Forget balancing the books — finding the right work-life balance as a small business owner can be the trickiest juggling act of them all. Work often pushes everything else off your priority list, especially in the early days of setting up shop.
But think of the safety announcement on an airplane — put on your own oxygen mask before you help others — and take care of your stress levels so you are better able to manage your employees, lead a healthy life and create a healthy business.
What is work-life balance?
As the name suggests, work life balance is the concept of a reasonable split between time spent working and time spent with family, friends and generally enjoying leisure time. It’s rarely a 50/50 split, but it’s also important to make sure you have ample time to relax and recharge in between the busy boom times.
Take the quiz.
Is your work life in balance with the rest of your life? Are you burned out? Are your relationships suffering? Try this stress index questionnaire to find out. You might also want to create a similar one for your employees to check in and find out how they are feeling about work.
Breathe, move your body and get outside.
First of all, take a deep breath. When we’re stressed, we forget to breathe properly and our whole body goes into fight-or-flight mode, putting stress on our organs and making us irritable and anxious. Find a quiet space where you can clear your mind — yoga, swimming and walking are all good ways to take a break and get your body moving. Unplugging and getting out into nature are two other easy ways to instantly de-stress. If you must take your iPhone, you can stay on top of your business with the Square Point of Sale App while you get some fresh air and enjoy the great outdoors.
Manage stress by cutting down on your workload.
Make life easier for yourself. Delegate tasks that don’t need your personal skillset, manage business remotely through your Square Dashboard and consider outsourcing simple tasks that are taking up unnecessary time and causing you stress. Small changes can make a big difference — try getting up a little earlier to get a jump on the day or plan to meet a friend for lunch at least once a week. Taking time out can be the biggest challenge for small business owners, but burnout is a real alternative if you push yourself too hard.
Remember what you love doing.
Whether it’s cooking, art, yoga or music, hone in on your passions and make time to take your mind off your business worries by enjoying a few hobbies. Start small — commit to running for 10 minutes, or sign up for an evening class once a week. Carve out time for family and friends; giving yourself a hard stop time at the end of the day can help you be more productive and still see your loved ones. Don’t overwhelm your schedule with more things to do in your downtime; focus instead on building in blocks of time to get some R&R so that you’ll feel replenished and ready to face the world when you return.
Do you have any tips for creating a healthy work life balance? Join the conversation on Twitter @SquareCanada.