How to Create Work/Life Balance for Small Business Owners

Kim Mays
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Top Features SMBs Should Look for in Collaboration Tools

Gone are the days when a shop owner could lock up the door to the store and head home to their personal life. To many small to midsize business owners today, work is life. Or at least the two intermingle enough that it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. The work computer handles all personal and company business. Email all likely runs through one account. Even social media accounts may blend when you save and post information and articles that have to do with your livelihood.

Though we can’t put more hours into the day, perhaps we can try to make a bigger separation between work and personal life to ease the stress and give ourselves a break from the daily grind.

Levo provides a list of seven tips for improving work/life balance. An important one is managing your time at work. Of course, we like to think we all do this well, however, in a smaller business, workers wear more than one hat and can get bogged down with tasks. A good way to push through those tasks, though, is to prioritize them and check them off as you go. Several apps are available for mobile devices that help you create and save to-do-lists, including:

  • Todoist—which works on 13 platforms from mobile devices to browsers and mail software.
  • HabitRPG—which is a fun way to gamify your to-do-list and get things done.
  • Wunderlist—sets dates, sends reminders and allows you to collaborate lists with others.

We also all know how easy it is to get distracted by social networks on our computers. Why not remove these apps from your work computer and save all social media work to be done at once from your tablet. Save up articles and information to be read through and shared via a social media dashboard like Buffer, Sendible, or HootSuite. From the hub, you can share on multiple social outlets at once, thus saving time. And by setting aside a specific time to do this task on a separate device, you aren’t as likely to be distracted while working on the computer.

But the top recommendation for maintaining a decent work/life balance is to make time to disconnect—this includes taking vacation time. When you take a coffee break, sit and enjoy the moment. In the evenings, be sure to know when to stop working and when to spend time with family and friends. And at least once a year, take a vacation—even if that just means being home, off the clock, and away from the computer.

Kim Mays has been editing and writing about IT since 1999. She currently tackles the topics of small to midsize business technology and introducing new tools for IT. Follow Kim on Google+ or Twitter.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Apr 13, 2015 7:04 AM Kevin Kevin  says:
It is of course always a good idea to be organized and keep your priorities straight when you are trying to capitalize on your time so you can relax a little, too. But as a small business owner, this is probably not enough since there are so many different tasks on your plate at all times. This is when it is crucial to take some of those tasks off your plate by outsourcing.Don't confuse outsourcing and offshoring, though. You don't have to move your phone service to India and lose all your direct control over the service. Outsourcing can be as simple as hiring an brick-and-mortar service, such as an accounting firm or an IT service, or administering a software across your business, such as TurboTax or Bushel. This will free up time in those areas so you can excel in other areas. Plus, people you outsource to often specialize in that area and will do a better job than you could do. Reply

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