How to gain 2 hours a day to spend with friends and family

Being an entrepreneur isn’t a 9-5 job. It can be a great lifestyle, with no boss to answer to and the freedom to work on your business when you want, make your own rules, and be in charge of your own destiny.

However, being an entrepreneur can also be a curse, and there are plenty of stories about the struggles business owners face, the sleepless nights, endless working, families that suffer in the name of trying to make a success.

By running a business, it’s inevitable that there will be levels of stress involved, after all, there’s not the security of a regular income; the buck stops with you. Most entrepreneurs will have to deal with cash flow problems, staffing issues, clients coming and going, sales rising and falling, and plenty more that when they started out, they probably would never have envisaged.

However, as the famous quote says: “The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success”; but that doesn’t necessarily mean the business has to be a success for you not to go crazy. In my opinion, a successful business is one which its owner is able to manage their time, and to be able to have a work/life balance which means equal priorities between a personal life, and time in the office.

Now I’m sure that you think that this might be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but there are ways to make this happen. After all, you know how much better you feel when you finally relax on holiday, switch off and focus all your attention on your family and friends.

I know that a holiday can be a great boost and much needed time to revive and recuperate, but there are ways to gain some extra time each day to focus on you, outside of the business.

So here are some ways in which you can separate work and pleasure, and in doing so, you will find that not only will you be more productive at work, your leisure time will also be of higher quality – your mind, body and spirit will be thanking you, and so will your family!

  • Start by planning your time out as well as your time working. It seems a bizarre thing to do, but you will find that you are more likely to stick to it if it’s in the diary and scheduled as an appointment. Put as much emphasis on it as you would a client meeting
  • Have someone analyse your business. You can get so integrated with the day-to-day running of your company that sometimes a really easy solution to freeing up some time can be glaringly obvious. It can take an independent pair of eyes to see where improvements can be made
  • Create systems and processes. Sometimes entrepreneurs can be reluctant to spend money on project management systems or online accounting systems, but the time saved as a result could more than justify the initial investment many times over. Technology can be a god send
  • Track where you are spending your time. Again, there are apps and software which can help you do this. You’ll be surprised at how much time is spent on answering emails etc., and also how much time perhaps on social media too. By recognising where time is spent can help you to see where time can be saved
  • Try and schedule tasks so that you are concentrating on one thing at a time. For example, if you have a tender document or proposal to write, schedule in the time needed, and don’t do ANYTHING else during that time. No emails, no phonecalls. You’ll find that you get it done in half the time because you’re not breaking your concentration or getting distracted
  • Outsource/delegate. This is a big thing for many entrepreneurs, as it can be difficult to relinquish control. It’s a big time investment at the beginning, but the more time spent briefing and ensuring suppliers/employees fully understand, then the likelihood is that this will quickly free up a significant amount of your time. Make a list of the tasks that you can outsource, that you don’t need to do. Even if you enjoy it. It’s not the best use of your time

Some of the above may sound obvious, but I can guarantee that many business owners hardly do any, if at all of them. And you’d be surprised at what freedom a little planning can do. Your business won’t feel like it’s running your life. You will be in control – imagine what you can do with an additional two hours a day?