If you’re a startup founder, you might think it’s impossible to maintain a quality work-life balance. After all, small business owners don’t often have the luxury of being able to pass their responsibilities onto someone else. However, by making a few key life changes, even the most harried entrepreneur can find a meaningful equilibrium.
Establish clear boundaries
Many founders feel the need to make themselves available 24/7 as to not miss out on any business opportunities. The problem with this approach is that it erases the boundary separating your professional and personal time. Without that boundary, you won’t be able to truly separate yourself from work and relax. So instead of always being available, take the U.S. Small Business Administration’s advice and only answer work phone calls, text messages, and emails during business hours, or hire a remote receptionist service that can answer your calls after business hours and on weekends.
Stop trying to multitask
As most small business owners don’t have the capital to afford a full staff, they often find themselves trying to multitask to get more done. However, as the American Psychological Association reports, most humans can’t truly multitask, and attempting to do so can reduce productivity by as much as 40 percent. Consequently, founders interested in optimizing their operational efficiency should make a list of all their daily tasks and complete them one at a time.
As the person primarily responsible for owning, operating and promoting a small business, you may feel that you can’t afford to take breaks. However, the truth is you can’t afford to not take breaks. No amount of dedication can overcome the inevitability of fatigue. Recent studies have shown that to maintain a high level of focus over the course of the workday, you have to periodically step away from your work. Trying to power through using snacks and caffeine will only result in excess stress and diminished productivity.
Invest in a remote receptionist
One effective way small business owners can maintain work-life boundaries, reduce their workload and take worry-free breaks is to invest in a virtual receptionist. A quality remote receptionist can take and log calls from customers, vendors, and employees when you aren’t available. They also offer these services without adding the kinds of payroll and benefits costs that make employing a full-time personal assistant untenable for burgeoning entrepreneurs.
Ruby® Receptionists is the only live remote receptionist service dedicated to creating real, meaningful connections with callers — building trust and helping you win business. Delight your English and Spanish-speaking callers and enjoy a comprehensive suite of features at a fraction of the cost of an onsite receptionist!
For more tips, inspiration and San Francisco small business stories, visit smallbusinesspulse.com.