How to reclaim your weekend in 3 simple steps

The Federation of Small Businesses shares helpful ways to ensure running your business doesn’t consume all of your personal time...

Running your own business is hard work, particularly in the early stages. You’ve often invested a not insignificant amount of your own money, certainly a large chunk of your own time, and an unquantifiable amount of emotional investment into getting this dream off the ground.

Whether running a business from home or from a more traditional space, it’s only too easy to fall into the trap of allowing your personal time to be entirely consumed. While technological innovations mean that businesses are more mobile than ever, they also mean that it’s never been more difficult to disconnect, decompress, and enjoy some much-needed downtime.

Working so closely with smaller businesses, we’ve learnt that there are a few simple steps that you can take to reclaim your weekend back.

It’s all about time management

Firstly, use your calendar – both during the working week and at weekends. While you will undoubtedly be occasionally swamped with work, one of the most common reasons for having to work at weekends is time management. When going about tasks, set clear time windows for them and stick to your schedule.

If you find yourself having to work at the weekend, clearly block time in your diary as this will help stop it consuming all your personal time. Another good idea is to have a clear system of prioritising tasks and deadlines. This will help you identify those that must be addressed, and those that you can set your mind to first thing on Monday morning.

Don’t forget to delegate

When it’s your own business, particularly at the start, you feel like you have to do everything yourself. If you don’t do it, it won’t get done, right? But remember, you hired your staff because they are good at what they do. Don’t be afraid to lean on them and give them more responsibility. While there may be teething problems, this will pay dividends further down the line and enable you to concentrate on the tasks that do actually demand your attention.

If you don’t have employees to support you (or if you need an extra boost), there’s an army of freelancers just waiting for your call. They have a wealth of experience, are happy working on a project basis, and can deliver real value to your business. If you’re being distracted from something that really needs addressing, a freelancer can be your knight in shining armour.

Switch off

If you’ve got a workspace at home, shut-down your computer and close the door at the weekend. That way, you’ll be able to resist the temptation to just pop-in and do a bit of work. This is made more complicated by mobiles, with the ability to take your emails with you wherever you go. It’s a good idea to have a specific work phone too. This means that you won’t be tempted to do a bit of work when no-one’s looking and that you can make the choice to leave emails behind.

Running your own business is a real responsibility, but it’s important to remember that you need time off too!

By following our small business tips you can shave valuable hours off your working week and finally claim back some of that downtime that you’ve been craving. Let us know how you save yourself time during the week, tweet us @fsb_voice with the #FSBtime.

For more information about FSB and how we could support your business, please visit www.fsb.org.uk/join or call 0808 1688 512 to chat with one of our team.

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