Finding your balance

May 8, 2024
Striking a perfect work-life balance is hard, but there are strategies you can implement to help keep things a bit more equal.

How’s your work-life balance? As a small business owner — and one who typically works on their own at that — it can be difficult to separate your work life from your home life. I know I still struggle with this, and, of course, a “perfect balance” doesn’t really exist. Sometimes work is tipping the scales and sometimes it's life, but let’s be honest, it’s usually work. 

From conversations I’ve had with many of you, I know you’re putting in more than the usual 40 hours a week — early mornings, late nights, and weekends are part of your norm. 

However, staying in a prolonged state where work overwhelms your personal life or vice versa has its consequences. When our work takes over our lives and leaves no room for anything else, this can be highly stressful. And that stress can take mental and physical tolls — lack of sleep, irritability, lower immunity, higher risks of injury, etc. While on the other hand, if you let life overtake work, then you can not have work to come back to.

In this month’s Tales From the Road article, Mac Tools distributor David Fulkman talks about maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Though he understands the importance of being available for his customers and the other demands that come with being a tool distributor, he’s put a greater emphasis on spending more time with his wife and three sons.

“I’m more focused on that now,” says Fulkman, talking about his relationship with his family. “We take vacations quarterly as a family to kind of reset.” 

Though no formula exists for creating a perfect work-life balance, in a blog from, Nellie Akalp, CEO of CorpNet, lists a few tips to help you find your balance. 

1. Establish a no-work zone 

Whether this is a time of day or a particular location, keep this space free of business emails and phone calls, computer work, and “shop talk.” Give yourself a chance to step back from work and reconnect with the other important areas of your life. 

Fulkman utilizes his own no-work zone by cutting off work at a specific time each day and leaving whatever comes up until the next morning. In doing this, he’s able to dedicate that time to his family instead.

2. Get organized

By setting up a more structured schedule, it will allow you to see where you may be wasting time and overextending yourself. Try to list all your to-dos based on priority. Is it a “must-do quickly,” a “must-do in the near future,” a “must-do but not anytime soon”, or a “don’t really need to do at all?” 

3. Don’t be afraid to delegate

It can be hard to step back and allow someone else to take charge, but eliminating some of those tedious tasks from your to-do list can help free up some of your time. For example, keeping a clean truck takes time. Perhaps this is a chore you can give to your child or a friend’s/neighbor’s child so they can earn a bit of pocket money. If it’s not something you have to do, see if you can get some help. 

Finding your balance takes some work, but in the end, it’s worth it. 

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