21 Jan 2013
By Mark Evans
Running your own business can take over your life. In fact, you can end up with very little of a personal life. But your mental and physical health will suffer if you work rules you utterly. And, truth be told, it will eventually impact your business.
Here’s some tactics — for the new year, or for any time — to get better balance in your life:
Just say “No”
Saying yes is probably what got you this far, so don’t say no to everything. It’s things like the extra volunteer opportunity (that will lead to zero networking), the potential project that your instincts tell you won’t work, and the invitation to “just look at this” before you go.
It is important to say “no” to the small things that may not lead to real results and, in the process, be distracting and taxing.
Business leaders need to spend as much of their time as possible on high-level tasks such as marketing, networking, strategy and dealing with clients. Get other people to file, deal with technical support problems, organize meetings and put out small fires.
Shut things off
While you might find running your business from your smartphone lets you make it to your children’s hockey games and get out of the office by 7 p.m, when you stay online, the messages never stop.
Organize a cut off time each evening and over the weekend. Avoid responding to messages outside of office hours unless they are truly urgent. When you really think about it, many things can wait until tomorrow.
Put your health on the agenda
Not getting enough sleep, not exercising and poor eating habits will, over time, erode your health and prevent you from being on top of your game. It’s important to fit things into your schedule with as much priority as you schedule meetings.
Don’t be secretive about your weekly squash game: your team will get used to the idea and, hopefully, probably prioritize health themselves so they can be happier and more productive as well.