Work. Life. Balance?
Running your own business is a prime example of a double edged sword. You have autonomy, and a higher degree of self reliance than most people, the downside? You’re ultimately responsible for everything.
For this reason, it can sometimes be tough to see where work ends and life begins.
There has been a great deal written about how to balance the two, but the issue with a lot of this content is that it assumes that “balance” looks the same for everyone.
I won’t make that mistake.
Here are some questions that you should answer to help you achieve the right amount of work/life balance that’s right for you.
What are your motivations for your business?
By motivations we mean:
• How big do you want your business to become?
• How much revenue do you want bring in?
• What kind of impact do you want your business to have?
Answering these kinds of questions honestly will go a long way to achieving your desired level of work/life balance.
It doesn’t matter If you want to be on the Forbes list or just sustain a level of profit that covers all your outgoings. Neither of these aims are wrong, just be sure that you’re clear on what yours is, then it will be easier to adjust your level of balance accordingly.
If you want to end up on the Forbes list, 90 hour weeks may be required. Just want to cover your expenses? 40 will likely do just fine.
How much sleep do you need to function at your best?
Contrary to popular belief not everyone needs 8 hours, some of us can thrive on less, some of us need more to function properly.
Once you figure the out the minimum number you need, apply military level of discipline to make sure you hit this number every night.
How long can you work productively for before you need a break?
Can you crank out tasks to run your business for 8 hours a day for 6 days a week? Or are you hyper productive in 60 minute spurts with 30 minute breaks in between?
There are no hard and fast rules for this, whatever your duration of productivity is, design your schedule around it.
The same goes for longer periods of time too.
That 8 hour and 6 days a week person may be able to go 9 months before their mind and/or body need an extended holiday. For other people, you’d have to halve those numbers.
How much time do your family and friends need?
If you’re married with kids your familial commitment level may be higher than someone who is single.
But even if you’re single you your probably have friends and family who you need to spend time with on a regular basis, whether that’s once a month or once a week.
Have a frank discussion with your loved ones and come to a realistic agreement about how much time you will spend together and do your utmost to honour it.
How often do you need to do your hobbies?
Playing a sport, reading or travelling, we all have hobbies that help us take our minds off the stress of running our business.
Some of those hobbies can be directly linked to your productivity. For example, a lot of people say that keeping physically fit has a positive effect on their performance at work.
Sit down with yourself and people you trust and figure out how much time you can commit to your hobbies, and do your best to stick to it.
How much solitude do you need?
No matter how social you are there will be times where you just need to be alone. Whether that’s in the woods, on the beach, or in your house.
Have a meeting with yourself to calculate how much time alone you need to function properly, and try to consistently spend that time with yourself.
What can you delegate?
Delegating tasks to your employees can sometimes feel like dropping your child off at the nursery.
If you’re able to, delegate tasks that you don’t need to do, this will make it easier to create the right amount of balance between your business and your life.
For example, you can hire an accountant to do your tax returns. This can be a time consuming process and they’re probably better at it than you anyway. Now you have time to:
• Go to the gym
• See friends and/or family
• Go for a walk on the beach
Remember, work/life balance is subjective.
There are no objectively right or wrong levels of balance. If you can sustain working 80 hours a week, that’s great, if you can do 40, lovely.
Don’t feel guilty if you see someone else taking a different approach to you.
Do whatever works for you.
Wishing you your perfect amount of work/life balance.
Until next time,