Raise your hand if you’ve ever:
- Missed your kid’s soccer goal because you were checking your email/placing an order/responding to a text.
- Been late to an activity or had to skip a vital run to the grocery store because your to-do list is a mile long and you ran out of time.
- Been interrupted at dinner because a new teammate can’t figure out how to place an order or has a question.
- Missed what your significant other was saying because you were checking your phone.
- All of the above. (Cue the sound of 100,000 hands going up simultaneously.)
Smartphones make it SUPER easy to run your business anytime, anywhere. With so much freedom and flexibility, the physical barriers between a traditional office and your home are removed — but that’s not always a good thing. Trying to do a million things at once means you’re never fully present.
Here are five habits to adopt NOW to boost your productivity and firm up the line between your work life and your home life.
- Identify your priorities. Make a list of everything you do for your business and rank them based on the impact each activity has on your business. The top three to five activities are things you MUST do to be successful. The ones at the bottom of the list are probably things you can let go of or wait to do over a long weekend or when you have extra time. Give yourself permission to let go of the things that aren’t as important and reinvest your energy in the things that have the most impact and meaning for you.
- Set office hours. Choose a couple 2- to 3-hour blocks per week to return phone calls or connect with your team. Let them know your office hours and STICK TO IT. People will only respect your boundaries if you do, too.
- Check your email and social media accounts once per day. Don’t kid yourself: Facebook and Pinterest are a HUGE time suck. And when you’re constantly bombarded with texts and pings throughout the day, it’s easy to get sidetracked from the task at hand. Very little of what happens online is essential to your business or personal life, so limit your screen time to an hour in the morning or evening to check and respond to messages and catch up on Facebook. No worries: No one will unfriend you if you don’t “like” that adorable video of the puppy drinking out of a teacup 30 seconds after it’s posted.
- Divide and conquer. Just because you run your own business doesn’t mean you have to do all of the work yourself. Buddy up with another Consultant and split some of your responsibilities. Take turns hosting your team meetings or making training videos. Let newer team members come up with monthly challenges or recognize accomplishments. By delegating, you’ll make people feel more involved and valued, and you won’t feel so much pressure to do everything yourself.
- Establish no-tech zones or times. Stop clutching your chest. You CAN cut your wireless umbilical cord. Choose a few hours every day when all electronics are off limits, whether that’s during dinner or dance practice. Collect everyone’s devices in a bin and get some low-tech face time. You’ll be refreshed and rejuvenated when it’s time to get back to business.
What habits do you think are most important for balancing your work and home obligations?