It goes without saying that running a business is hard work in its own right. So when you add in raising a family, finding time to spend with loved ones, trying to keep fit and healthy and all those other unpredictable tasks that life throws at you, things can get a bit hectic.
In today’s world, where we are heavily reliant on technology for so many things it’s easy to lose track of time when you’re browsing on your iPhone or laptop. Whether you use your phone for social media, emails or keeping up to date with news and current events – our phones have become a crucial part of our daily routines and our businesses.
There are so many studies that talk of limiting screen time for children and getting them outside, but what kind of example are we setting for our kids when we’re glued to our phones or laptops from the second we get home from work? Or worse, spending the entire day at your desk without taking some time to step outside and get some fresh air? The same way that we are trying to teach our children healthy technology habits, we must also retrain ourselves!
We spoke to 27-year-old Kirralee Durkin, General Manager of Express Business Group NSW about how she manages to keep healthy, run an enormously successful franchise group and be a hands-on mum to her one-year-old daughter Elleena. Here are her top tips!
1. Make family time a priority. It’s important to make sure that you set aside time each day to connect with your partner and/or kids away from your phone or laptop. “My husband and I actually put our phones in another room for several hours when we get home from work,” Kirralee explains.
“By not being able to see or hear them, we can focus on each other and what we’re doing, whether that’s cooking dinner together or playing with Elleena. Because we both work full time, this time with our daughter at the end of each day is so important and I don’t want us to be distracted.
2. Get your environment right. Take the time to set up your workspace properly! You’d be surprised how many people sustain long term injuries from not having their work station set up effectively. Having recently relocated from Brisbane to Sydney, Kirralee invested in an adjustable desk for her new office so she can work sitting down or standing up, whatever her body requires.
“Sitting is not a natural position and sitting for extended periods of time can lead to backaches, neck and shoulder cramps, headaches and visions issues… none of which I have time for!” Kirralee said.“When I’m at home and on the weekends, I’m quite active, always going somewhere or chasing after Elleena and so it’s make sense that I struggle to sit still at a desk during the day.”
If you’re not sure where to start there are tons of articles, like this one, that can take you through proper workspace set up from your chair height to the brightness on your screen.
3. Get outside and get active. It’s so easy to get caught up in a task and before you know it it’s 3pm and you haven’t seen the sunlight since 9am. Whether you go for a walk outside at lunch or participate in an after work bootcamp, it’s important to make sure that you’re getting your heartrate up at least once a day!
“I’m pretty lucky because as part of the Express business model, we offer franchises in Personal Training and Health and Fitness studios so over the years I’ve been able to participate in early morning fitness sessions with other girls from the office,” Kirralee said. “But even during the day I do try to get outside and go for a walk, sometimes if I have a meeting scheduled with someone that’s a bit more informal, we have a ‘walking meeting’ where we can catch up on their workload and get some exercise at the same time.”
4. Get your beauty sleep! Running a business can be stressful which is why it’s crucial to recharge overnight and let your body properly ‘switch off’. For Kirralee, this is certainly easier said than done with a one-year-old!
“Getting enough sleep has certainly been a challenge these last 12 months but as Elleena’s gotten older and started sleeping through the night it’s definitely made a huge difference to my energy levels. Before I had a baby, I always made sure that I was in bed by a certain time and usually woke up at the same time every day as well. By getting my body into a routine, I knew when it was time to wind down and I was getting a solid, deep sleep each night.”
5. Learn to let things go. The art of delegation is a tricky one. Some CEO’s and business owners are fantastic at delegating tasks while others prefer to hold onto the reigns at all times. To maintain a healthy work/life balance you need to learn how to let things go – whether it’s frustration at a deal gone wrong, entrusting an employee with a new task or simply handing over the reigns to someone else completely so you can take a well-deserved holiday.
“This is something I’ve never really struggled with because I’ve always been quite selective of who I have on my team. By employing who you believe is the best person for the job, you should have no issues with handing over a task or giving someone a big project and trusting them to do a good job,” Kirralee says.
“If you grow and develop your team well, you should find that you can take a step back from your office or business and it will continue to run smoothly in your absence. I’ve been able to take several trips abroad this year because I know I have a strong team behind me.