I often find myself discussing with clients how they can start working on improving work-life balance to ensure they are harnessing the power of time. Conversations usually start by me asking if the business owners recognise any of these statements? “I spend too many hours at work but…
- I’m not sure how much longer I can do it for, it’s taking a toll on my body
- I’m not sure if it is making a difference to my business
- I seem to be in the same position as last year despite the hours I work
- It creates more stress at home
- I get annoyed because I miss out on some of the kids’ school and sports functions
- I wish my staff would take more ownership of the tasks I ask them to do
As soon as you say the word “but”, that’s the trigger to alert you to the fact that you have an issue with work-life balance. An issue that perhaps is frustrating you just as much as it frustrates those around you. As owners of small to medium businesses, we know that this is a very common issue – the issue of time and work-life balance.
There are lots of reasons we get to this position, and it’s because we are working in the business. We become such a vital cog that without us the company doesn’t function. I know many of us enjoy working and the industry we are in, but long hours year in year out can undoubtedly test that enjoyment.
So, one of the most important actions to get some hours back is to jettison everything you shouldn’t be doing, reclaim some of the work-life balance you have been craving. At a guess, there are tasks you should be delegating to staff that you end up doing because it becomes a habit. You might sometimes feel as though it’s quicker if you do tasks yourself and it’s more comfortable than avoiding confronting staff.
To move away from the “too many hours” syndrome, here are the first steps I recommend you take:
1. Write a list of everything you do, daily, for two to three weeks (yes, every day) – it certainly takes some self-discipline to do this, but the outcome is rewarding.
2. Then extract from this list all the tasks you don’t like doing, or you don’t think you should be doing.
3. Write a list over the same two to three week period of tasks that you asked staff to do, but yet it bounced back to you.
4. Write down the jobs that you love doing, and the dollar impact they have on your business.
5. Note which tasks you enjoy doing and that if it could be cloned, describe what effect would it have on your business.
6. Share the above lists with your staff and ask them the same question about what they perceive you love to do and what you do but shouldn’t be doing.
When I am business coaching business owners, one of the key performance indicators (KPI’s) of a successful outcome is for owners to understand better the value of their time and get back work-life balance. The first step to better understanding your role in the business, and if it is optimized or not is by undertaking some homework to understand what you do each day correctly, and how your staff also understand this. Should you recognize that your time is not optimized, then you have the opportunity to make some changes and move forward towards balance. Business coaching is a great way to help owners run a better business and using your coach to help you better understand the impact of time well spent.
If you’d like to start working on improving your work-life balance and ensuring you are getting the best out of your time spent a work, get in touch for a free chat about the impact of time. Let’s work together to improve your work life balance – get started by taking action today.