To the untrained eye, it may seem easy to achieve work life balance as a solopreneur. Your friends with “day jobs” may see the grass as being so much greener on our side. Sure, we often have the ability to set our own schedules. We don’t have to ask permission to leave the office to go to a dentist appointment. We can take time to go holiday shopping when the mall is less crowded.
There are a lot of perks to being self-employed, but those of us doing it also know it can be a juggling act that can lead to stress, anxiety, and frustration. Work life balance as a solopreneur can be difficult to achieve.
As a one-woman show, you are among the busiest of business owners. You are wearing most of, if not all of the hats. You are in charge of sales, marketing, inventory, bookkeeping…the list goes on and on. Plus, you are doing the work of providing the service that you offer or minding the store. And, that doesn’t take into account the family commitments and other obligations competing for your attention as you strive to be successful in every aspect of your life.
Achieving The Elusive Work Life Balance
I’m sorry to report that there is no magic formula to achieve work life balance. But here are some things you can do to help reduce your stress as you try to keep all of the balls in the air.
Keep Your Eye On The Prize.
Establish short-term and long-term SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound) goals for your business. Having SMART goals in place will help you maintain your focus on what you ultimately want to accomplish. Having that focus will make it easier to eliminate or avoid obstacles and other distractions that pop up in your way.
Keep A Calendar.
That means one calendar with everything on it. Whether you choose an electronic format or a hard-copy planner, your business meetings or deadlines, personal appointments, and other commitments should all be in one place so you can avoid double-booking. It will also help you foresee potential log jams, so you can take action to mitigate the stress of a work-related pile-up.
Make lists daily to help you maintain focus on what must be done that day. Setting priorities will help you stay on track and avoid diversions. Inevitably, you may veer off your plan from time to time, but a daily priority list can get you back on track when you do get distracted.
You can do anything, but you can’t do everything. If you can do nothing else to improve your work life balance, at least try to delegate. Ask family members to pitch in to help with household chores and errands. Consider outsourcing certain business tasks or projects that don’t necessarily need to be performed by you.
Learn To Say “No.”
If you are able (or appear to be able) to balance your business and personal commitments, chances are you are the “go-to” person for a lot of people in your life. Give yourself permission to say “no” to anything that adds more to your already full plate. Likewise, take a look at your current list of responsibilities to see if there is anything you can give up.
Make Time To Relax,
Your brain and your body need downtime. Relaxation relieves stress and can help improve your concentration when you return to your tasks. Schedule yourself time to recharge your battery, the energy you gain from relaxation will make you more productive later.
Building and growing a successful business requires a time commitment that cannot be compromised. But if you maintain your focus, stay organized, and give yourself a little downtime once in a while you will experience less stress and be better positioned to achieve your business goals.
What tips do you have to achieve better work life balance? Share them in the comments below!
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