Read This if Work-Life Balance is Your 2020 ResolutionShelby Wall
Small business owners are notoriously hardworking – sometimes to a fault. While throwing yourself fully into making your venture succeed is admirable, it is often not sustainable. Unless some consideration is given to your personal well-being, it’s unlikely that you’ll flourish while your company does. Many entrepreneurs have sought to resolve this by making work-life balance their 2020 resolution. We’ve compiled some information about the stakes at hand. Don’t worry – we’ve found a path for prioritizing work-life balance in the days ahead.
One of the greatest plagues of the working world is burnout: a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion caused by ongoing stress. This phenomenon is dangerous to professionals for a variety of reasons: it zaps your motivation, reduces your productivity, decreases quality of work, and creates feelings of hopelessness. The ramifications aren’t limited to your job. It’s not unusual for burnout to affect your social life and home life, while also impacting your immune system.
Signs of burnout include:
- Feeling exhausted all the time.
- Lowered immunity, frequent illness.
- Tasks feel overwhelming or extremely dull.
- Headaches and muscle pain.
- Feeling trapped.
- Detachment and isolation.
- Negative outlook.
- Feeling unappreciated or like your contributions make no difference.
- “Every day is a bad day.”
- Procrastination and avoidance of responsibilities.
- Changes in sleep schedule or eating habits.
- Skipping work or coming in late, leaving early.
- Your efforts seem like a waste of time.
Many entrepreneurs will be familiar with the above list and may even have their own host of problems to add to it. Fortunately, burnout can be completely sidestepped by focusing on your work-life balance.
What Does Work-Life Balance Look Like?
This term has floated around the world of self-help articles since the 1980s, and it’s remained vague and fantastic in the minds of many readers. In reality, work-life balance is more achievable than you may have imagined.
Put simply, work-life balance looks different for everyone. It isn’t a universal concept. At its core, it relies on an individual separating their professional life from their personal life (a concept made particularly difficult for the owners of startups and small businesses). This means putting down assignments outside of work hours, ignoring emails and notifications once the workday has concluded, and being able to focus fully on friends, family, and hobbies after hours. Below, we’ve compiled some of our key tips for making work-life balance a reality in 2020.
Leave Work at Work
The first step to work-life balance is to create a sense of compartmentalized separation between work and home. This doesn’t mean that you’re forbidden from ever strategizing or planning in your time off; rather, it’s an intentional effort to live fully in the present moment. If you’re having a family dinner, for example, it would probably be upsetting to your loved ones if you took a non-urgent work call at the table. If you missed your child’s soccer games because you felt the need to come into the office every Saturday and Sunday, you would probably be an example of poor work-life balance. Avoid these issues by leaving work at work.
This is made easier by taking a few small steps, such as working outside of the home (whether in a coffee shop or rented desk in a shared office space) or turning on your phone’s “do not disturb” function after hours. This physical separation can create a mental distance that allows you to focus on your hobbies, friends, and family when you’re not in the office.
Renew and Recharge
Don’t discount the importance of self-care. By setting aside time to unwind, you’ll chip away at your stress levels and remember how you like to spend your days off. This refresh can take several forms: a bubble bath, jam session with old bandmates, or a quiet hike in the woods. Exercise and meditation are two of our top recommendations; both of these efforts clear your mind and encourage personal development. Whichever choice you make, be sure that you’re spending your free time wisely.
Be Intentional with Your Time
This piece of advice transcends all others, particularly for small business owners. Those at the helm of a startup find themselves wearing countless hats – CEO, CFO, CIO, CMO… the list goes on. As your business takes off, you may feel the strain of spending a lot of your workday on activities you just don’t enjoy (or don’t excel in), when your efforts could’ve been better spent elsewhere. If you’re stressed out by the minutia of certain tasks, we encourage you to find professionals to assist you through these processes. One extremely common example of this is bookkeeping; with tax season approaching, many entrepreneurs live in fear of the complexities of their first round of taxes.
Find Work-Life Balance in the New Year
Clear View Business Solutions provides financial advisory, accounting, and bookkeeping services to small businesses and nonprofits in the Tucson area. If you’re looking to optimize your time at work (and boost your work-life balance), consider contacting us about taking some of the weightier tasks off your plate. We’ll present you with a clear view to financial success.