5 Tricks to Maintain Work-Life Balance
Written by Ashwin Satyanarayana for Gaebler Ventures
Have a tough time leaving your office on time? More often than not, do you find that you can't keep up with social & family engagements because you have too much work to do? Well, let's face it, we have only 12 productive hours in a day, and that is never going to change. So how do you make more time? Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your time.
For most small business owners, their businesses can be all-consuming, increasingly intense affairs.
They spend more than just a day on their businesses and although it is understandable that they would like to spend all the time they can muster, it might not always be good for them. Not only is it more intense and stressful to put in long hours, but it can also create problems in your family life.
Here are 5 tricks you can use to maintain a work-life balance:
Define your work week: A really good way to streamline your work day is to make up your mind that you only have so much time to work and work within those boundaries you set. This is more of a mental preparation than anything else. For our purposes here, you might set your week to be the five weekdays, but you might step up the intensity and plan for 12-hour days because you won't work on Saturdays and Sundays. It's a good idea to limit each day to be a maximum of 12 hours. By doing so, you avoid diminishing returns in productivity. The more mentally engaged you are within a set schedule, the easier it will be for you to allocate a healthy amount of time for both work and leisure.
Create a schedule and stick to it: One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to entrepreneurs is their inability to stick to their schedules owning to constant interruptions, external influences, and distractions. If you have to stick to schedules, you shouldn't let people take your time away from you, eliminate distractions, prioritize work and being ruthless when it comes to work. You might come across as tight-fisted and rigid, but you will be the one laughing all the way to the bank.
Focus on productivity: Being productive is an often discussed subject but ironically, nothing much is done about it. One of the best ways of being productive is to be anal-retentive about work and distributing your workloads in hours, through-out the day. Also, working in spurts of an hour each helps to a great extent - work for an hour, take a 10 minute break, and repeat the cycle. If you could manage to cram in 8 - 10 hours in this manner, you will end up doing more work than 3 ordinary, unfocused people do within the same time. Not only will you work more and hence earn more, you will also be able to spend more time on things you've always wanted to do.
Employ a virtual assistant: Following the success of the book "The 4-hour Work Week" by Tim Ferris, there has been a sudden interest in hiring a virtual assistant to get things done. Employing a Virtual Assistant saves you time and effort. Needless to say, it helps you make time for doing things you like to do and spend more time with yourself or those close to you.
Have someone supervise your time: While there is no one to look over your shoulders when you run your own business, this advantage is often a doubled-edged sword - either you don't get much done or you tend to overdo it. If you could have someone close to you overlook your time schedules, you could send in instructions to them about the need to stop work when the day ends. You may also instruct them to send in an email or make a call when it is time to call it a day. By doing this, you may be forced to bring about work-life balance and still be on your own.
Ash has an undergraduate degree in engineering and an MBA from Ohio University. Today he is a corporate trainer, business coach and a freelance writer.
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