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All Work and No Play: 4 Tips to Change Your Workaholic Ways

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Stephanie Davis

We know that as a small business owner you wear multiple hats and are constantly on the go. While running your business is a huge priority in your life, as it is how you financially support yourself, taking breaks is necessary. 

Burnout and exhaustion happen easily and burning the midnight oil all the time isn’t good for you or your business.

You might be wondering, how can you rest when you feel like you need to be running on full steam all the time? First, you need to acknowledge if you do, in fact, have workaholic tendencies.

Are You a Workaholic?

In the early days of running a small business, things are especially busy with all of the tasks you have to do from finding a location, setting up payroll, and making plans to keep your business open. Once things are a bit more settled, you’ll likely find yourself putting in long hours to keep things moving. However, work/life balance is achievable, unless you find yourself developing workaholic tendencies. This is a term that gets tossed around a lot but can be a very real problem if not addressed.

Common workaholic traits are:

  • Putting everything aside for more work
  • Always finding time to work, and creating work if none exists
  • Putting friends and family on the back burner for work
  • Prioritizing work over your health

In managing a healthy work/life balance, it’s crucial to make the time for all of these aspects. By frequently ignoring personal relationships and your own well-being, you put yourself at risk for physical and mental health issues. Being a small business owner is hard, and having a proper support system is important to keep you succeeding. By working all the time, don’t lose track of the people that are there to help you.

How to Cut Back on Workaholic Tendencies

If you’ve read the above workaholic traits and see yourself in them, you may be wondering where you go from here and how to make some changes. While acknowledging that you have a problem is the first step, there are several ways you can start creating a healthier work-life balance from here.

  1. Evaluate why you are so driven to work. Self-reflection is a great place to start. By pinpointing what drives you to work so hard you can begin to make positive changes. Do you feel like if you aren’t working all of the time your business will suffer? Are you avoiding conflicts in other areas of your life by working all the time? Are you trying to prove to your family that running your own business was the right idea? Really sit and focus on why you work so hard. It is human nature to be more critical of ourselves than anybody else will be, so if you realize you’re working hard because of pressure you are putting on yourself, it’s time to treat yourself like you would a friend and give yourself permission to take a break, or commit to scheduling regular breaks in your workday or work week.
  2. Set boundaries. Maybe you’re over-working yourself because you are struggling to juggle the many tasks on your plate. By simply getting organized and managing your time better, you may find that you are able to work less. Perhaps you’ll stick to something better if it’s planned and written into your schedule instead of committing to something last minute, like a happy hour with friends. Carve specific time for your friends and family into your schedule so you make sure to still connect with them.
  3. Know when it’s time for a break. There are frequent studies about people not using all of their allotted vacation days. As a small business owner, you may think it’s impossible to take any time off, but that’s not the case. A vacation can be in your future with the right planning. If you are the sole employee, it’s ok to close for a few days, but you should plan to give your customers advance notice before doing so. Whether you plan a staycation or take a longer getaway, set a rule to really disconnect and give yourself a chance to relax and be in the moment. For the times you just can’t possibly fit in a getaway, at least set aside some time each week for self-care.
  4. Don’t be afraid to delegate. If you have employees, don’t feel like you need to be running everything on your own. You hired your employees for a reason so don’t be afraid to delegate a little bit more instead of keeping everything on track yourself. Chances are they will be happy to help you out in any way. Additionally, when it works for your business, outsourcing or finding a vendor for time-consuming tasks can be really helpful. As an example, if you aren’t already outsourcing payroll for your small business, now might be the time to start.

Bottom Line

Your business should be an important part of your life, but it should not be your whole life. We get that being a #boss is #goals, but you don’t have to burn yourself out to reach said goals. The best way to become and stay successful while running your small business is to leave room to focus and nurture the other areas of your life that help recharge you. By creating room to breathe, you also create room for inspirational moments and game-changing ideas.

Do you tend to be a workaholic? How are you trying to cut back? Tweet us @SurePayroll and share.

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