Reduce Small Business Stress: 3 Tips for Managing Your Work-Life Balance

Nigel Marsh Giving His TED Talk "How to Make Work-Life Work

Check out Nigel Marsh’s TED Talk “How to Make Work-Life Work”

Running a small business is hard, and it can be stressful when it seems like everything is on you. Even when you’re on vacation it’s hard to ignore what needs to get done. But if you don’t try for work-life balance, you run a serious risk of burning out and losing the motivation to succeed. It’s all about managing your stress, while making sure you’re doing your best to keep up with your family and your business. Here are three work-life balance tips you can put into action to reduce stress

Be Smart With Tech
Nobody loves mobile tech more than us. But it’s here to make life easier, not to stress us 24/7. Start by looking at your own habits: is constant connectivity actually stressing you, or getting in the way of time with family or friends?  Be honest, even if it’s tough.  Use that info to make “tech rules” that actually work for you. You might need to set a rule that says no email after 8pm, or maybe you need to leave your laptop at the office and only use a tablet at home. Whatever you do, talk to your family about your plans and get their feedback – they’ll have good suggestions and they’ll appreciate too.

Track Your Time
Take a week or two and write down everything you do all day – both work and non-work. Use your log as a roadmap to greater efficiency. What are you doing that you can skip? Skip it! What aren’t you doing that would make you happier or more successful, because you think you just don’t have the time? Build those things into your schedule, and make sure you include plenty of fun and satisfying personal stuff too. Make sure it’s what you really enjoy, not just what you think you should be doing. Remember, it’s all about the balance. Try the Hours Tracker app for iDevices or Time Recording for Android.

Stay Inspired
What motivates you? What’s important to you? How are you getting where you want to be? Professional motivation isn’t just about the money (though that part’s important). It’s also about trying to create the life you want to have. Find sources of inspiration to keep you going both at work and at home, like your family, a social cause, or even a mentor. Don’t be afraid to write it down, come back to it often and reevaluate frequently.

Want more work-life balance tips? Check out this TedX talk from Nigel Marsh called “How to Make Work-Life Balance Work.” Careful though, it’s not for the faint of heart!