Getting the work-life balance right is something that can be a real struggle when it comes to running your own business. It can be difficult to know how much time to spend on both working in and growing the business, whilst also spending quality time with my friends and family. I think this is something many business owners do struggle with, but I’m starting to improve.
I think it comes as no surprise to any of you that having an unhealthy work-life balance can have detrimental effects on both your physical and mental health, and this is definitely something that I have struggled with. If I didn’t do something I considered to be impactful on a daily basis, I was left with overwhelming feelings of guilt and anxiety, when of course it is impossible to do something impactful every single day – I struggled to realise this however. Working 16 hour days for two years on client work, accounting/book keeping, project management, blogging and social media, all the way down to paying bills – there’s so much more to being a business owner than you might first think, but I didn’t see some of these tasks as impactful, so that’s where the unhealthy balance became apparent.
Undoubtedly, running your own business comes with hard work – but it is also more rewarding than you can ever imagine. One of the things I love is how no day is ever the same, each day surprises me; facing new challenges and also making so many achievements. It makes it all worth it when you see the business growing, gaining more exposure and becoming more successful. Something that really helps with that is having a great team around you, and I definitely have that here at Frogspark. Having such a dedicated and passionate team around me makes it worth it, and another reason I love coming into the office everyday.
Whilst you might want to spend all your time on the business, making it successful and essentially the best it can be, it’s important to realise you’ve got to have a healthy balance between work and social. If not, it can actually have a negative impact on the business – spending time with your friends and family can actually help the business. I find that it helps to have a clear mind and look at things with a new perspective, this can actually help me to approach tasks and other aspects of business without a feeling of overwhelm. I’ve realised that I’ll always feel like there is too much to do, but once you make the shift in mindset to recognise getting a work-life balance has positive impacts on your business as well as yourself, it makes it so much easier.
With the change in mindset, I decided there were things I had to change in the way the business ran, and in myself to improve the work life balance for both myself and at Frogspark.
Day to day tasks that are surprisingly time consuming was one of the first things I focussed on. For a start, I delegated looking after social media to the team – as I found this was somewhere it was easy to spend a lot of time on. I still like to put out tweets myself, and interact with others Twitter, but it is very helpful to have the team helping me out. Similarly with my emails, I don’t know about you, but it can seem as though sometimes I can spend all day looking through and replying to emails. I struggle to prioritise what is urgent, or what can be looked at later that day. A member of the team sorts my emails into folders in line with this, so I can distinguish between what is a key priority and perhaps an event I can sign up to later on the week. With bookkeeping and accounting I realised it would be beneficial to outsource to an accountant, as this is an area that I was finding was really taking up a lot of my time, which I can now put back into the business.
As I mentioned earlier, my main focus has always been on impactful tasks, and those that make a noticeable difference within the business. This is something that is made easier with delegating tasks to a team, as well as having a supportive and hardworking team. That way, I can ensure I’m hitting client expectations before anything else, which is something that is a key priority for me.
Outside of the business, spending an hour in the gym everyday is something that has definitely had positive impacts both on my mental and physical health. It’s a little bit of time everyday where I can disconnect from the business, and have time with my own thoughts to reflect on the day – which I think is something which is very important to do. Running your own business is something that takes up most of your time, and having that alone
time is something we all need.
Again, coming back to this idea of having the right mindset has helped to improve that work-life balance for me. Realising that you won’t necessarily be fulfilled by what you’ve done, and not everyday will be an improvement on the last is something that can really help. Just the way in everyday life, you have ups and down, where some days are better than others – running a business is no different. You learn from those ups and down, and that’s where both you and your business grow and improve.
You might not think it, but listening to podcasts is something that can really help to aid that work-life balance, or certainly for me anyway. It allows you to have that all important time spent outside of business, but whilst doing so, you can improve on your own personal skillset, therefore having positive impacts on both your life inside and outside of the business.
In 2012, I set up Frogspark whilst studying full time at University. Since going full time over two years ago, Frogspark has formed a fantastic team, worked with some great clients and is fast becoming one of the most widely known agencies in the local area.@RobTwellsUK