Work life balance is something anyone can find difficult to manage, but us business owners are in a category of our own when it comes to this. We know the struggle is real.
I’m the first to admit this is something I struggled with big-time in my early days as a Celebrant business owner. With me and my family’s livelihood depending on the success of a venture I was 100% responsible for, I found it impossible to disconnect from the business.
Through the years, though, I’ve worked on it, and happy to say I’ve achieved a pretty good equilibrium. Here are my tips for achieving a healthy work-life balance.
Establish working days and ¨weekends¨
Weekends, whether that means Saturday and Sunday or Tuesday and Thursday, are obligatory. This is your time to disconnect, recharge, enjoy your time away from the ¨office¨ and spend more energy on hobbies and love ones. Disconnect from work-related emails, calls and tasks completely. A quick client follow-up or a 5-minute Facebook post may sound trivial, but these tiny moments are what’s prohibiting you from disconnecting completely, and can eventually lead to burnout.
Set working hours
Similar to the above point, you will want to fix your daily working hours. If that is 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., then make sure at 6:00 p.m. your agenda is closed, your computer off, and you won’t be taking anymore calls. In the same way you need your days off, you also need your daily ¨you¨ time. Afterall, what good are your days off when you’re so exhausted or stressed from your days on you can hardly enjoy them?
Schedule family, social time, and you time
I know scheduling date-night with your significant other isn’t the most romantic-sounding of ideas, but trust me when I say it’s necessary. It’s easy to cancel a casual lunch with friends to take care of last-minute ¨responsibilities¨, or skip out on your aerobics class in favour of client follow-ups, but this can become a habit, and before you know it you’re a slave to your own business. Make sure to pencil-in you time, and make sure to go through with it.
Learn to say no
If you’re anything like me, you’re a natural people-pleaser. Celebrants tend to be considering the line of work we’re in! Something you must start getting comfortable with is saying no. This may be a no to a meeting, no to a late night email inquiry, or even no to a booking. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you can’t expect that from your business. Trying to commit to too many things at once is not only overwhelming, but it can also result in mismanagement and low-quality work.
Stop trying to be perfect
Being a perfectionist is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it propels you to demand the best of yourself and others, resulting in quality work. On the other hand, it can prove detrimental to your mental health and work-life balance. If you find yourself going back to re-read that script just once more or changing the colour of your website font to dark blue to dark dark extra dark blue for the 4th time today, cut it out! Give yourself some credit and relax a bit. Your sanity will thank you for it.