If you’re a business owner, you know that the job can be tiring, stressful and challenging. Small business owners wear many different hats, often at the same time. There are customers to service, records to keep, critical questions to answer, inventory to manage, taxes to deal with and a million details.
So much needs to be done, and often by only one or two owners. It isn’t uncommon for the business to drain your energy and motivation, regardless of how much you enjoy the business. Finding balance in this chaos can be difficult. But neglecting to find this balance can lead to burnout, business failure or personal illness. Creating boundaries between personal time and work time is necessary to keep your business in perspective.
Start the process of setting boundaries by reflecting on priorities and knowing what’s really important to accomplish in a day, a week or a month in order for your business to succeed. After that you will feel better about allowing the time you need for personal activities. Analyze and understand all of the tasks you perform in your business. Prioritize those that bring in the most value, and ruthlessly reduce or eliminate the rest. Delegate as a matter of course; outsource if you need to.
Finding balance is about making choices that are healthy (emotionally and physically) and implementing tools that reduce stress. Rethink business hours of operation to allow time for family, friends, exercise and fun. Keep business activities confined to those hours of business operation as much as possible to avoid burnout.
The key to successfully keeping business in perspective is to establish boundaries, plan ahead and manage time for achieving the greatest impact. Develop a healthy perspective on what’s truly important to your happiness and what’s getting in the way.
Some common strategies that busy business owners use to balance a personal life with business success include time management, planning, prioritizing, being productive and not just busy, delegating, incorporating technology, and just plain old taking a break to refresh and recharge.
Some additional tips include creating a focus on solutions and not problems, keeping a visual reminder of your “why am I in this business” near you at all times, writing down your successes at the end of each day, and viewing challenges as growth opportunities.
Everyone business owner knows it takes fortitude. To those outside looking in, running a successful business looks easy. But every business owner knows that their success only came after a lot of false starts, time and effort, learning experiences and perseverance. If you don’t take time to recharge your batteries and refresh your perspective, it’s easy to find yourself frustrated with your business.