Time to take a break: Top tips for a better work-life balance this summer

Gary Turner, UK co-founder and managing director at Xero, gives his top tips to find a better work-life balance this summer.

Research from Xero’s 2017 Make or Break report reveals that more than half (52 per cent) of British small business owners want to take more time off to help prevent burnout. This comes as no surprise as, when asked how they currently get away from work, the report also shows only 39 per cent of small business owners admitted to being able to take a long holiday, while a notable 18 per cent would prefer to simply continue working from home.

However, the report finds that business owners realise that regularly recharging the physical (and mental) batteries can have a major effect on both the body and the bottom line, with 78 per cent believing their personal wellbeing is closely linked to the health of their business.

To combat this work-life balance struggle, here are Xero’s top tips for entrepreneurs to get the most out of their business, and their summer this year:

Stay heathy

Eat sensibly, avoid stimulants, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep. Keeping your body healthy will help your mind cope with the pressures of running your business. Enjoy natural daylight too, as this is important for your mental health and sleeping patterns.

Take all your holidays

Without a holiday, life can start to feel like being on a treadmill, and that’s not the way to run a business. It’s important to keep a sense of perspective. Don’t forget to encourage your staff to do so either – you will get more out of people when they are well rested and energised.

Schedule your day

Some people work better in the morning, others in the evening. Ask yourself which type of person you are, and save the most challenging work for the time of day when you’re at your mental peak. It’s usually a bad idea to do intensive intellectual work between 2-4pm, so use this time to power through your admin to-do list.

Learn to delegate

The most successful business managers are those who can delegate the right work to the right people, and then let them get on with it. If you find delegating hard, try to improve on it. Your business will flourish if you do and you’ll feel less overwhelmed by your to-do list, too.

Switch off

As hard as it is to avoid constantly checking emails, try to have periods of time when you relax and switch out of work mode entirely. This is particularly important before you go to sleep. Although it might feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to unwind, half an hour with a good book, TV show or a coffee with a friend will give you the refreshment you need.

Slaving away 24/7 will have a negative effect on your business and your personal life, so take time to find the right work-life balance and give yourself the break you deserve.

Further reading on finding a work-life balance

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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Work-life balance

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