You started a business because you want more freedom and time flexibility but you still haven’t found it. Running a business is an always-on kind of job. Give up the idea of traditional work-life balance. It doesn’t exist. Here’s what business owners can do to create a more seamless flow between work and life:
Let go of tradition
Throw out the idea of a traditional schedule. Be willing to make your own rules about time. That includes a mix of things that are important outside of work: family, fitness and fun. Create life hacks for things that matter like having a treadmill at home, getting up at 5am for workout or having meditation time. Some owners finish up at the office to pick up their kids by 4pm. They do family time at home and once everyone’s asleep they put in another hour or two of work. They make no excuses, decide on what matters and fit it in.
Keep unusual hours
If you walk into a driver’s licensing center on a Saturday morning you can expect for it to be crowded because that’s when most people are available. Go to the grocery store on a Sunday afternoon you can expect aisle to aisle traffic from shoppers prepping meals for the week or cooking Sunday dinner. How long do you think the line would be if you went at 9pm on a Friday night? A secret to work-life abundance is taking care of activities at unusual hours. It ensures you avoid the lines, the waiting and create space to get more done.
Be the conductor
Imagine the important role of a train conductor. They need to navigate the path and make sure that the train is running smoothly, on time and just at the right speed to reach the destination safely. You wouldn’t want the conductor walking the aisles serving food and beverages leaving the navigation of the train completely unattended. However, a lot of business owners are serving the drinks. The most successful at creating quality of life, enroll others to collect tickets and serve the food so they stay focused on guiding the path to the destination. Don’t take on extra task that someone else on the team can handle. If you don’t have a team, start by building one. Ask yourself “in what areas of the business can you be a better conductor?”
When we are unable to keep work from seeping into our personal lives and steal our hours from other things that matter, all the work won’t be worth it. Work-life balance is a dream destination we all want to get to, but it is non-existent. What these simple hacks promise, however, is work-life abundance. It’s all about working smart to keep together what is truly essential.