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Striking a work-life balance as a small business owner

Here are a few realistic ways to help get the right balance working in your favour.

It can sometimes feel completely out of reach, but having a work-life balance should be at the top of every small business owner's to-do list. 

When there’s a never-ending list of urgent tasks crying for your attention, it can be easy for a business owner or entrepreneur to bump maintaining a good work-life balance to the back burner. But how you juggle your time can impact you, plus everything and everyone else you work with.

Work-life balance starts with learning good time management. One method involves grouping together the things you need to do into “time buckets”, and then making sure that each these groups – or “buckets” – gets filled each week.

You can have as many buckets as you’d like, but these are the three big ones.

1. Get regular downtime

Running a business takes a lot out of you physically, mentally and emotionally. Try running on empty, and you’re bound to burn out and crash, so always set aside time to rest, recover and reboot. Tips to fill the downtime bucket include:

  • Take regular breaks during the day – step outside and get some fresh air, think about things other than work, and refuel with good nutritious food.
  • Download a meditation app and set aside some quiet time every day – even 10 minutes can make a difference in giving your busy mind a break so you can collect your thoughts, get perspective and think clearly.
  • Switch off from work – resist checking emails and your phone at least an hour before bed to give your mind time to shut down.
  • Get some sleep – at least seven to eight hours a night is vital for your health and wellbeing. Block out that time every night without fail.

2. Allow time for the things you love

Unfortunately, this is the area many people let slip first, particularly during busy work times. Try not to neglect it too often, as it can leave you feeling isolated, unhappy and resentful that your business is taking over your life. 

Control how much you let your work seep in – and know that if you let it slip during a busy time, you haven’t failed. Just refocus and try again.


Regularly stop and take time out from your business for the things that light you up, whatever that happens to be. It’s important for your mental health.


Remember to take care of your relationships with your partner, children, family and friends, and be brave and reach out to them whenever you need a helping hand.

3. Find balance during work hours

Spending time on the “guts” of your business – working to service your clients and keep things ticking over – can be enough to keep you busy always. But there’s more to running a small business than that and things you need to find time to get through.

Try to break up work into batches, work with more purpose and watch your productivity soar. Some tips:

  • Set aside time each week to work on the big picture stuff, such as your strategies and goals, plus ways to better manage your business.
  • Block out time for those small administrative tasks. Getting a small job out the way can be done faster when you focus. Consider your inbox: give yourself two time-limited sessions a day to check and respond to emails so you don’t spend all day in there.
  • Make a separate space in the house for when you need to work from home. That way you can leave work behind and focus on the rest of your life whenever you’re not at your desk or in the study.

An engaged, happy workforce significantly helps deliver a better experience for customers.

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