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When you are your own boss, sometimes the line between work and play gets blurry, and it might seem like you are working all of the time. Here are some tips that I use to get back to working during work hours, and playing during play hours.
Make your Clients Aware of your Office Hours
When I meet new clients for a consultation, I make them aware of my usual office hours. There are certain times of the year that I have unusual hours, but they are not the norm, they are the anomaly. When you make your clients aware of what time they should expect you to be available, they will follow. It is too easy to be available 24/7 between phone and email. Set the expectation and good clients will appreciate your boundaries.
Not Answering the Phone Past My Office Hours
I could tell you that I put my phone in a basket at the front door as soon as my family is home, but that would be an alternative fact. Instead, if a client calls me past what I have made my office hours, I do not answer. I do not check the voicemail until I am in my office the next day. I do not answer or send texts past my office hours. I am not a Doctor, and nobody is dying! The work will be there the next day. So put your phone away, and take a moment to relax and unwind.
Take a Walk
Fortunately, every school day, I stop to walk and pick up my kids from school. During that walk, I will listen to a podcast, or music, or just the silence. It is amazing what two 10 minute walks can do for my productivity. I am refreshed, and if required, able to work a couple more hours when I get home.
Take Days Off. Take Long Weekends. Just Take some Time Off!
Everybody needs down time. When you are go, go, go, sooner or later, you will experience burnout. You will no longer enjoy your business. You will no longer have the energy to keep going. Your body will tell you sooner than your brain. Just stop. Take that day off. Take that week off. Take that Stat Holiday off. Nobody is going to take that Gold Star away because you were not working 365 days of the year!
What to do, do you ask? Enjoy your life. Enjoy time with your friends. Enjoy time with your family. Go to a concert. Go to the beach and listen to the ocean. Go to a park. Read a book. Travel and experience a different place. Go, and do anything, anything at all, but work! Invest in your play time and you will see positive results in your business.