June 11th 2019

How to switch off as a small business owner

According to a study conducted by Simply Business, almost half of small business owners cancel social plans at least once a week because they are too busy with work-related matters and 25% have fallen ill due to stress and overwork. As a small business owner, it can be easy to fall into the trap of being stuck in ‘work mode’ but it’s important to look after yourself to avoid an inevitable burn out. We take a look at some tips that may help you reach a happy equilibrium between your work and personal life:

Take a techno-free hour 
Set aside an hour of every evening to turn off your phone and any other technology where you can truly take time out for yourself without any distractions. Don’t be tempted to sit and scroll through social media and pass that off as downtime, either. It will be all too tempting to check your emails or pick up a message.

Keep doing what you love 
Whether it’s spending time with your family, taking long walks, playing sports or something else, it’s important to make time for your hobbies and interests as a small business owner. While it may be difficult in the first few years of operation to take extended time off, there’s no reason why you can’t take an extended lunch break with your friend or enjoy a quiet afternoon walking the dog. It’s easy to forgo these things for a seemingly endless list of tasks to complete but with good timekeeping and prioritisation, it’s possible to have the best of both worlds. 

Build a support network 
Running a small business can sometimes be incredibly isolating, and that’s not just for those who work alone. It can be difficult if you have nobody to work through challenges with or bounce ideas off. To tackle this, there are many networks of small businesses across the UK where you can network with other like-minded entrepreneurs and build up your list of industry contacts. Try to schedule in a meeting at least once a week with a mentor, a close friend or relative, no matter how informal, to get any worries off your chest.

Schedule your day 
While many believe that setting your own hours is a major perk of being a business owner, it can prove detrimental to your mental health if not done effectively. Schedule your day with set times to wake up, have lunch and clock out for the day. Within your schedule, don’t forget to take time out, whether that’s in your lunch break or through a series of small, regular breaks. If you work from home, you have the added benefit of playing to your strengths. If you’re not a morning person, push your working schedule into the afternoon and use the morning to kick back and look after yourself.

Avoid overburdening your schedule 
It can be tempting to want to take on anything and everything when you’re running your own business because at the end of the day, who can do it better than you? Yet one of the key skills of effective management is effective delegation. Consider at what you’re doing now and decide what it is that only you can do and what you can outsource or delegate to others. This will free up your time to work on important tasks and make some time for yourself.

If you’re worried about your insurance and feel overwhelmed at the number of options available to you, the Chartered brokers at Hine are here to help. After an initial review, we will find a policy that meets your unique requirements. We won’t bombard you with jargon or brush over the small print. We’ll talk you through exactly what you need to know so you can focus on growing your business. Call us on 0161 438 0000 to book your free consultation.