Running your own business comes with a particularly demanding work culture, which over time could wear down your energy, productivity and health. A Mental Health Foundation survey found that more than 40% of employees were found to neglect other aspects of their life because of work, increasing their vulnerability to mental health problems. With business owners more at risk of this due to an ever-increasing workload, we’ve assembled a few top tips to help you introduce a healthy work-life balance – starting today.
Don’t skip taking a break
It’s easy to sit and work through an entire day when you have a mountain of deadlines, and soon enough even a short lunch break becomes a thing of the past. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people to even feel guilty for taking breaks. However, as a business owner, not only should you be allocating time for short breaks to better productivity and energy for yourself, but you should also be asking your team to do the same. Having a dedicated relaxing space in the workplace will help to encourage this.
We are all guilty of sticking to ‘the norm’ because it’s familiar and comfortable, but maybe it’s time to sit down and analyse exactly what steps to take to work smarter. Can you delegate some of your work to not only take some responsibility off your plate, but help develop your team? Can you look at expanding your team? Can you improve and shorten any processes? Assessing what are priorities for you as the business owner is a huge step towards working smarter for the benefit of both you and your business.
Allow yourself time to switch off
You may not work to the usual 9-5, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reach a point where you call it day. The culprit here is often technology. Our phones and tablets are great for enabling us to carry our work with us everywhere we go, but in turn that makes it difficult for us to leave it behind. Setting time aside for your family in the evenings and avoiding taking your phone to bed at night are just two steps towards firstly, limiting the temptation to continue working, and secondly, enabling time for you to rest and recharge.
Schedule annual leave
You may be the owner of the business, but you aren’t expected to be in the office 365 days per year. Booking time off and committing to it is key to keeping your health intact and your stress levels at bay. Even if you need to allocate a couple of hours each day during your holiday to work, that’s better than not taking any annual leave at all. Securing time away from the business is something even the CEOs of the most progressive companies do.
Lead a healthy lifestyle outside of work
Keeping on top of your health and fitness is really going to contribute towards a healthier work-life balance. Whether you choose to do this by committing to an exercise regime, eating a nutritious diet or just heading out for a quick walk and some fresh air at lunch – any time that you can allocate to bettering your health will be beneficial. Without good health, your business may suffer alongside you.
Transform your business into a healthy environment
If you have a team on the ground to support, helping them to lead a healthy work-life balance will not only set a good example, but also help you to recognise that this also applies to you. Day to day practices such as taking short breaks, keeping hydrated, eating lunch away from your desk, having a dedicated space to relax and ensuring policies are in place to help you and your team manage their workload are all steps you can take to balance ‘the personal and the professional’. Companies such as Google, Airbnb and us here at énergie are all advocates of promoting a healthy work-life balance in the workplace.