As a business owner or entrepreneur, you may have the freedom to control your work schedule, but that doesn’t make it easier to achieve work-life balance. In fact, a study conducted by Melissa Milkie and her colleagues at the University of Toronto found that people who set their own working hours and work over 50 hours a week tend to have more, not fewer, work-life conflicts.
If it seems the work will never end, making changes in how you work can reduce your workload, free up time for your nonwork life, and prevent burnout. Here are three ways to better manage your work hours.
If you’re just starting out, you may not be in a position yet to delegate a lot of what you’re doing to get your business off the ground. But experts say that three years in, you shouldn’t still be putting in 70 hours a week. Hiring right, and training well, will keep you from doing the job of two people.
- Be Productive
There are so many distractions to draw us away from the task at hand, and I don’t mean the obvious ones like social media. You can get sidetracked from pursuing your most important goals by day-to-day emails and calls. If you’re not achieving what you set out to do each week, take a close look at how you are spending your time at work and consider trying a different time management system.
- Segment Smarter
Achieving work-life balance doesn’t mean sticking to traditional working hours of Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, and not working the rest of the week. You might find mixing work and nonwork segments throughout your week is more effective for your schedule and workflow. For example, managing email in the evening when there are fewer distractions might help you get through your inbox faster, and work more efficiently the following day, opening up time for a nonwork activity.
For some people, stress and stress-related health issues are signs that their work-life balance is off. Focusing on how you spend your nonworking hours can help you get the most benefit from the time away work. In a previous blogpost, I recommended three ways to make changes in your personal life that help can help improve your health and mindset.