As entrepreneurs it’s easy to let our business take over our personal lives. We check emails just one more time. We do just one more thing. We respond to just one more request. Three hours later, our kids are wondering what happened to us.You may be thinking, “But I love my work and my clients! I enjoy doing it.” I’m sure this is true, or you wouldn’t be in business, but it’s still important to not over-indulge in your business. I love chocolate, but I can’t eat it all the time – that would be unhealthy. Even healthy things, like running, can cause injury when done too much.
Some of the implications of over-indulging in your business include:
- Resentment for your business and even your clients
- The quality of work you output
- Relationships with family and friends
- Health issues associated with lack of exercise and stress
Now you might be thinking, “But I have so much to do, I have to work 14-hour days and weekends or I’ll never get it all done!” Parkinson’s Law says, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” In other words, “The amount of time which one has to perform a task is the amount of time it will take to complete the task.” So if you allow yourself 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, then that is how long it will take to complete your tasks.
Since we’re at the end of 2012 and heading into 2013, it’s a good time to take a look at how you’re running your business and make some changes!
What can you do to fix it?
- Decide what days and hours you will work. Set your boundaries and stick to those boundaries. If you’ve previously been “readily available” you’ll want to notify clients of your new available hours.
- Be prepared to say “No.” If you tend to be a people-pleaser, you may need to practice this, but if you’re being asked to do something that interferes with your time off, then just say no!
- Unplug. With technology so readily available it can be easy to jump on your phone and check emails, but I encourage you to withdraw from email during your non-working hours. It’s too easy to get sucked in.
- Actively participate in your life. Even though you’re not checking emails or on the computer, make sure your brain is not trying to think about work.
- Get rid of the little things and busy work that take up time in your day. Make your list of tasks and stuff that you’re doing that a Virtual Assistant/Online Business Manager could do for you.
- Find something fun and of interest to do with your new-found time. If you’ve got a fun alternative to working, you’ll be more inclined to follow your new rules.
By following these simple steps, you’ll find that the time you’re in your office will be much more productive and you’ll be working more efficiently. What are some things you do to ensure you don’t go down Burnout Road?