that you keep that promise.
Telling your family that you'll be home in time for dinner, or telling your child that you'll be at their dance show makes it all the more important that you're there, henceforth, you'll make sure you are! Sometimes it's as simple as being there to read them a bedtime story or to make them breakfast!
What you don't want to do is spend time at home working from home if you're supposed to be working in your office. If you do work from home, make sure you give yourself strict working hours for which you are locked away in your offices, free from disturbances.
If you have an office base then make sure that you're entire day is wrapped up when you leave, so that you get to spend quality time with your family and loved ones.
Use the 'ITTT' principle
The 'if this then that' principle is fantastic for prioritising tasks. All entrepreneurs and business owners have goals and aims in mind, whether that's ensuring there's food on the table or paying for the trip of a lifetime. When you're about to start a task, ask yourself if it's going to aid in achieving that goal, if not – let it go!
I could go on forever about the ways in which we can better our work-life balance and it's something I, myself still need to work on. However, through delegating more of my work, trusting in my employees and using my support network, I'm finally getting there!
I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.
Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!
I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.
Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!
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