Business engagement is the invisible line that keeps entrepreneurs and business people connected to the business. And today’s seamless and open communication lines and social media messaging applications open and enhance that connection. It is no longer possible to be ‘unreachable’. This is both a blessing and a curse. While you can enjoy remote access and connection, constant engagement will also derail your work life balance.
Here are effective work-life balance strategies for busy entrepreneurs;
Create a great divide of your time, one part dedicated to work, the other to non-work activities. Do not mix or overlap the division. When you’re on work time, do your darnest to finish and be productive. And when you’re outside your work hours focus on whatever you’re doing and forget work.
2. Take the time to plan and strategies
Make it a habit to start your year, month, week and day with a plan. Every morning spend a few minutes of listing, planning and strategizing your day. List all your tasks and goals. The few minutes spent will save your hours and dollars of wasted time and money when things are done inefficiently.
3. Make your workplace a fun place
A fun and work-conducive environment will help you and your team get things done right and fast. Perk up the room with music, fun furniture and wall designs. Make it a place that you and your team would like spending time in. Choose the appropriate atmosphere to the type of work or activities.
4. Choose your team well
Find similar-minded people for your team. If your work culture is tech savvy, teamwork and fun, only hire people who will fit into that mould. A team with similar work ethics, drive and values are more competent, productive and effective in reaching company or team goals.
5. Get professional help
It is better to hire fewer people and pay higher rates, than hiring more people and pay less. With the higher pay, you are attracting the most experienced and trained people for the job. It is a huge productivity edge when you have the best people on your team. Fewer people to manage too.
6. Lump similar tasks
Lumping similar tasks together is a great time management hack. Work smarter by doing emails in batches, outside tasks together or paperwork on schedule. It will save you time and let you focus on other tasks. It is more efficient doing similar tasks together. One is more focused and productive and will save you time and effort.
7. Learn to say NO
The willingness to do everything and anything is a time grabber. As an entrepreneur, you would naturally want to get as many deals as you can. As a person, you will want to go to every party, attend all events or help everybody every opportunity you have. A lot of your work-life balance will depend on your ability to know when and how to say NO.
8. Turn off electronic alerts
Ignorance is bliss. Turning off your email, messenger and other alerts will let you enjoy and focus more on where you are at the moment. Not because you’re hiding or avoiding work, but because it will keep your mind clear of distractions. Don’t worry, if it’s really an emergency, they will call you or your assistant.
9. Forget perfection
Perfection is the bane of productivity. Of course, there are some things that really needs to be faultless like product designs and business reports. But perfection is not for everything. Mulling over the perfect packaging and endless revisions of the marketing campaign will just hold you back from achieving more and moving forward with your business.
10. Exercise regularly
Keeping your health optimal and your energy level high is key to achieving and doing more. Don’t get winded down after your last meeting at the office. Make sure that you still have the energy and the enthusiasm for non-work and after-work activities with friends and family.
11. Schedule quality time with your loved ones
Nurture the relationships you have with the people important to you. Consider special events, dates and quality time with your loved ones like you would an important business appointment. Put it in your calendar, clear conflicting appointments and be there – mentally and physically.
12. Nurture a hobby
Find at least one thing that you enjoy doing and passionate about. Having a hobby will let you spend quality time with yourself. It will nurture your soul, your creativity, your passion and will let you express your inner self. So take up dancing, painting, gardening, hiking, fishing or whatever is in your heart.
Delegation is an effective time management and productivity hack. Streamline your tasks by delegating certain tasks to the people who specialises on it and are therefore also more adept and experienced. Time-consuming, complicated, regulated and repetitive tasks like bookkeeping, accounting or taxation are ideally delegated.
14. Always have a list of everything
Your To-Do list is your roadmap to productivity and accomplishment. Listing things – tasks, grocery to buy, goals or plans, will make things simple and organised. Make it a habit of jotting down ideas, reminders and notes to self. When it’s on paper, it is unlikely forgotten or lost.
15. Prioritise tasks
As much as you want to accomplish everything, you can only do so much in a day, a week, a month or in a year. Learn how to prioritise tasks – tackle the urgent and important, do the non-urgent but important next, delegate what you can and plan your schedule to accommodate more tasks for less the time.
16. Book vacations
Booking vacations are instant motivators. It triggers a chain of planning, anticipation and eagerness. Everyone needs happy triggers and something to look forward to. It encourages us to work harder, faster and achieve more goals to free up time for the vacation. Book a vacation now, and take it too.
17. Have a social group, outside work
Do not limit your circle of friends to your co-workers, the office people and business associates. Talks and discussions will always eventually revert back to work and business. Widen your network to include diverse and non-business people and friends coming other industries. They can be your childhood friends, neighbours or hobby club members.
18. Eat healthy
Binge eating is a common consequence of working hard and long hours. Invest in your health. Do not fall into the category of busy entrepreneur eating delivered junk in front of your computer. Take the time to eat proper meals, healthy food, at the table and preferably socially.
19. Prioritise sleep
Torn between hitting the sack and clubbing with friends? Always choose what’s better for your health and body. You will not be able to enjoy your time out or work effectively in the morning if you’re physically tired. Make sleep and rest a priority.
20. Reward yourself
Rewards perk you up, motivate and cut huge goals into smaller and more achievable achievements. It can be a slice of your favourite sweet for dessert, a short vacation or a new gadget. Rewards also don’t have to be a thing, it can be intangibles like an hour worth of sleeping in, a pampering massage or a movie night.
21. Respect your ‘ME’ time
ME time should always be on your calendar. Time spent on your own and how you want it will give your time to reflect, enjoy life, think and plan. Respect your ME time. Do not let a new business deal take away your time. Earning more does not equate to better life.
22. Indulge in some laziness
You don’t have to be on the go 24/7, all year round. Nobody does that and goes a long way without collapsing or burning out. Give yourself time to laze around, do nothing and while away time. Forget deadlines, tasks and work. Or better yet, finish them all quickly so you can indulge in a guilt-free laziness.
23. Take care of your car
Your car is your vehicle from one place to another. It affords you convenience and unlimited accessibility. Your car also serves as your carry-all – groceries, a change of clothes, business goods and materials get ferried in it. Imagine the hassle and inconvenience if it breaks down. It will not only affect your efficiency and convenience but also your mood and work behaviour.
24. Know your options
Make it a habit of knowing or looking for better options. Do not just settle for the long-established ways of doing things. With the technological leaps of the recent years, faster and more sensible business processes have been developed. Find ways how you can streamline your processes, lighten the tasks and be more efficient.
25. Buy services, not things
Lastly, choose to pay for services rather than buy things. Services like business accounting, dog walking and house-cleaning will buy you more free time to enjoy doing things you love. Buying stuff excessively will only create clutter.