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Why you need a break from your business – getting the work/life balance right

Entrepreneurs averagely work over 50 hours per week – an extra 10 hours more than most of their employees.

That’s a heavy workload for anyone, especially when you factor in the additional responsibility and potential stress of being a founder or business owner.

So, while a drive to achieve your personal and business goals is essential for your long-term success, it’s also vital to have a healthy work/life balance – and to occasionally take a complete break from your role as captain of your company’s ship.

As we’ll explain, there’s real value to taking a break from your business – and coming back with a renewed sense of energy, motivation and purpose.

Reduce your overall workload

Starting and establishing a business is tough – there’s no getting away from that.

Whether you’re a tech start-up founder working alone from your kitchen table, or the CEO of an established family business with 20 people on the payroll, there’s a long list of jobs, responsibilities and decisions that will take up your day. So it’s vital to be organised and methodical about managing your workload.

To make your working day easier, there are several key ways to improve efficiency.

  1. Work smart and be productiveFind the times of day when you're most productive and schedule your day so you’re getting the work done at the best times.
  2. Delegate your workload – you can’t do everything, so learn to delegate tasks to your team, or take on outsourced virtual assistants/payroll people/marketing support etc.
  3. Use tech to reduce the workloadimprove productivity by using cloud software and apps , allowing you to automate many of the time-consuming finance and admin tasks.

Time away from the business

When your team and your technology are working well, that gives you – as the business owner or CEO – the space to take time away from the business. With the right people and systemised processes in place, you can be confident that the business is left in safe hands.

Improving your work/life balance is good for your health – and for the overriding health of your leadership of the business. And it’s important to be proactive about making time for things outside of your business life.

  1. Schedule non-work-related timeput time in your diary for healthy and relaxing pursuits, like going to the gym, taking a walk or reading a new book. If this time is scheduled and part of your routine, you’re more likely to embrace a healthy lifestyle.
  2. Turn off notifications during downtimehaving too many app notifications can be distracting and stress-inducing. While mobile technology and instant messaging have many advantages, it can be beneficial to turn off push notifications while away from the office, and to check your messages at the most convenient times.
  3. Make lifestyle part of your brand values – make yourself an example for your team and promote a healthy lifestyle and work/life balance as part of your company’s brand.

Take a holiday and step back from the business

Taking a proper holiday is a positive move for your business. It’s a chance to stop being the boss, get some much-needed downtime and take a more objective look at your business.

Preparing for your holiday in advance keeps things simple, organised and with the right roles and responsibilities delegated within the team. Block out two weeks (or more) in the diary and make your team, clients and contacts aware that you’ll be away – and give yourself a clear positive goal to aim for when things are getting busy in the run-up to your holiday.

Having a proper holiday allows you to:

  1. Relax and recharge your energy levels – helping you to turn off your ‘boss brain’ and get yourself out of the everyday cycle of work, responsibility and decision-making
  2. Come up with new ideas – without the clock ticking, and with nothing in the diary, your brain has a chance to think, re-examine the business and come up with new ideas
  3. Coming back refreshed and motivated – with two weeks of vacation under your belt, you’ll come back with a renewed focus – and the energy levels, ideas and improvements needed to kickstart the next stage in your business journey.

Want to improve your work/life balance?

You'll be a more effective leader for your business when you proactively set out to balance your workload and personal time more positively – and promote these values in the team.

There’s plenty of practical advice on improving your working lifestyle in Xero’s free small business guide – How to get your work/life balance right.

And if you need help to make your team more effective, your systems more automated and your finances less time-consuming, we can help you achieve those goals – and improve your overall business lifestyle in the process.

Get in touch to see how we can help your business