How small business owners can find a balance in a world that is always active

No matter what you do, in today’s world it can be incredibly difficult to unplug. We see that every year with our people Remote operation status report. In our latest report, 27% of respondents said their biggest challenge is the inability to exclude.

This can be even more difficult for business owners because many parts of the business are managed online. But that doesn’t mean you have to be “involved” all the time, and in fact, you may not be doing yourself or your job any favors if you are.

Our own CEO, Joel gascoigne, wrote Fr. his experience with combustion, and he is not alone, one study showed that it has an effect more than half of small business owners. While it can be tempting to push forward to see how much more you can do, in the end you won’t help your staff, your customers, or your brand by hitting the ground.

If you are looking for a little more balance, and at the same time you want to continue to develop your business, this article is for you.

Determine what you need to do

The first and probably most challenging task is to clarify what you you need to do, in relation to what someone else could do or what you could completely throw out of your plate.

Stephen Covey, author Seven habits of highly efficient people, created a matrix for this purpose only: State what is urgent and what is not urgent and what is important and what is not important. Both fields in the top row are tasks that you need to do, and the bottom row are tasks that you can delegate or completely eliminate.

Created by Stephen Covey, author of Seven Habits of Highly Efficient People, the 4 Quadrants of Time Management Strategy helps you prioritize what’s on your plate. (Source)

Keep in mind that what is important will look different for everyone. While bookkeeping, for example, is urgent – there is not much room to move within these tax deadlines – it is important for some business owners to do it themselves, while for others it may be much more valuable to delegate the task to a professional. Putting it in the “urgent but not important” category, therefore, gives more time for important (to-do) commitments.

Learn to delegate

Kevin Xu, serial entrepreneur and CEO of MEBO International and Skingenix, Inc., wrote“If everything in your company depends on you, it can only grow as much as your personal capacity allows.” If your goal is to grow or expand, then it is not a solution to do everything yourself. And if your goal is more balance, then delegating or eliminating your best bet.

Using your top matrix, consider who on your team might have boxing skills that don’t matter (to you). If you are one company, you could work with freelancers instead of developing your own team. For example, you can ask someone else to write your posts on social media and upload them Buffer planning tool, where you can approve them before they go live. Save time writing and publishing, and yet you have the last word.

Start by dipping your toe in the water of delegation by choosing what you feel least protected from. Assign it, give others a chance to shine and give back some of their time.

Set expectations when you will be on and off

If you keep receiving late night calls and answering emails as soon as they arrive, then people expect you to be available. Instead, set expectations when you work, especially if you work in different time zones or in an industry like social media that never sleeps.

Here at Buffer, we are a fully deployed team with teammates around the world, which means that often our working hours are not aligned with each other. We’re clear with each other about when we’re all working, and we use that scheduled schedule to our advantage, asynchronously solving projects while others sleep.

However, the key to setting expectations is publishing them. For our team, our working hours are all in our Slack profiles. If your small business only responds to customer inquiries on social media from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., make a note of it in your account biography. If you are giving the whole team a week off during the holidays, post a message on your website and on social media accounts to make that clear. We close Buffer by the end of the year every year and share that information on our social profiles. When you set that expectation from the outside, you don’t have the pressure to respond right away, and people know when to expect an answer.

A few more tips from our community to avoid burning.

Schedule everything

Now that you have sat down with the idea of ​​delegation, handed over a few responsibilities, and set expectations when you will be leaving, it is important that you use the newly found time wisely.

According to 24 entrepreneurs, scheduling personal events in their calendar in addition to business events is theirs number one tip for work-life balance. While adding a time block for dinner with your family every night or creating a repetitive night out can seem weird at first, it’s a great way to protect the time you’ve set aside. Plus, you’ll be able to see it all in one place and spot if you’ve put in too much effort in any week.

As Covey once said, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to plan priorities.”

What would you add to this list for other people looking for more balance? Reach out to let us know!

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