How To Regain Work/Life Balance Be more productive in (and out of) the office.

By Nicholas Leighton

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Entrepreneurs are notorious for keeping grueling hours and according to one report, 21 percent work every single day. In a separate survey conducted by Qwick, 7 in 10 respondents claimed their job offers no flexibility when it comes to their schedule, with 42% of those polled said they would trade in their benefits for a more malleable calendar.

Fortunately, there are ways you can regain your balance without hurting your business.

Related: Is the 4-Day Work Week Better? Evidence Points to Yes.

Focusing

From meeting with clients to keeping their website up-to-date to tracking important tax deadlines, small business owners do it all. While many businesses activities are critical, they aren't all equally important.

Start by reviewing your existing checklist and ask yourself, will something bad happen if you don't complete this task? If the answer is no, there is a good chance you can make it a lower priority.

Delegating

Identify what tasks can be done by someone else and delegate if A) you don't have strong technical skills to complete the task efficiently; or B) the chore takes you away from higher-value activities..

Many entrepreneurs think delegation isn't an option if they don't have any employees. While it's true that over 80% of all small businesses have no actual workers, you can still hire outside experts or contractors to complete tasks on a project basis.

Related: 5 Marketing Strategies Business Owners Should Start in 2022.

Tasking

With so much on your plate, you likely bounce around all day from task to task. Unfortunately, this can hurt your ability to work efficiently. Even switching between just two different daily goals can cost you 40% of your total productivity.

Instead, focus on just one problem at a time, such as responding to emails. Block out 30 to 90 minutes on your calendar and complete all similar-sounding tasks. By taking this approach, you'll find that you are getting significantly more done in less time.

Motivating

If you find yourself losing motivation, especially when it comes to tedious tasks, commit to just getting started. This is often the most difficult part. One strategy is to set a timer for yourself for 15 minutes. Give yourself permission to stop when the clock stops. In many cases, you'll find that the momentum you gained in that short time will be enough to carry you through completing the entire goal.

Optimizing

Since many small businesses are home-based, make sure that your work environment is conducive to your ability to get things done.

Working at the kitchen table, with kids around, is not a great recipe for productivity. Try to create a space that is inviting but also separates you from other aspects of your life or consider creating a routine where you focus on busy tasks at a local coffee shop.

Minimizing

If you are constantly distracted by your phone vibrating or notifications in the corner of your screen, turn those annoyances off or put them where they won't keep you from the task at hand. Distraction doesn't always come from technology. Even things like large stacks of paper on your desk, or a noisy neighbor, can make it difficult to focus.

Automating

Think about repetitive tasks that take a lot of time to complete. Is there a program or software that can do it automatically? There are lots of automations available with everyday tools like Microsoft Outlook, Google Docs or Smartsheet.

Quitting

You're never going to have enough hours in the day and that to-do list will still be there tomorrow. You'll inevitably need to burn the midnight oil from time to time, but you should avoid making it a habit. Taking the time to unplug and hang with friends can have amazing benefits on your ability to remain productive.

Related: 11 Ways to Automate Your Business and Boost Efficiency

Nicholas Leighton

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Best-selling author, speaker & business owner executive coach

Nick Leighton believes that business owners should make more money and have more free time. He does this through his best-selling book "Exactly Where You Want to Be – A Business Owner’s Guide to Passion, Profit and Happiness," speaking and coaching. #ChampagneMoment.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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