advertisement


Small business
You are here: ninemsn > Money > Small business

Juggling work-life balance when running a small business

Thursday, November 19, 2009
Work life balance. Image: Getty Images
Related articles

By Diana Clement
MSN NZ Money writer

"I'll just check one more e-mail" you think to yourself, and the next thing is it's 9pm and most of the evening has gone. Every self-employed person or business owner who reads this article will be able to identify with that thought to some degree.

Work-life balance is about managing the juggle between your business and other activities — such as spending time with your family, and leisure activities.

Business owners and the self-employed are awful at striking that balance. Some work from when they get up until they go to bed. What happens to them is that they eventually burn out and have unfulfilling lives along the way.

There is no magic cure for the work-life imbalance affliction. Ironically it takes work to stop overworking. You need to first admit that you have a problem — and if you're not sure, take this quiz to find out if it's an issue for you.

The key to moving on is accepting that you have a problem and making an active decision to change. The rest is relatively easy as there are numerous books and classes on the subject as well as Internet resources. A great place to start is the work-life balance section on the Department of Labour's website.

Here are some of the best tips I've collated over the years:

  1. Set up a written schedule of work and leisure activities that fits your family and support network in.
  2. If you can afford it, have your main office or workspace outside of home. That will help curb you working evenings and weekends.
  3. Have dedicated work telephone lines and make sure you don't answer them at 10pm.
  4. Do things that make you laugh and have fun.
  5. Get exercise. Healthy business owners are more productive and exercise is also a great antidote to stress and anxiety.
  6. Take a breath of fresh air. Get out of your office and enjoy the outdoors — even if it's a 10-minute break to do some gardening.
  7. Take holidays away from the business and if possible from your mobile phone and computer to ensure they're real.
  8. Share your day with your family and involve them in what you've been doing.
  9. To give yourself "me time" it's important to get other people involved in the business — as employees or contractors/consultants. This will also help you grow the business to something saleable, rather than just a job for you.
  10. Search online for more tips.

Finally, enjoy your life outside of business. Take a walk at lunchtime, have lunch rather than doing lunch over business, and remember that you only have one family.

User comments

Write a comment
Email: *
Your email will not be shared with any third parties or published with your comment.
Nickname: *
Location: *

Subject:
*
Comment:
*
Maximum characters 1000

Comment guidelines
Avoid using:
  • Personal attacks
  • Irrelevant comments
  • HTML tags
  • Personal information
  • Offensive language
  • Text in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS
See full comment guidelines
Comment guidelines X
Thank you for sharing your opinions with other users of NineMSN. People will find your comments more helpful if you include relevant information and avoid some common pitfalls.
Please note: All reviews and comments submitted are subject to moderation, NineMSN reserves the right to alter and / or remove any content that does not comply with usage guidelines.
What to include in your comment:
  • A title that briefly summarizes the opinion expressed in the comment.
  • Additional comments adding more detail.
  • Comparisons to other similar products, if this is relevant.
  • To create a new paragraph, press the Enter key twice.
What not to include:
  • Information that will quickly go out of date.
  • Comments on other comments or commenters.
  • Language that other users may find offensive.
  • comments of one sentence or less. Provide information to support your opinion.
  • Personal information like your email address or telephone number.
  • HTML coding. Tags like <b> or <i> will not be recognized.