Many people start a business to set their own schedule and have more balance in their life. But all too often the result is the complete opposite. There’s a tendency to be always-on when you’re a business owner, because let’s face it – there’s always more work to be done. While anyone running their own show should expect to work hard, there is a difference between working hard to make your dream come true, and letting your work rule your life.

Here are a few simple tips for leaving work at work, and giving yourself room to enjoy the life part of work/life balance:

small business clock off

Create real space
Setting up an actual office space with walls – whether it is a spare bedroom or a space in the garage – gives you a space you can walk away from. And walk away you must. Though it’s common to simply add a desk to a living space, it becomes far too tempting to “pop back into work” in the evenings. Renting a space outside of your home is ideal, and more accessible than ever with new co-working spaces like WeWork popping up in nearly every city.

Be strict about your hours
One of the best parts of running your own business is setting your own hours. Take advantage of this and set hours that work for you, and that free up important time for living life. The most important thing to your customers is not that you work long hours, but that you are available when you say you’ll be. Set hours that work for you, and communicate them to set the right expectations.

Get ‘homework’ done as you go
Do as many smart Invoice2go users do and send invoices on the spot, right when you finish each project or job. Don’t fall into the group of business owners that wait until the end of the day, and go home to find a pile of homework waiting for him. It’s incredibly easy to get most of your admin done digitally, all from your mobile device, as you go. You can also use Invoice2go to capture receipts the moment you get them, giving you another giant efficiency boost, and less to do at the end of the day.

Separate business and pleasure with two phone lines
Is your business phone also your personal one? Consider getting a second phone for business to keep your personal line private.  Separating the two allows you to have total control over who you are accessible to at any given time. A second line can also make it much easier to stick to your set hours, and ‘close down’ the business at the end of the day.

Make the most of transition time
If you end the work day with a commute, that time can be used to think through the last few things from your day, then transitioning into something entirely different. Listen to music or podcasts that help you detach from the day behind, focus on something fresh, and look forward to the time ahead. If you work from home, it’s important to create a transition activity between work and personal time to allow your mind to unwind.

 

Work/ life balance is possible if you understand how to separate the two. Have more ideas for leaving work at work? Share them in the comments.