As business owners and leaders in a world of connectivity it is often challenging to have a separation between work and personal life, especially when you are involved in agriculture. Your customers are likely your friends, neighbors and maybe even your relatives. Smart phones and tablets keep you connected to everyone, starting first thing in the morning until late at night. Combine all that with the last-minute needs of many people, and it truly is hard to balance personal and professional lives.
However, everyone does need some type of a break. No one performs to their highest during a season of burnout, and if you are not performing to your best potential, your sales will show. Perhaps instead of a balance, you need to decide the best way to “give-and-take” the time you need to grow your business, while still enjoying life. For instance, a start-up, young business will probably need to work harder, putting forth more effort than a well-established, highly respected company. That is part of the give-and-take or balance of being a business owner or leader.
Megan Sullivan offers seven tips on achieving some type of balance in your work and personal lives.
Set Boundaries and Keep Them. This is critical to your personal wellbeing in many different aspects. Be sure to set a time boundary. If you are typically open from 8 – 5, daily, it is acceptable to answer the phone a little early or even make a delivery. But much later than 5:30 or so, you need to call it quitting time and put up the phone and spend time doing something you enjoy.
When it comes to space boundaries, these are just as important as time boundaries. Make sure you have a space where you can leave work behind, like an office, shed or even in your pickup. Just make sure when you get you home, you don’t bring work with you.
Take Time Off. If you say you’re taking time off or time away, mean it. This is especially true on days you are sick or have medical appointments. If you have let your customers know you are going to be out, they will respect that, and not contact you.
Keep your Social Commitments. You remember what they said about all work and no play? It made Jack a dull boy. And it will make you a dull human being too. Not only are social opportunities a good way to keep up with your friends and what is happening in your community, they are also another way to promote you and your company (remember, life is all about balance).
Take Care of Yourself. Self-care is so important to being able to function properly. Be sure you eat healthy meals and snacks and take breaks throughout the day. If you are at a desk the majority of the day, get up and stretch. Walk around and get some fresh air every few hours. If you are outside in the elements most of the day, be sure to stay hydrated and take breaks when you can.
Part of taking care of yourself is also rejuvenating away from work. Take a vacation. Maybe you can’t afford the time or money for an elaborate trip. But, take time away. Take a long weekend away with your family. Go visit family or friends. Explore some part of the state or country you’ve always wanted to visit. There are several ways to get away and not spend a great deal of money, and ultimately, you will feel better for it.
Set your Own Norms. Remember, what works for your neighbor might not work for you. For instance, you know you have church on Wednesday nights. Make that a night that is set aside for family. It might be a family policy that everyone eats together either before or after church, and no cell phones are allowed. If the other stores in town are open late one night a week, you can choose to stay open or not. It is up to you to set your schedule and what works best for you.
Ask for Help. You don’t wear a cape, and you don’t have to be a superhero. Sometimes you can be more efficient if you ask for help. Or better yet, delegate some responsibility to other employees. Asking for help and delegating are ways that you can get more time back on your calendar or accomplish a task quicker with the help of others.
Know When to Say No. We live in a society of people pleasers and saying “no” to others is hard. But sometimes it is the best thing to do for your own sanity. Weigh the pros and cons. Is it worthwhile to you, your family or your business to say yes? If not, a firm no is always better than giving the asker the false hope of a “maybe.”
Work-life balance isn’t a myth. But it isn’t easy either. It takes some planning and time to achieve, but with the advice of these tips above, you can still grow your business while having a happy, healthy personal life too.
Online source for this story: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/r/ productivity/12secrets-to-achieving-a-good-work-life-balance-as-a-businessowner/