Work Life Balance When You’re Self Employed
When we are self employed, we want our business to succeed. We’re prepared to work harder and for longer hours when we know the results will directly benefit us and our families. Being self employed requires a work ethic and level of dedication to which many are not suited. More important it requires us to watch our own work-life balance.
Without set working hours, we can find ourselves hunched over a laptop at 10pm or getting up super early to fit in admin work. The result – burning the “work”candle at both ends. A certain amount of that is to be expected when we’re self employed. But it is important that we find our own version of work/life balance – otherwise before long we may find ourselves too ill to work at all.
Here are five tips for improving your work/life balance when you’re self employed:
Find ways to separate your work and your home life. If you’re working from home, having a separate office may not be feasible. At the very least you should have a desk space which you can use for your work – and from which you can walk away at the end of the day! If having set office hours is not possible, give yourself a time each day that you will finish work and take time for yourself.
Find an organisation/planning tool that works for you. For some that will be Google Calendar; for others it’s Evernote, and others will swear by a paper diary. Try out different planning tools until you find the one that works, and then use it to plan out your days. Don’t forget to schedule down time for yourself.
Prioritise your tasks, and be prepared to delegate or to let things go. There’s that old saying that 80% of our income comes from 20% of our efforts; figure out where that 20% is that brings in the money, and focus on that. Be prepared to drop the things that take a lot of time and effort but don’t bring rewards or enjoyment. Learn the art of delegation and do this where you can.
Delegate home based tasks too! Think about how much you can earn per hour, doing what you do. And then think about how long it takes you to vacuum the house, clean the bathroom, mow the lawn. These are all things you can hire someone else to do, and then spend that time earning more than you’re spending out on it.
Prioritise self care. Work life balance is not one of those things you can set and forget; it’s an ongoing balancing act that you need to work on daily. Look at ways you can take time out for yourself on a regular basis – a relaxing bath at the end of the day; reading a good book; going for a walk. Look for the things that bring you joy, and add these into your day as much as possible.