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Monthly Business e-Tips Vol 2
Issue 11

Get a Life!

Finding balance in this busy world we live in is a challenge. It is especially difficult for business owners. Owners have ultimate responsibility for everyone and everything in their business. How can chief executives possibly attain the flexibility to bring better balance to their work lives and personal lives?

It is not easy, but it is doable. It requires planning and working to set things up so that they are not totally reliant on you. Automate everything possible. Even if you are a one-person operation, the answer is the same. You need to let go of having complete control of everything. This does not mean slacking off, not knowing what is going on or leaving ultimate responsibility to others. Actually, it is quite the opposite. Planning and managing are still your responsibility but execution of all things does not have to be yours alone. Create more balance by working smarter.

Here are some tips to make it happen:

  • Prioritize. Spend less time scanning e-mails, don’t let phone calls interrupt you or people to infringe on your time. Return calls at certain hours of the day and reply to e-mails once or twice a day. Spend more time doing what is urgent. Know what you have to do yourself. Set boundaries so that others cannot take you off course.
  • Automate. If you have lots of systems in place, your business will run more smoothly. Consistency, policies and procedures will eliminate lots of fire fighting. It will free up your time for more important things.
  • Delegate. Get others to go to the post office, send and record payments and order supplies. If you work alone hire someone to come in once a week to take care of time-consuming items. It costs you more to do it yourself than to hire a part-time assistant. Your time should be spent doing things that have more valuable impact.
  • Assess your values. You can always find more to do at work but your health, your family and friends are critical to your overall well-being. Without them, the rewards of your business do not mean much. Measure your sacrifices. Remember you will never have a second chance to watch your children grow up or spend quality time with loved ones.
  • Take control of deadlines. Don’t let customers, vendors or employees influence you to set unrealistic deadlines. Know what you can do and in how much time. In business, wait-wait-hurry is the norm. Set expectations. People will respect your limits as long as you respect theirs.
  • Reserve energy. If you spend all you have at work and leave nothing for yourself and your family, you are not working smart or toward balance. You need time to relax and rest to recharge for the next day. If you do not watch out, you are likely to burn out. Then you will be of no value to anybody. Take time off, go away without the laptop. Refresh.

There have been many war stories about entrepreneurs who have lost their families due to being too enmeshed in their businesses. Work is never done but set some boundaries so that you stop even though not everything is complete.

In the end, work/life balance does not have to make your business suffer. On the contrary, giving more responsibility to staff members will make them better and more reliable and you will have a clearer picture of your business and its needs. Lastly you will have energy to give to your business without resenting that it has stolen your life. So please help yourself and your business and Get a Life!

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