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The 24-Hour Work Day

Having a small business usually means you carry the weight of the business with you 24/7, and you can never quite switch off from it entirely. Should we even bother trying to strike the perfect work-life balance?

I just read about a Dutch company who designed a ‘disappearing office’ where the desks (and computers) are airlifted into the ceiling when the clock strikes 6pm.

And France recently outlawed working on weekends and after hours, meaning that even sending an email in the evening could get you in trouble.

It seems that the more we move our lives and workloads onto our mobiles, the more our work lives intrude into our personal lives, and the more we carry our workloads with us wherever we go. It’s a losing battle. With that in mind, it’s probably too late to try and find a perfect ‘work-life balance’. Instead, I reckon we just need to find a healthy way to draw lines in the sand between the two.

Having a small business usually means you carry the weight of the business with you 24/7, and you can never quite switch off from it entirely. So what can be done?

  1. Set times to pursue the things you enjoy and which help you step out the work zone, where you won’t be available to answer calls or emails. This doesn’t mean you have to meditate for an hour every day. It can be going for a weekly jog, getting rid of your phone during mealtimes, or scheduling a few hours during the weekend where you’re in full leisure mode.
  2. Take advantage of out-of-office automatic email replies, and tailored voicemail messages. Block out times in your schedule and set them to recur weekly
  3. Take your phone with you to bed every night to ensure you fall asleep later and wake up angrier. (In other words, swap your phone for a book, and spend some time reading instead of scrolling. Your brain will thank you later.)
  4. Even if you aren’t going to commit to switching off out of hours, make sure not to expect your employees to work round the clock too. This will help establish a sense of boundaries in your company’s culture, and will hopefully pay back one day when you need others to respect your own needs for a break.

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Sharing customer success stories from good businesses around Australia, practical good business guides and the occasional catastrophic muck-up (and how to avoid them).

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