France kicked off 2017 with a new law for workers – the right to disconnect – which allows them to ignore emails and other correspondence when out of the office.
Achieving a work-life balance is a global issue as one in three full-time employees in some of the world’s largest economies feel it’s become more difficult, according to a 2015 report by Ernst & Young.
For small business owners, this can be an even more pressing issue. It’s easy to devote nearly all your waking hours on running your business. But the hours away from your family and the health issues caused by stress are reason enough to try to improve your work-life balance. What may be surprising is that technology, which lets you be connected to your business 24/7, can also be used to curb the tendency to tilt the scales too much in favor of work.
How Much Time Do You Spend On Work
Do you know how much time you actually spend on work? Odds are it’s probably more than you think because you may not consider the time you spend on business lunches, networking, and other work-related events.
There are many apps, i.e. TimeTune for Android and ATracker for iOS, to give you data that you can use to analyze how you actually spend your hours. Seeing it in black and white will help you decide a better way to spend your time to achieve work-life balance.
Break the Habit
It’s so easy to always check your phone to see work email or text a work contact. BreakFree is an app for both iOS and Android that analyzes how long you use your phone and sends alerts when you are connected for too long. This way, you can help control the time you spend on your phone, particularly for work-related issues.
Don’t Spend Too Much Time on Social Media
Social media is a critical marketing tool for small businesses. But it is easy to let it become a distraction, particularly when you are working long hours on your computer. If you can cut down the amount of time spent on social media, you will likely be more productive.
RescueTime is software that monitors your social media usage and helps you spot the times you’re on it the longest. You can then set goals accordingly to limit time. If you exceed these limits, RescueTime will send you an alert.
Manage Your Time Wisely
It’s easy to forget an important professional or personal task and then have to circle back and spend more hours trying to catch up. An online management tool is a good way to make sure you don’t forget either personal or business tasks and help prioritize your projects. One of the best apps that works on all your devices is Todoist. Another tool focused more on the business audience is Asana.
Consider a Virtual Assistant
If you simply cannot complete everything required in your role and don’t have the money yet for a full-time assistant, you may want to consider a service such as Zirtual, where you can hire a virtual assistant to perform duties such as respond to emails, schedule meetings and appointments, research and order products, services and gifts, make travel arrangements, coordinate events, perform market research, and other tasks as requested. Packages start at $398 a month for 12 hours of service.