November 2020

6 ways business owners can achieve a healthy work-life balance


Being a business owner is extremely rewarding. You’re your own boss, you can set your own hours, and you gain immense personal satisfaction from seeing your business succeed.

On the flip side, being a business owner often means long hours, high levels of stress and a poor work-life balance.

Striking the right balance between your work and personal life is incredibly important. Your business is more likely to succeed if you’re healthy and happy than if you’re overworked. Extreme stress can lead to burn out, which is sometimes difficult to recover from.

Here are six ways you can achieve work-life balance while running your own business.

1. Leave work at work

In the age of smartphones, it’s tempting to check your work emails every hour of the day and night. If you feel like you’re ‘always on’, it can quickly lead to stress and anxiety. By switching off from work, you’re more likely to feel energised and able to come up with new ideas.

Some tips you could implement include:

  • Define your working hours and don’t work outside of these
  • Have separate work and personal phones
  • Set up separate work and personal email addresses
  • Switch off notifications in the evening
  • Use a different laptop for personal use, so you can’t see the tasks you’re working on.

Of course, sometimes you’ll need to be flexible. When you’re working on a big project, you might need to put in additional hours for a week or so. But by setting your hours and stopping yourself from constantly checking your emails, you’ll hopefully prevent work from taking over your life.

2. Take holidays

Taking a proper holiday, when you completely unplug yourself from your business, might seem impossible. However, it is achievable if you prepare in advance.

To make sure your holiday is as enjoyable and work-free as possible, there are a few things to consider:

  • Inform clients in advance of your holiday that you’ll be away
  • Don’t schedule major projects just before your holiday or while you’re away
  • If you have employees, make sure they’re able to handle problems themselves
  • If you do need to check in on your business, set a specific time of day and time limit.

The less time you spend worrying about your business, the more you’ll enjoy your holiday. You’ll return to work refreshed and energised.

3. Learn to say ‘no’

When you’re growing a business, it can be really hard to turn down work. However, taking on too much work can be detrimental to your health and it could impair the level of service you’re providing.

If you’re struggling to stay on top of your workload, it might be worth taking a look at your existing clients. If you have a client who is extremely demanding yet provides very little business benefit, it could be time to let them go.

In some circumstances, it might be possible to introduce a more flexible way of working with your clients, whether that’s around deadlines or the amount of work you produce for them.

By saying no to excessive work, you’re more likely to achieve a healthy work-life balance.

4. Prioritise and delegate tasks

Creating a to-do list and prioritising the most important tasks will help you focus and work more efficiently.

If you’re finding it hard to complete all the tasks on your to-do list, consider delegating them to other people. You could hire an employee or use a freelancer or intern. Letting go of control isn’t easy, but your workload will decrease and your business might benefit from an injection of fresh ideas.

Some of the common tasks business owners delegate include accounting and bookkeeping, website design and maintenance, tech support, and social media marketing.

5. Look after your health

The healthier you are, the better your energy and concentration levels. This will have a positive impact on your business and personal life, so you can achieve the work-life balance you desire.

Some of the ways to look after your health include:

  • Cut down on foods that are high in sugar, fat and salt
  • Have regular breaks during the working day
  • Make time for exercise, even if it’s just a 30-minute walk
  • Speak to a professional if you’re struggling with stress or anxiety
  • Take a sick day if you’re not feeling well.

As a business owner, it can be tempting to ignore health niggles and power on. Taking care of yourself now will improve your long-term health and your business’ longevity.

6. Ensure your finances are in order

If you’re worried about your finances, you might think you need to work all hours to maximise the amount of money your business is generating. Sometimes, just a few small tweaks to your finances could make all the difference.

A financial planner can help you get your finances in order. They will draw up a financial plan, ensure your business and personal finances are working in tandem, structure your investments to avoid unnecessary taxes, and make sure your goals are on track.

Knowing your financial affairs are taken care of can provide real peace of mind, giving you more time to concentrate on your business and personal life.

Next steps

At Holborn Financial, we can help alleviate any financial concerns you may have, so that you feel in control and more able to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Email or call 020 8946 8186.