Have you heard the new phrase being bandied around the small business bingo sheets?
It’s ‘weisure’ time – a mash-up of Leisure and Work, to describe all those moments in the day when you are supposed to have switched off from work, but your mind is still fully focussed upon everything that has gone on during the day, and everything you have yet to fulfill for tomorrow.
Annoying, isn’t it?
Sometimes it can feel as if work is a virus spreading through every fibre of your being, impossible to escape. It can seem a bit like those first heady days of falling in love when you run your own small business – your mind is constantly occupied with thoughts of it, you get butterflies when things progress…and you can’t switch off.
The bad news is, we need an element of psychotic obsession to make our small businesses work well. The good news is, we can learn to manage our thought processes and approach to ensure that we don’t become completely absorbed in work to the extent that nothing else seems to come close to distracting us.
The following tips are designed to help you switch off at the end of your working day, to prevent you being one of those small business bores that people don’t like inviting over for dinner…
OK, it may sound boring and fastidious, but having a strong list of tasks which you refer to each day and maintain on an ongoing basis is the one thing which will stand between you and weisure meltdown. If you don’t keep track of everything which you need to do each day, you have to store it in your mind instead of on paper, which can take up valuable thinking space which could be used for other things such as having a conversation with your family, or enjoying what you are having for dinner.
Enhance Your Administration
Keeping on top of paperwork is a great thing to do, even if you are the sort of person who would rather stick pins in yourself than wield files and staples to get to a state of order. When you have a great filing system in place, you save time each day by knowing where everything is. If you spend a little time every morning, for example, putting things where they belong, logging the work you have done and keeping abreast of invoices and bills, your mind will be freed up from that endless feeling of mild anxiety that stops you from concentrating on leisure time when you close the office door each evening.
Outsource Out-of-hours Work
If you find yourself working longer and longer hours, it’s worth remembering that you can outsource some work to people who can do a better job than yourself. Instead of spending time maintaining your blog or writing articles, pass the work over to an expert who will be happy to do the tasks you loathe for a small fee. The time you get back will be well worth the investment, and you’ll finally get the opportunity to switch off at the end of the day. Really savvy business owners outsource to people in a different continent, so that they can do the work while you sleep – a perfect solution to not getting enough leisure time!
Work To Set Hours
It’s important to be disciplined about your business. If you got up each day at a set time, applied yourself fully to your task list, and didn’t get distracted, how much more productive could you be? Make a pledge that you will switch down your computer at a set hour each evening, and walk away from your business until the following day.
What do you do to ensure you switch off from working on your small business?
Please share your tips and ideas in the comments below.
I think that many sole proprietors are, indeed, aware of the concept of burnout. But when you are a one-man business, and you either have a passion for what you’re doing and/or you’re struggling to make it, it’s hard not to seize the opportunity to work any chance you get (on Sundays, during holidays, etc.). And that’s even when you know how to delegate…
It is hard I agree…especially during the early months/years of start-up.
I try to be as efficient as possible and seek any sort of tools/software that will make my life easier.
Crap, I was so hoping it was a typo so I could ask if you were hunting wabbits! 😉
Aside from that, an excellent list of tips.
Work to set hours…..is that the punchline? lol
I know some of these tips are easy to write down and hard to follow. It’s about making them good habits.
I know, I was kidding. With my personal disabilities, set hours are not a possibility.
When the workload is too much outsourcing is a great idea and its completely true, some of the results have been outstanding which has helped me work faster and in a more organized way. We are only humans and how much work can we handle at a time? When we feel life is becoming too stressful with no quality time, it is time to lighten the workload by getting some help for a minimal fee.
very true…I think many find outsourcing quite stressful as they cannot ‘let go’. They have to learn that.
The tips there are exciting. We need some leisure times but We need no to loose much our work time. That’s all I need. Thanks.
I definitely think it’s something that you get better at managing over time – when you’re young and just getting started you’ll do whatever it takes.
As you get more experienced you realize that working smarter not harder wins every time.
I agree with you but I don’t think everyone (no matter what age) works smart.
I have been working very long hours for about a year now. Then I became so exhausted from it all, realised I had to take stock.
With a limited budget and the time zone differences it can be hard to cut down the hours. However, I have managed it and feel soooo much better for it.
Also helps that I now have a couple of people I can trust to do some of the techie things that take me forever to do or are beyond me LOL
Some good tips and as you are a great example of someone who has a successful business, worth taking note of. Thanks for sharing them with us. Appreciated.
Patricia Perth Australia
I hope all is well.
I think your body/mind tell you when you are doing too much and some people just carry on regardless. Glad you didn’t.
You have made a very wise move about outsourcing your technical stuff. You can now concentrate on what you are great at.
Hi Andrew. It is good to be back reading your work again. Yeah, you are right,.It is pretty annoying that you will switch off your business after your hardships. You must do all the things that you can so that you will survive…:)
Do all the things you can…and outsource the rest!
P.S. Great to see you here again!
I think that since making money is becoming more of a competition, business owners and working themselves to the bone because it is essentially a 24/7 job. These tips are great and hopefully we can all work to live…not live to work.
I think the early years of any business start-up is crucial and we all work long, long hours.
After a year (or 2 or 3), I think hours can be reduced but it does depend upon what you want from your business.
People are creatures of habits. I thought a good way to switch off from business after working hours is to make sure that you develop interesting hobbies or get into the habit of pursuing meaningful activities such as spending time with the family. But I guess this is all possible only if the businesses are fairly stable and the owner do not have to worry about income or issuing the next pay check to the workers.
We all need to switch off from work.
I love your comparison of running a small business to falling in love. It’s exciting, but can be overwhelming nonetheless. Making lists always helps me to have a clearer mind when away from work. I’ve never thought about it quite as you describe it, but I guess that the physical act of writing these things down on paper really does help them take up less space in your mind.
I really thing it does. By writing them down, you don’t have to think…”Right, what’s next?”.
Funny thing is, when I go into “weisure” mode all I end up doing is thinking about the work I am NOT doing. Anyone else feel like that?
I do sometimes feel like that. I have to focus on the activity I am doing like dancing or simply watching TV.