Mastering the Work/Life Balance
We know stress is unhealthy, yet, most of us deal with it on a daily basis at work. From early mornings to late evenings, many people find themselves working overtime providing for the family and life they don’t have time to enjoy. Yes, you love your job and enjoy what you do, but you’re NOT a machine.
Business owners are business-minded. The habit of putting the needs of their business first has more than likely become second nature. Let’s take a stab at your “normal” work day routine:
- Up at 6am (and coffee to stay up)
- Checking emails and/or voicemail via cellphone
- Shower, dressed, and out the front door at lightening speed
- Driving to work before 7am to avoid traffic
- In your office/work space early to get tasks done without interruptions
- Remainder of day full of meetings, client calls, various tasks, & coffee refills
By the time you get home, you’re most likely mentally drained (not to mention suffering from coffee withdrawals). If you’re married or a parent, or both, numbers 1-4 may be more of a time-constraint, resulting in you actually working after hours to get uninterrupted work time in. More time at work means less time at home, longer workdays increase stress, stress affects your health.
Now, I’m not advising you to work shorter days, understanding that business owners have a lot to manage. I am, however, warning you of the the risks to both your health and your business. Mental Health America notes that stress affects our concentration, causes irritability, and can harm our personal and professional relationships.
With that being said, here are a few tips on how to maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life:
Remind yourself that there’s only 24 hours in a day; you can only do so much. Make a list of your daily priorities and map out your schedule using a weekly calendar or to-do list. Designate time spent for the business and time spent with the family. Leave work at work and learn how to say “no.”
Put Your Health First
Headaches, fatigue, double-vision (ok, call 911 on this last one), are ways your body tells you it needs a break. For stress management, consider taking a book to work to read during your lunch break. Replace coffee and sweets with fruit juice and energy-packed nutrition bars. Take a 15-minute break and walk around the office for a bit. If you are sick, take a sick day. It’s better to leave and return rejuvenated, than to limit work performance and risk other co-workers of getting sick.
Learn How to Enjoy a Vacation
Yes, some people have to be reminded how to have fun. Many businesses provide vacation and paid-time-off for their employees because it keeps them happy. Happy workers are committed workers. If you’re the employer, even better. You have a team taking care of clients while you’re away. Take a few days to travel, explore, and gain inspiration. Vacations help reduce stress and boost productivity upon returning to work. A healthy, balanced mindset is beneficial for running your business, and don’t let anything convince you otherwise!
Our boss, Jim Thomas, had to learn how to take breaks and enjoy vacations too, so we completely understand. His love for this company and commitment to helping small businesses is evident. So, enjoy your 4th of July weekend (or break), and we’ll chat once you get back.
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