Maintaining a work/life balance is easy when you’re a sole trader, right? You typically work from home and you have no one else to answer to, so it should be easy to switch off.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. In fact, many home-based sole traders struggle to strike a healthy work/life balance because the lines are more blurred.
Ella Legg, founder of copywriting consultancy Ella Smith Communications, knows how difficult it can be to strike that balance, having experienced it firsthand.
Here are her top 20 tips for achieving and maintaining a healthy work/life balance.
1. Play to your strengths
Don’t try and be all things to all people. Focus on your strengths and outsource the others. If you’re not a whiz at accounts or graphic design, outsource them instead of wasting time.
2. Prioritise your time
You may have a to-do list with 50 tasks on it, so you need to prioritise those tasks into four categories.
- urgent and important
- important but not urgent
- urgent but not important
- neither urgent nor important.
3. Know your peaks and troughs
Are you a morning person?
If you are, assign tough, high-concentration tasks to the mornings. Don’t leave the tough tasks until its night time and vice versa.
4. Plot some personal time
When personal issues arise, it can be tempting to bury yourself in your work. Don’t do it.
If you don’t make time for your personal life – your “me” time, including your family and your health – you won’t have a business to go back to.
5. Have set work hours – and stick to them
Set work hours for yourself and do everything in your power to stick to them. Otherwise, before you know it, you’ll be working until midnight every night.
6. Find time for your finances
Whether you work for yourself or not, it’s important to feel confident about your finances. In order to do this, you need to get some accounting software in place and use it from day one.
Cashflow is one of the biggest challenges facing small businesses. You should start using accounting tools early on so you know what’s going on, financially, from day dot.