Running a business can be fun and rewarding but maintaining a healthy work/life balance is vitally important - especially if you have other commitments like holding down a full-time job or keeping a happy family.
Throwing yourself into things is admirable, and variety may be the spice of life, but having your fingers in too many pies can soon lead to third-degree burnout.
Here are a few tips to help you master the juggling act of work, rest and play:
1. Stick to your schedule
An obvious perk to being your own boss is the associated freedom, allowing for greater flexibility with time. You can manage your workflow outside the normal parameters making it more compatible with your lifestyle, but it's still advisable to have a structured timetable. Being realistic with daily goals and not taking too much on will help you prevent neglecting other aspects of life.
A great app for home and mobile is Evernote. This connects all your devices together meaning if you put something in your mobile diary, it automatically updates on your PC, laptop or tablet. It's a calendar and a diary, you can make notes, save web pages, photos, share diaries with friends and so much more. Well worth a look.
2. Make lists
Noting down and ranking tasks in order of priority helps you keep on track and improves efficiency. Being systematic means you're working smart, and there's real satisfaction when you get to cross-off each bullet point.
3. Cut out distractions
With ever-advancing technology comes increased intrusion into daily life. If you find yourself checking Facebook or playing Flappy Bird every few minutes, time quickly slips away. Turning off notifications and deleting apps you don't need removes the temptation, cutting out the distraction and allowing you to focus.
If you're really dedicated then try Freedom, an app which locks your online distractions while you work. $10 a year but with your added productivity, money well spent.
4. Don't skip meals
If you're on a roll it can be tempting to plough on and work through lunch, sometimes eating can even slip your mind. But going nil-by-mouth is a surefire way to hit a brick wall. Aside from the obvious health and nutritional benefits, meal breaks also provide a chance to clear and refresh your head, which makes for much more productive output in the end.
If you work from home you could easily go days without leaving the house (or even getting dressed for that matter,) but this is extremely unhealthy. It's important to get the blood flowing so make time for physical activity - even if that only amounts to going for a brisk walk to fetch more teabags. Exercise boosts energy levels and makes you more alert, leading to better results at work. The Daily Mail agrees so it must be true.
While building the business is commendable, it shouldn't be to the detriment of relationships with friends and family. Spending time with loved ones is essential for your general wellbeing, so make sure you dedicate enough to your nearest and dearest. They're your best support group, on hand to give advice and/or reality checks, but, more importantly, they remind you to have fun.
Author Margaret Heffernan cites having a life/socializing as one of the four most important personal traits when it comes to increased productivity.
To truly achieve a healthy work/life balance it's imperative to dedicate enough time to yourself. Whether you enjoy reclining on the sofa with a good book, or dancing around the living room to guilty pop pleasures, taking time out each day really goes a long way to recharging your batteries.
Running your own business should be a pleasant experience. Make sure you don't sacrifice other aspects of life to make it successful.