Improving work-lifestyle balance in 2015

Date: 7th January 2015

Photo by Simon Darby, courtesy of Lake Wanaka Tourism

Photo by Simon Darby, courtesy of Lake Wanaka Tourism

Living in the Wanaka-Queenstown area, surrounded by mountains and lakes, you can’t help but think about work-lifestyle balance. If you moved here from the city, chances are you came with high hopes of a more relaxed or outdoor-focused lifestyle, being able to enjoy summer and winter activities between work hours. Perhaps you run your own business.

If so, are you getting the balance right?  Here is some advice from Xero Small Business Guides so you can make a fresh start in 2015.

Business owners tend to be workaholics. They believe that working hard is the route to success. And so it is – up to a point.  Unfortunately, too much hard work can kill you – literally. Excessive stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart problems, ill health and lack of fitness. It’s also an inefficient way to run a business. It stifles creativity and kills motivation. A good work-life balance is essential if people are to perform to the best of their abilities.

Six tips for balancing work with life

It’s one thing to have good intentions about your work-life balance, but quite another to carry them out. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Learn to delegate
    The most successful business managers are those who can delegate the right work to the right people – and then let them get on with it. If you’re a micro-manager or someone who finds it hard to delegate work, try to change. Your business is more likely to flourish if you learn this skill, and you’ll feel better too.
  2. Take all your holidays
    And encourage your staff to do the same. Without a holiday, life can start to feel like being on a treadmill. That’s no way to run a business. Take breaks when you can, and make the most of your time away from work.
  3. Get regular medical check-ups
    The warning signs of overwork will be clear for everyone to see – except you. Business owners tend to be blind to their own symptoms of stress because they’re so wrapped up in their work. Simple tests will indicate whether you need to reduce your workload.
  4. Stay healthy
    Eat sensibly, avoid stimulants, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep. Keeping your body healthy will help your mind cope with the pressures of running your business.
  5. Switch off
    Learn how to switch off properly at the end of the day and at weekends too. Resist the urge to check your business email or log into your work systems out of hours. Relax and switch out of work mode entirely.
  6. Improve your working environment
    This may mean redesigning your workspace to let in more natural light, tearing down cubicle walls, or adding sofas and plants to the office. Also, these days your office does not have to be confined to the same four walls day after day. You can take your office with you, working remotely or working from home. Online applications such as Xero let you reconcile your bank account in a café, send invoices from the beach and catch up with emails in the park. You can do a lot of your work from anywhere, at any time.

Remember why you’re in business

Think back to when you started your business, and ask yourself why you did it. Perhaps it was so you could have more independence, more money, greater intellectual challenge, or extra free time to spend with your family. Maybe it was all of those things. Keep your goals in mind.

Your work-life balance affects how successful you’ll be at running your business. Slaving away all the time will have a negative effect on both your business and your personal life. If you take the time to get the balance right, you’ll have a successful business – and the health and freedom to enjoy it.

Finally, take up some of the opportunities and sporting challenges that abound in this area such as The Ruby Island  Swim or Challenge Wanaka; or take part in any number of cultural activities such as the Festival of Colour – committing to out of work activities is a great way to get out of the office, improve your health and improve your work-life balance. Here’s to a balanced 2015!


Posted in: Alexandra, Latest News, Queenstown, Wanaka