Life as a business owner can mean you're always “on the clock.” It's difficult not to carry work home with you when the entire operation rests upon your shoulders. To avoid becoming overwhelmed with stress and fatigue, make a concerted effort to improve your work/life balance.

1. Set Aside Specific Hours for Personal Time

Focusing all your time and energy on work can lead to burnout. Give yourself some time to unwind by designating a specific timeframe for each day to spend on activities that don't involve work. Set up an appointment if necessary so that it’s built into your daily schedule. This will help ensure that you are able to do things you enjoy that aren't tied to how you make a living. While you'll certainly want to spend plenty of time with your family, it's important to also set aside time just for you, so you can engage in activities you personally enjoy.

2. Use “Do Not Disturb” Features

During your personal time, or even after business hours, consider making yourself unavailable for work. That means not answering emails, calls, texts, and other work-related communications. Turn off notifications and use Do Not Disturb features on your devices to make sure your personal time is not interrupted by work matters that can wait. Give key staff a special number for emergencies.

3. Eat Healthy Foods

Part of maintaining a work/life balance is taking care of your body. That means getting exercise and eating healthy foods.

"Too often, entrepreneurs get caught in a cycle where they put work over everything else," Serena Poon points out at Forbes.1 "For example, they skip meals or eat quick, low-quality food as an afterthought. Unfortunately, this type of behavior sets you up for lower immunity and decreased energy and cognitive function, all of which will negatively impact your work. There is no need to cook yourself gourmet meals every day, but stick to a simple composition of high-quality food to keep your mental energy soaring."

4. Make Sure You're Getting Enough Sleep

Another essential part of taking care of your body is getting enough shuteye, and this is crucial for being able to adequately take care of business.

"When you’re sleeping, your immune system produces cytokines – substances that fight inflammation and infection," says Lucy Benton at Industrial Safety & Hygiene News.2 "They are the bricks that build up your immune system and make it stronger against illnesses. The same is going on with your central nervous system: when your brain is exhausted from sleep deprivation, it’s harder for it to send your body the signals about pain and damage. You put yourself under a lot of risks when you’re depriving yourself of sleep. It becomes hard to maintain a work-life balance if you have to deal with consequences of sleep deprivation."

5. Keep Your Professional and Personal Spaces Separate

Don't spend your personal time in the office. Keep your workspace separate, and when you work at home, don't do it on the laptop in bed or on the couch while you're watching the game. Save these places of refuge for enjoyment and rest rather than bringing work into them.

6. Don't Skip Breaks

Be sure to take breaks during the workday to give yourself a chance to step back and catch your breath. Take a short walk, do some stretching exercises, or visit the breakroom for a cup of coffee and a chat with a coworker. Business owners are constantly inundated with matters to attend to, meetings, questions from the team, etc., all while figuring out how to best move the company forward. This can become overwhelming, and you need to break for a few minutes from time to time to keep stress at bay.

7. Take Vacations

Work/life balance is largely about the day-to-day, but taking extended breaks is just as important. Every so often, you need a much longer period of time to relax. This may involve traveling, but it may be just as effective, if not more so, to take some time at home where you don't have to worry about being anywhere at a certain time. Give your brain a chance to refresh. Just be sure to put work activities on hold while you’re enjoying your staycation.

Maintaining a good work/life balance should make you a more effective business owner while helping you enjoy life overall.




The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank. Nevada State Bank is a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC