As women entrepreneurs, we are all faced with the challenge of leading a balanced lifestyle. Fortunately, you don’t have to give up one to attain the other. You can have both! Before you start bringing your laptop on vacation, break your unbalanced cycle by considering these five tips:
1. Don’t Over-Promise
Set the stage for success. Be honest with yourself, employees and clients about your availability. By managing these expectations up front, you simplify the process of synching up your work life with your personal life. Don’t set yourself up for failure. It’s easier to let people down when you set unrealistic standards that you can’t keep.
2. Create a Life List
Subscribe to a higher standard of living by shifting priorities to encompass what really matters. Compile a list of life goals and priorities outside of money making. From that list, assess whether or not those items most important to you are present in your life. If they are not, uncover what obstacles are holding you back. If health is at the top of your life list, realign your day to get to the gym or eat healthfully. Plan your day around these higher priorities. This is not a wish list, it’s a life list!
3. Declare your Time
Implement rigid guidelines to clearly separate home and work – and stick to them. If office work follows you home at night or you work out of your home, physically remove yourself from work by closing the door at 5 p.m. Your family requires 100 percent of your attention. If necessary, you can return to your work after the children have gone to bed.
4. Learn to Let Go
Ladies, we generally have difficulty letting go of day-to-day tasks, as well as letting go for a more extended period of time to take a vacation. To better manage your day-to-day workload, start your week measuring projects and client deliverables against the amount of time you have available that week. Focus your priorities on the tasks that can only be completed by you. Whatever tasks remain on the list can then be reviewed to determine what can be delegated to your entrusted staff.
As far as vacation, business owners generally don’t have the luxury of spontaneity. But it is possible to take a vacation if you plan in advance with employees and clients. If you still don’t think it’s possible to get away, maybe it’s time to assess how much of your ego is invested in your business.
5. Work Smarter, Not Harder
Eliminate unnecessary stress. Avoid overextending yourself by accepting projects that extend beyond your company’s capabilities or resources. Sign on clients that you enjoy working with and that complement the services offered by your business. Also, surround yourself with people who live balanced lifestyles, so you will be better equipped to maintain your own. Encourage balance for the lives of your employees, by providing internal systems and tools that allow for an efficient workflow. If your office is fast-paced, only employ fast-paced workers. Lastly and most importantly, lead by example.
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Sylvia Browder is CEO of Browder Consulting Group, a virtual small business consulting and coaching firm. She is currently employed as a Project Director, business coach and consultant for the Women’s Business Center, Inc., a non-profit economic development organization with a mission of empowering women to start and grow successful businesses. She also serves as a volunteer SCORE counselor, an organization dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. She is also a Technical Assistant Provider for SBA’s Community Express Loan Program. For FREE weekly articles go to Sylvia Browder’s Blog for Women Entrepreneur’s, www.sylviabrowder.com. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org..
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