Life’s hectic, we hear ya! It can be difficult enough to find time for taking care of yourself, getting the dishes done and walking the dog, let alone managing all your business priorities. We’ve compiled a quick and handy guide on how to fit all the craziness of life into your schedule, without burning out.

Fitting work into life (and not the other way around)

There isn’t a specific formula for achieving work-life balance, but pouring in 10, 12, 14+ hour days isn’t the way to go. Small business owners can easily fall into the trap of prioritising work above all else. Not only is this unhealthy, it’s also often unnecessary. Even if you love your work, you should make time for rest, family and other stuff you enjoy too!

The goal is to work smarter, not harder. A few things to try to improve efficiency in your workday include:

  • Planning ahead, by writing a to-do list the evening before
  • Setting a time limit on tasks
  • Using a time tracker to see where your time is going
  • Getting the most important tasks done first thing in the day
  • Delegating or outsourcing
  • Using a calendar to track your meetings and commitments
  • Saying ‘no’ to things you don’t need to do
  • Batching similar work – for example, planning all your content for the year at once.

For more handy time management tips, check out 15 ways to manage your time as efficiently as possible.

Fitting in rest and wellbeing

If you run your own business or have a family, there are people who rely on you. This can spur some people to work ridiculously hard – but the reality is, the people that rely on you also need you to be healthy so you can keep doing what you do. Burning out isn’t good, and is likely to happen if you work too hard.

Make sure to fit in things that help you rest, re-energise and recover, like:

  • Sleep (of course!)
  • Relaxing, by reading a book or going for a walk
  • Exercise
  • Eating nutritious meals (and cooking them can be relaxing as well)
  • Meditating.

Taking care of yourself may not always seem to fit into your schedule, but it should be high up on your priorities. Try and ensure you’re leaving at least 7 hours per day for quality sleep, and an hour or two on top of that for relaxing, exercising and unwinding. Take a look at our 5 mental health tips for small business owners for more ideas.

Fitting in family and friends

We’ve all got social commitments, whether it’s taking the kids to soccer practice, attending Aunty Marg’s 60th birthday party, Friday drinks with your mates, or weekend brunch with your bestie. These activities can take up valuable time, but are super important to do.

Socialising is great for your overall wellbeing, can help you deal with stress better, and may even help you live longer!

It can help to put your social events into your work calendar in a different colour, so you can see what’s coming up in your work and social life, and plan your work commitments around the important life stuff you don’t want to miss.

Fitting in hobbies and side hustles

Whether you’ve got a love for golf or surfing, or have a blog you run on the side – don’t give up on your hobbies and side hustles. Sure, they may not seem as important as your paid work and the time you spend with family, but fitting in things you enjoy where you can will help you experience a fuller, more varied life.

Some people like to set aside time in the evenings or weekends for passion projects, while others plan specific weekend getaways or trips to focus on them. Whatever method works for you, be sure to squeeze that hobby into your calendar somewhere!

Fitting in the commute

Commuting can be a drag, and for some people may take up hours in the day. But this doesn’t have to be time wasted! If you’re travelling on public transport, you can always fire up the laptop, hook it up to your mobile hotspot and get through your work emails before you even arrive at the office. If you drive to work, this can be valuable time spent listening to podcasts or audio books to either learn new things, or relax. Some people even use their daily commute to meditate or do breathing exercises to inject some ‘zen’ into their life around work. Or, if you can walk or ride a bike to work – there’s a massive opportunity to get some exercise in.

It can be so easy for time to get away from small business owners. But by following some of these tips, you can get back on top and be super productive in all areas of your life. And the great news is, you don’t have to do everything yourself! Delegating and outsourcing is another important method you can look to as a small business owner when you can’t fit everything in.

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