As a small business owner you have more control of your schedule than most. Even though we still have to deal with other businesses and their open hours, we have the luxury of working late into the night if we need to do so. This is a great advantage but I know that I tend to use it as the reason why I should be working ALL the time. Since there is so much to be done it’s really easy to get bogged down with working non-stop or feeling guilty/stressed when you aren’t working.
I have been thinking a lot about this since I started helping take care of my grandmother about 20 hours a week. This is a huge time chunk out of my work week that I was really stressing out about when I started. I finally realized that I am so lucky to be able to contribute this time to help her out and that I would never be able to do it if I worked a regular 9-5. I had to tell myself that this is one of the reasons that I have my own business, so that I can decide what is an effective use of my time. My grandmother is in kidney failure and was told 2 months ago that she had 10 days to 1 month to live. Spending this time with her and helping my family is the most important use of my time right now.
It is hard for small business owners to find balance between their work life and home life. Especially if they both take place in the same building. I also think it can be tough when the thing that used to be your hobby becomes your job. When you have spare time, you tend to want to do work since it used to be what you did in your spare time.
Balance, however is essential. Both for your person wellness, the people around you and your business. You have to be able to take a step back and decide what are the most important things in your life. If your business is number 1, then you probably should be spending all your time working on it. But if your family is number 1, then you need to make sure that you set aside time to spend with them too.
My strategy for this is to stay completely out of my office on the weekend. During the week I allow myself to work late while working in a few social engagements. And the weekend does usually have me doing a few business related tasks like errands, sitting at a coffee shop thinking of new ideas or hosting a critique dinner party. But I hardly ever enter the office. I have found that it is really key to my sanity to have a few days when I am on my personal time schedule and not the business’s. I try to have relaxation and personal goals take priority while business goals take priority during the week.
I hope this helps those of your struggling with balance in your life.
**Image via Groundwork by Danna Ray**
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