Running your business is more than a full time job – that’s a given, but for many small business owners their lives become unbalanced. They reach a place where work takes over everything. In “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” Stephen Covey comments on this very condition and refers to it as, “… the urgent takes over the important.”
If you find yourself stressed out, burned out, or worn out, take a moment to assess your total health picture – the physical, spiritual, social and psychological aspects of who you are. Don’t be fooled, there is a cost associated with overwork. The trouble is, we usually don’t realize how much it will cost us until it escalates to danger levels. Here are some ways to deal with the strain of overwork.
Decide What’s Important to You – if meeting your sales quotas each month is more important than spending time with your family, you may choose to delegate your time accordingly. Unfortunately, while most of us say our families and our health are more important than the bottom line we don’t make the necessary changes to incorporate that belief. Seriously consider what you value most and try to balance your business responsibilities with those of your family and personal well-being.
Learn to Say No – people who are successful usually say yes a lot, but people who are successful and wise, learn when to say no. Adding additional activities and responsibilities to your life may get you further ahead faster, but in the big picture of what’s important to you, does it matter if it takes a little longer to get there? If it means spending time on what you value?
Ask for Help – why do we feel we need to do it all, or that we’re the only ones who can do it? Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of wisdom and strength. Realize when you’ve reached your limit and then delegate – empower others. Ask them to assist you with difficult tasks. You are obviously capable, and you may even be the best person for the job, but letting others help means you can choose to focus on what’s most important to you.
Simplify Your Life – the more you have, the more you have to worry about, to store, clean or fix. Routinely get rid of things you don’t use and/or need. Reduce clutter both at home and at work. Reduce clutter in terms of your commitments. Do you really need to be involved in all those things? Take a deep breath and enjoy the peace of a simplified life.
Remember People – relationships are more important than any activity you can do. Spend time with the people who mean most to you. No one at the end of their life has ever said they wished they’d spent more time at the office.
Make a Spiritual Connection – it is proven that spirituality enhances a person’s peace of mind, and quality of life. Whatever that means for you, find a way to make a spiritual connection and incorporate those beliefs into your daily life.
Ask yourself, is being stressed out, burned out, or worn out going to help you reach your goals? No? Then decide what’s really important to you and perhaps try to find balance in your life.
Trenval Business Development Corporation is Bay of Quinte’s Community Futures Business Specialist, financing business start-ups, expansions or successions in the Quinte region for 35 years. Trenval can help with small business support including small business funding and small business loans.