We don’t have to tell you that running your own business requires endless amounts of blood, sweat, and tears. It’s only natural — when you’re building something from scratch that you’re passionate about, of course you’re going to be in overdrive.
But like everything, it’s important to keep your well-being in mind. There are a million different tips on how to achieve “work/life” balance, but they all point to the fact that in order to be successful at your work, you need to take care of yourself.
Here are some tips for living a healthy lifestyle and managing stress at work (some of which are easier to accomplish than others, we know).
It’s pretty much a universal truth that being active is crucial to your overall health. And it’s particularly important when it comes to stress management. Aerobic exercise can be extremely helpful in this respect, as can yoga. If you can’t get a full workout in every day, remember that a little is always better than nothing. Try to make it a point to at least take a walk around the block each day. Walking (or biking) to and from your business is also a great way to make sure you’re getting your exercise in — and has the benefit of fresh air and vitamin D.
Work in some downtime
It may seem impossible to tear away from things, but you need to take breaks. (Plus, most people can only sustain a maximum level of concentration for 90 minutes.) Breaks don’t need to be major — even 10 or 15 minutes can help. So the day doesn’t slip away, try setting a reminder on your phone or computer that it’s time to take a breather. Then do something that’s totally unrelated to your work, whether it’s going for a walk (yay for exercise), reading, or just staring at the wall.
Look for ways to streamline
Take a step back and look at your day-to-day routine. Are there areas where things could run more efficiently? If so, it pays to set some time aside to evaluate what sort of systems might alleviate these time sucks. This is where Square can help you out. We specifically design our small business tools (like sales reports, appointments, inventory, or email marketing templates) to help sellers streamline their operations — and give you time back.
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If you’re constantly hunched over your phone (who isn’t these days?), make a conscious effort to take a break from it when you can. This is especially important come bedtime, as screens tend to keep us buzzing and can interfere with sleep — which is crucial for staying healthy. Mindfulness meditation can also help you reset. In fact, many larger companies like Google now offer mindfulness meditation classes for their employees to help keep things balanced.
Let go of perfectionism
This one’s easier said than done, especially when it comes to your own business. But there are always parts of the business that will be okay even if they’re not perfect. When you’re stressed and frazzled, there’s a tendency to think that all the tasks at hand are of equal importance. Make a list of the things you might be able to let go of a bit, and the things that are the most critical for you to keep at the highest standard possible. If you’re opening up a new salon, for example, making sure you have your appointments system all set up may be more important than picking out throw pillows for your waiting area.
Hire and delegate
If things are becoming unmanageable, it’s time to think about bringing on some help. (Read up on our tips for hiring great people.) If you already have employees, think about what you might be able to offload to them — whether it’s managing staff scheduling or taking care of ordering. This may require some training time, but it’s worth it in the long run. What’s more, giving your employees more responsibility helps keep them motivated. If you’re new to management, read our leadership tips on how to be the most effective.
Your business is your baby, we totally get it. But managing your stress levels is really important, especially as you’re getting things off the ground. Hopefully these tips will help you get some balance.
What type of work/life balance strategies have you found the most helpful as a small business owner? Sound off on Facebook or Twitter.
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