Five tips for maintaining work-life balance in 2014

It’s the start of a new year, so we’re kicking it off with a resolution that’s vital for the mental health of every small business owner: maintaining work-life balance. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind when you’re running your own business (whether you’re a startup or not!), which makes it even more important to strike a balance between work and the rest of your life. Your business may be your life, but sometimes you just have to take a step back and readjust your priorities for your own health and happiness—not to mention that of your family. Trust us, follow these five simple rules for being a well-adjusted small business owner, and you’ll thank us later.

Five rules for maintaining work-life balance in 2014

1. Wake up earlier

The first secret to maintaining work-life balance is getting an early start. For some of us, this is a no-brainer that we already practice daily; but for those of you who hit the snooze button 10 times before you actually roll out of bed, this tip is for you. Try getting up even an hour earlier every day, and see what a difference it can make in your productivity. Whether this means squeezing in a workout before the work day, or hitting the ground running on knocking out emails in the peace and quiet of an empty office, being a “morning person” is a common trait of the world’s most highly successful people.

2. Don’t eat at your desk

A surefire way to achieve burnout and just generally make yourself miserable with work is to never take a lunch break. And we don’t mean having a Cup-a-Soup at your desk—we’re talking about having lunch away from your computer, at home, on a park bench, at a restaurant with a friend, or even just in your office’s break area with a good paperback. Even taking a brief 30-minute mental break during the day will do wonders for your state of mind, and even the quality of your work.

3. Get moving

Even if you’re slammed with work, make exercise a priority each and every day to keep a positive work-life balance. Maintaining your physical health is non-negotiable, and will pay dividends in the long run. This is where rule #1 can come into play: wake up just a little earlier every day to get in a workout before work, and you’ll be glad you did! A little cardiovascular activity early on can give you the boost of energy you need to tackle your to-do list with confidence and focus.

4. Attend networking events

Getting out of the office and in front of other professionals has two benefits for small business owners and entrepreneurs: first, as stated, you’re out of the office! Congratulations, you get to have real, face-to-face conversations with actual people, and maybe even learn a thing or two. Second, networking is an important part of growing a small business, so you’re boosting your company’s profile at the same time.

5. Keep your priorities in check

Perhaps the most difficult rule to achieve in maintaining work-life balance is keeping your priorities straight. It’s a task that’s easier said than done for most small business owners, for whom work is life. Try making a list, in order, of the things that are the most important to you. Then, as you schedule your day, your week, your month, ask yourself, “Am I giving enough attention to the things that are the most important to me and my wellbeing?” If the answer is no, perhaps it’s time to readjust how your time is spent, even if it means taking a little more time away from email and off the radar.

Here’s to a healthy, happy and successful 2014! These are just a few tips that work for us—what suggestions do you have for maintaining work-life balance?

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