Growing a business is not an easy endeavour. It takes a lot of dedication to create a successful business. You might find yourself working late into nights and over the weekend. Being an entrepreneur really is all-encompassing and if you’re not careful you could be burnt out very quickly. This is why it is incredibly important to have leisure time and achieve that elusive work-life balance.
There is no doubt when you’re flooded with work - and particularly when it’s your own business - this can be a challenge. However, becoming regularly overwhelmed by work will leave you tired, unproductive and in danger of damaging relationships with friends, family and spouses. It really does pay to have that balance, so how do you do it? Well each and every person is different but here at Payzone we think these particular methods will really help you feel much more at ease.
Don’t try and do everything - just don’t. It is very tricky to be micro-managing marketing, sales, admin and finance. You’ll be driving yourself mad doing this. Instead, you should delegate work. That might mean hiring more staff to help with this. But, if it helps the day to day of your business running more smoothly, then this might be worth ‘breaking the bank’ for. Once you have the people in place, you will have less to concern yourself with - so you can focus on growing the company. Of course check how things are going regularly with your team.
Just because you own a business does not mean you shouldn’t have some kind of hobby to enjoy and look forward to. Join a book club, a running club - you could indulge in some amateur dramatics if that's what excites you. There are so many examples of activities you could indulge in - certainly far too many for this blog post. But, if you’re a busy owner of a startup, for the sake of your own sanity, it’s important to be doing different things outside of work that you can really enjoy. So do yourself a favour: block off parts of your calendar for things you want to do, whatever that may be. By channelling your energy into an activity, you can take your mind off work and keep yourself refreshed when you get back to your desk.
It's fundamental to be mindful of the people who are important to you in life and not take them for granted. Which is why you should dedicate time to see your friends and family because they matter a lot. Whether it's over the weekend or on an evening it’s important (and quite frankly good for your sanity) to be in the company of other people apart from your employees or business partners. The last thing you want to do is fall out with old friends and close relatives because you're spending way too much time focusing on your business. And don’t think others can’t be of help to you either. Perhaps, amongst your inner circle, are some fellow entrepreneurs or some experienced people in finance who can give you some helpful advice or good resources.
Each and every day cordon off a small part of your day to take time out to reflect. This isn’t an activity, more of a chance for you to catch your breath and take stock. The day to day grind can take its toll on even the most hardened of workers. So simply step out of your office (or your house if you use that). Walk and just look at your surroundings for say 20 minutes. If you are in an area with nice scenery then observe the beauty of what you are looking at. Look at the green of the grass and try and wonder how that came to be or the sound of the nearby river. This is a fantastic technique called mindfulness and there are plenty of books on this that will give you more information on how you can incorporate a sense of calm into your busy life.
We cannot stress the importance of this enough. Unfortunately a common tendency for owners of startups is to neglect sleep and work late into the night. Whilst this is sometimes unavoidable, this should certainly not be a regular thing. Depriving yourself of sleep is a recipe for disaster, simple as that. The less sleep you get, the worse you will function in the day - increasing the chances of you making mistakes and impairing your judgement. It does no one any favours for you to be getting little sleep: not yourself, not your employees and certainly not your business. Do not underestimate the importance of rest, not just to help you work properly but for your overall health.
At Payzone, we are dedicated to supporting small to medium-sized businesses with card payments, and these simple ways to improve your work life balance can really make the difference.