Business owners! Do you ever feel like you are always “at work” and never get a break? It’s time to take a step back and make yourself a priority.
For anyone to achieve their goals, be it personal or business-wise, there needs to be a healthy balance between work and life. The struggle to maintain this balance, or even start to find it is challenging, and it all starts with a shift in how you view yourself, your health and your time.
YES, you ARE important!
Business owners by and large spend all of their time ‘working’. Whether it be in the business, on the premises of the business or an office from home. You never escape, and it’s claustrophobic. It ‘comes home’ with you. If it’s not serving your customers directly, it is looking after employees, taxes and accounting, keeping financial records, paying the bills, creating content for your website and marketing campaigns, writing blog posts, responding to phone calls and emails at any given moment, as well as trying to take a lunch break.
Often this means that you don’t include any time for yourself, your family and friends and, most importantly – looking after your health. These things take a back-seat to the business, and can result in increased stress, resentment and burn-out, as well as feeling like a failure, personally and professionally. That’s why you need to start making yourself a priority and looking after your needs. Having some time for ‘self’ is not selfish. It’s of the utmost importance. And as a small business owner, mother, wife, nutritionist and friend, I genuinely understand how hard it can be.
Here are some tips that may help you find the time
These will allow you the freedom to take care of your needs, without sacrificing your business, and reducing your overall stress.
- Mornings are for you. Rise early. Make yourself a nice breakfast, go to the gym or do some yoga. Walk the dog. Go for a jog. Read the local newspaper or your favourite book. Say good morning to the world by relaxing and slowing down a little bit. Whatever takes your fancy. No checking emails or voicemail messages (Or Facebook!)
- Pack yourself a healthy lunch, and make some time to eat it. Get out of the office, and into the sunshine (weather permitting of course!) to eat. Even if it’s for 20 minutes. What, how and when you eat can have a profound impact on your health. Ensuring you are eating a balanced meal at lunch can help keep your thinking clear, reduce fatigue, keep your mood and blood sugar levels stable, and avoid the 3pm crash.
- Reduce stress by prioritizing what’s ‘urgent’ and what isn’t. Responding to constant calls and emails is one of the biggest causes of stress for business owners. You don’t need to respond to them all the moment they land in your inbox, or the moment your phone rings, especially when it is outside your normal business hours. It’s really hard to do this, but setting up the boundaries is crucial so as not to impinge on your family or personal time.
- Exercise regularly. If you haven’t worked out in a while, ease into it again. As mentioned above, move away from your work area to eat lunch and go for a little stroll. Walk with your family after dinner. Stretch every 30 minutes if you need to be at your desk for a long time.
- Employ outside help if you can. Whether it be house-keeping for your home, or an assistant to take calls and schedule appointments. Yes, they may need some teaching on how to manage the smaller details, but it will be worth it.
- Plan meals and snacks. Meal planning is a great way to save time and stop the rushing around each night going to the supermarket for dinner supplies. Allocate an hour a week to plan meals and an extra hour to do a bulk shop. Invest in time-saving kitchen appliances, too, like a slow cooker. You can easily throw an entire meal into it in the morning or the night before you plan to eat it, and when you are home for the day, dinner is ready to be served.
- When you are not feeling well it is important to rest. Whether or not we like it, we business owners get sick and feel so tired at times. And this can be a real challenge, especially for sole traders. If you don’t look after yourself, you will get sick at some point, and will need help. Making time to see a health professional to help prevent illness and manage acute conditions, stress and fatigue will help not only yourself, but your business too.
A healthy business needs a healthy business owner! Hopefully these tips can help you manage your day a little better. Remembering that implementing healthy changes is progressive and takes some time and planning. Reach out for help when you need it.