When you run a business, there’s no such thing as a day off. There are always clients and vendors to deal with, employees to manage, and all kinds of miscellaneous fires to put out. So how can you keep your business from consuming your entire life? Be clear about forming boundaries. Professor QuickBooks gives you some tips on how best to create a proper balance between work and life.
• Determine your priorities. Write down a list of the top priorities in your personal life, such as your children’s birthdays or an annual holiday with your friends. Going through this process will help you say ‘no’ to work when it really competes with your valued events in life.
• Schedule out all of your time in advance. Calendars aren’t just for meetings: use them for scheduling blocks of personal time, too. Schedule time for business development, client projects and other work commitments, but reserve some time (such as a Friday afternoon) for personal appointments and ‘me time’. If you communicate your schedule to your team, there are no questions as to where you are and they continue their tasks without you in the picture.
• Delegate and outsource tasks. You’ll have more time for family, friends, and personal hobbies if you spend less time working on lower-level tasks, so don’t be afraid to outsource.
• Get out of the office for short breaks. Taking a bit of time out of the office for a walk around the block or to do a task like picking up the dry-cleaning gives you the opportunity to accomplish something, but also to come back to your desk refreshed and ready to face the rest of your day.
• Set aside times to unplug. Your Blackberry or iPhone can be your best friend, but it’s also your family’s worst nightmare. In order to really be present with the people you care about, turn off your phone, and take the time to enjoy your family and friends when office hours are over.
At QuickBooks, we understand how important your business is to you, but we also understand that life is not just about work. Ensuring your own work life balance by making time for the important things will make you better at what you do. In the words of Heather Schuck, author of The Working Mom Manifesto, “You will never feel truly satisfied by work until you are satisfied by life”.