Terris Little Haven

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Self-Care Strategies: 5 Tips for Small Business Owners to Find a Healthier Work/Life Balance

Photo: Towfiqu barbhuiya/Pexels

Many small business owners struggle to find a balance between work and leisure. One of the best ways to achieve this illusive state is by automating as many core business processes as you can. For example, instead of manually keeping track of invoices, use the best accounts payable automation out there to significantly reduce time spent on repetitive tasks. 

Alongside this cornerstone of entrepreneurial efficiency, here are five tips for a healthier work/life balance:

1. Stick to a routine

Routines are a great way to bring order to the day and set healthy boundaries between work and life. Sticking to a set morning routine – such as exercising, journaling, and eating a healthy breakfast – starts the day off on the right foot. At the end of the day, unwinding with an evening routine helps you transition from work life to home life. 

2. Establish boundaries within work and life

Just as it’s important to have boundaries between work and life, it’s important to have boundaries within work and life. Embracing the power of “no” is a great way to do this. Instead of agreeing to every opportunity that comes your way, learn to say “no” to low-priority things so you can put all your time and attention into high-priority tasks that keep your personal and professional life successful.

One of the most notorious (and easy to overlook) time drains in the life of a business owner is social media use. Although it’s an essential part of spreading the word about your company, it’s all too easy to get addicted to these powerful tools. To avoid that fate, use website blockers to restrict access to sites that drain your time and attention.

3. Delegate non-essential tasks

Small business owners often try to do everything. This impulse is, in part, due to necessity (labor costs can get expensive). However, it is often also triggered by a desire to embody the grit entrepreneurs need to succeed. The problem is that doing everything yourself is a surefire way to burn out quickly. 

Instead, consider delegating and outsourcing non-essential tasks so you can focus on the areas in which you shine. This applies to work life and home life. For example, if you’re putting in extra hours at the office, use food delivery apps to bring fresh meals or groceries to your doorstep. This eliminates the non-essential task of waiting in line at the grocery store. 

It’s equally important to delegate essential tasks that cause you too much stress, slow down your business, or make it impossible to channel your efforts into other important areas of running your business. For example, you probably know how stressful it is to have customers defaulting on their payment terms, especially if it costs your business a lot of money. Instead of spending time and energy chasing after such customers (at the risk of abandoning other business tasks), you can delegate such tasks to others. Better still, you can consider hiring an experienced commercial collection agency capable of retrieving all debts owed to your business. 

4. Set up a designated business line

One of the challenges of separating work and life is the fact that phones connect both. While you’re at home trying to relax, work updates and emails can be sent straight to your phone. This weakens the separation between the two. 

One way to get around this is by setting up a designated business line. If you work from home, you may even wish to establish a virtual office, complete with a receptionist to field calls when you’re not available. 

5. Create to-do and not-to-do lists

An essential part of any morning routine is to write out the daily to-dos. This helps focus your mind on the tasks that will lead to a productive day. In theory, the entire day is focused on completing these core tasks. In practice, however, countless distractions can pull you away.

To avoid getting lost in those distractions, it’s helpful to identify them beforehand. You can do this by writing out a “not-to-do” list that’s filled with low-priority tasks that will only serve to drain your productivity. 

Keep these five self-care tips in mind, and you’ll be on your way to a healthier work/life balance

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