How do you manage work and personal time as a business owner in the digital world and in real life?
I was recently asked this question on Instagram and thought it would make the perfect Tip of The Month for the newsletter which I'm now sharing on my blog!
Balance is a difficult thing to find when you’re working hard to make your dreams come true. Especially as an entrepreneur.
Over the last four years (and well before then with freelancing), I’ve learned ways to help live a balanced life on and offline. Now, this isn’t something that came to me right away. In fact, it was a lot of trial and error. Luckily, after all these years I can confidently say that I found a formula that works well for me.
1. Set Boundaries - This goes for both your clients and your family/friends. In the service industry especially when you’re working with someone over years, it’s easy to slide into the friend zone and sometimes this may be okay, but you need to set clear boundaries. This not only keeps your work-relationship professional but also ensures that everyone is always on the same page. It allows your client to get the best of the best too. For example, it may be hard for me to tell a friend that, that colour doesn’t work, but I must tell my clients because it’s part of my job to ensure they have the best brand strategy there is. Setting boundaries doesn’t stop there. Those in your personal life need to understand what your work is, and what your schedule looks like. For example, my husband has access to my calendar that way he knows when I’m not available as well.
2. Take Communications Off Text - When it comes to communications, I always request that we book a call using my calendar link (Calendly is a lifesaver), or start an email thread. I never take feedback from Whatsapp or Text message (or even DMs). There are many reasons for this the main one is I don’t want it to get lost, but I also don’t want to be getting feedback text during my off-hours or weekends where I may be committed to personal time.
3. Have a Set Schedule & Time Blocks A start and end time to your day is so important. Being our own bosses, we can easily fall into the trap of working around the clock, but this will cause many health problems both mentally and physically. That why I have a “shut down” time. Having this time ensures my family and my clients both know my availability. Of course, there is the odd time where I may need to work late but it’s very few and far between since my schedule really allows me to work smarter not harder.
4. Take 1-2 Days Off In a Week. For me, this is the weekend. It’s time that most of my clients take as well so it works well for my business. Now if you have a business that thrives on weekends, then this could look like a Monday or Tuesday for you. It’s so important for you to take at least one day for yourself and your friends/family. This allows you to feel recharged and balanced!
5. Have Separate Accounts. As you can tell I really try to separate my personal and business life with boundaries - and this goes online as well. Content that I share online on my business page can be personal - but there is a fine line there too. I try to stick to things that enhance my business practices - even if it means self-growth shares. BUT that doesn’t mean I’m sharing everything. I have a personal life that is private and it doesn’t need to be plastered on my business page. I also find having a work (Instagram/Email) account and a personal (Private Instagram/Email) account to be very helpful. Following rule number 4, I make a point not to check my work email or IG accounts on weekends. This allows me to give 100% to the people I’m with, at that moment. And I know if there is an emergency my clients have my phone number so they can always call me!
There you have it the rules I follow to ensure I stay sane, and have the perfect work/life balance in a digital world!