Our survey of small business owners showed that almost 50% cancel social plans during the week because of work, and over 10% don’t even make plans because they’re too snowed under with business.
You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your social life to run a business, although hard work and dedication are essential. Its all about your work-life balance - here are some great ideas to help you stay in check!
Change your attitude
Taking some time away from your business isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, spending a couple of hours with friends and family may well be the reboot you need, helping you return to your business refreshed.
Plugging on with work 24/7 is unlikely to be productive, and if you get burnt out then your business will certainly suffer. As a first step, revamp your attitude so that you’re less likely to cancel and more likely to enjoy guilt-free socialising.
Make your working time productive
34% of the business owners we surveyed started their business to be their own boss. It’s time to make the most of this autonomy and make your working patterns work for you. As much as possible, sculpt your schedule around the times you’re most productive. If you’re getting lots done during the times you’re working, you should feel more inclined to enjoy some fun at the end of the tunnel.
Say “yes” rather than “maybe”
A lukewarm ‘maybe’ is one of the most frustrating invitation replies a friend can receive. Try to give an emphatic ‘yes’ when someone invites you to an important event rather than always leaving your options open. The fact you’ve committed will make you more likely to stick to your social plans.
There are many unexpected twists and turns involved in running your own business. If this means that you sometimes have to cancel social plans because of a flood of work, it could also mean that you get some unexpected free time. Rather than using this time to catch up on neglected chores, do some spontaneous socialising: phone round your friends and see who’s free with immediate effect.
Suggest meeting friends close to yours or hosting them at your house so that journey time doesn’t eat into your time off. Your friends are likely to be understanding, and if it’s a choice between seeing you close to home and not seeing you at all, they’re likely to make the trip.
Stay switched on (if you have to)
Smartphones can mean that work never stops and you’re always on-call, but they can also help you keep tabs on business while you’re doing other things. Over 50% of small business owners told us that technology helps them as it means they’re always accessible, while only 9% said tech harmed their work/life balance.
For top quality leisure time it’s great if you can switch off your devices, but if having your phone turned on means that you can socialise without worrying you’re going to miss something, so be it.