As a small business owner, it’s very easy to get so caught up in work that we forget to set boundaries to help maintain a healthy work/life balance.
Here are a few tips I use to stay on track:
Set Your Own Hours. One of the best perks of being a small business owner is being able to set our own working hours. It’s important to set hours that work best for you and more importantly, to stick to them. Just because a client emails me in the evening or on the weekend when they may be working, doesn’t mean that I’m required to answer them immediately. Excluding emergencies, I respond during my set working hours.
Use Technology Using the right technology can help you save time. For example, I use an automated appointment scheduling software to make it super easy for clients, and potential new clients, to get on my calendar. Another example is taking advantage of email scheduling features available in email accounts like Gmail. When I choose to work in the evenings or on weekends, I schedule any emails to be sent during my normal working hours.
Manage Expectations. With any new working relationship, it’s important to set expectations. When I start working with a new client, I let them know what my working hours are, how to submit project requests (email), the best way to reach me and how to schedule time with me. I also let them know that I continuously monitor my email throughout the day for emergencies and quick requests. While I understand there are times when it’s important to start early and work late, I just don’t want it to be a way of life.
The results are simple: my clients know what to expect and I have plenty of time with my family and friends!