Work and family: let’s find a balance (for our sanity!)

‘Work life balance’ – we’ve all heard the phrase before but how many of us have put steps in place to achieve it? Not many, because guess what… we don’t have the time!

Let’s think about the outcomes you could achieve if you were successful in finding the balance. Not just for you and your family but for your health too. Wouldn’t that be worth 30 minutes of your time? 3 minutes to read this article and the remaining 27 to implement!

Let’s start with going back to basics….

  1. Prioritise (yep you guessed it, but do youreallydo it?)

Go get a piece of paperand a pen. Write down all the things you would like to achieve in your week – this is a list of tasks that would help you feel accomplished and satisfied if achieved. I would suggest doing this list for your work firstly, and then giving it a go for home. Once you have your list, you need to order each task into four categories:

  1. Urgent and Important
  2. Urgent but not Important
  3. Important but not Urgent
  4. Not Important and not Urgent

Many of you would have seen this matrix before, but it is important to revisit this continuously (once a week minimum, at the end of each day ideally). It will only take two minutes of your time and the simple task of getting things down on paper will help you to re-gain focus and control. If everything you list is in the first box, you need to start again.

The next step is to block out time in your diary each week to focus on completing the tasks. Allocating specific time commitments will keep you accountable and on track.

  1. Delegate and try saying “No”

Those things you have listed in the fourth box, “Not Important and not Urgent”, you delegate right away, or say no in the first place.  Then start making a move on the second box, “Urgent but not Important”. If it is not important, why are you doing it? What earth shattering effect would there be if you were to say “No”?  You might find you have time to start planning that long overdue holiday!

  1. Software update

Make life easier for yourself and invest in software that automates tasks to save you time. Online accounting software such as Xero, MYOB online, and QB online can make life a lot simpler. It is also worth investing some time to learn how to maximise the benefits of these tools.

For example, Xero can send overdue reminders to your clients without you doing a thing, other than ticking a box at set up.

Your financial advisor can assist you with the set up process of new software. In the long run, this conversion will save you a lot of time and money.

  1. Being present

When you are home, actually beat home, leave work at work. And vice versa. This is such a tough one these days with technology at our finger tips and constant time pressures. But again, you are reading this article for a reason; you want more work life balance so you need to keep this is mind.

A helpful tip, turn off email notifications on your phone. This way you gain focus with your family, and re-gain control of your work life. Now when the kids have gone to bed and your partner is reading a book, if you must,check those emails for anything urgent and important. But seriously, what can’t wait until the morning?

  1. Switch off and sleep

Sleeping literally flushes out the brain, preparing us for the next day. We hear time and time again how important sleep is. Multiple studies show there is a strong link between lack of sleep and health issues, a much larger cause than stress from work, believe it or not!

Prepare for sleep by avoiding things that may create stress or the mind go into hyper-drive. So don’t check those emails before going to bed, instead read that inspiring book that has been on your list for a year, or spend some quality time with your family.

And finally, don’t be afraid to reach out for support. If you are struggling from stress, it is important to seek help, whether it be from a friend, colleague, loved one, medical professional or financial advisor.

So what are you going to implement now, or at least today?

Accru can assist and help take away some of your financial burdens. Being a business owner, so much of your time is taken up by the tasks that can be completed by a financial professional that will ultimately help you achieve a healthy balance. Contact your local office today. 

About the Author
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Michael Burnett
Michael recognises that most small business owners and committee members have a real love of what they do and a desire to control their own destiny. He makes their financial and tax issues as hassle-free as possible, so they can spend more time working on parts of the business that they enjoy and make them more successful.
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