Maintaining a work/life balance was a lot easier in earlier times it seems. Today, however, maintaining this balance is not as simple, since work is almost assured to intrude on your personal life. Advances in technology, the Internet, email, texting, and smartphones keep people constantly connected to the office, making it easy for your work life and personal life to merge.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), entrepreneurs tend to be laser-focused on revenue and their bottom line. This focus can lend itself to neglecting certain aspects of their personal lives. Likewise, small businesses with employees might often have a management team that demands 150 percent dedication and commitment from their employees. While these employees are probably passionate and dedicated hard workers, they need to be able to maintain a work-life balance.
Pitfalls of Being Out of Balance
Having an improper imbalance between work and life, with work being more heavily weighted, can lead to some pitfalls, including poor health and fatigue.
Being able to think clearly and work productively might become a problem if you are tired. This could lead to costly mistakes and hurt the company's professional reputation.
Stress is known to affect the immune system and worsen symptoms of existing medical conditions. It can also lead to substance abuse.
Lost Time with Family and Friends
When you are working too much, you may be missing out on important milestones and family events. This could harm relationships with loved ones and leave you feeling left out. It is hard to nurture friendships when you are always working.
Tips for Maintaining a More Balanced Approach
Maintaining a healthy balance between your personal life and work life is easier by following the below tips.
Track Your Time
There are tools you can invest in to track your time. These days, you can track everything from the duration and frequency of meetings to the time it takes to attract and convert sales leads. You can quickly understand the length of time each particular task takes through time-tracking software. This will allow you to estimate the length of time each task will take, allowing you get control and manage your schedule.
Manage your Time for the Long Term
Construct a timeline of your tasks. You can use Word tables or an Excel spreadsheet to do this or specific computer programs. Enter in dates across the top and enter your tasks down the side. Break down each of your tasks into components. Make sure to add family commitments like birthday parties, holidays, and so forth to remind yourself that you cannot work during these personal event times.
Work on Things that Really Matter
Too often small business owners spend too much time being busy instead of being productive. This is because they are working on things that are not a priority. Instead, focus on the things that will move your business forward and help you achieve your overall goals. Take the time to scrutinize your daily schedule to max out each hour so that your focus is on the most important tasks. This could require a high degree of structure and planning.
For you to live a healthy, long and happy life and have a productive career, you have to know how to pace yourself. There will be times when you will need to expend all of your energy on work and other times when it will be beneficial to take a break, whether it is for a vacation or personal family time. It is crucial to have self-awareness. This will help you enjoy your journey as well as the destination.
Remember, people work to live, they don't live to work. At least this is the way it is supposed to be. Although it might be overwhelming trying to maintain a proper work/life balance, putting an emphasis in this area is well worth it. A better balance will result in you feeling more content and at ease with all areas of your life.