Keep the family running like a finely tuned engine

Long hours on the road can place a real burden on family life. Throw in the pressures of running a business and, without striking a reasonable work-life balance, the stress can quickly start to mount.

For any small business owner, wresting away a few hours per day for the things that really matter is a constant battle – but a battle worth having.

Maintaining a work-life balance

Being able to wind down at the end of a shift and switch off is not only important for your own sense of physical and mental well-being, but for the health of your family. Whatever trendy term you want to use, whether it is being ‘in the moment’ or exercising ‘mindfulness’, clocking off not only lets your family know they are your priority at home, but also supercharges your productivity at work.

But the reality for a lot of owner-drivers is that their work is parked in the driveway – a constant reminder that invoices need to be sent, services need to be scheduled and deliveries need to be organised. So, you’ll need to do strict mental gymnastics to establish strong boundaries between work and family life.

The key is to get organised.

Getting organised

It has almost become a boast to declare that you’re ‘busy’. But the truth is, the perennial problem of being ‘time poor’ is more often a function of being disorganised than not having enough hours in the day. Sure, there are high peak times in business when you are negotiating a major new contract or making capital purchases, but running at an unsustainable pace over the long term is bad for business – and worse for the family.

You can cut the fuse on long-term business pressures by not letting paperwork build up. That’s one of the biggest causes of stress, but it’s also one of the easiest to deal with. Set aside a couple of chunks of time each week to collect and organise receipts, make business calls, meet with clients or organise servicing. That way you can put it all out of your mind until the next time you’ve set.

When that time rolls around, you can knuckle down and do it knowing you’ll be less stressed and better organised when it’s over.

You can even schedule in some ‘me’ time by prioritising rest and doing something you enjoy with the family. It will be time well spent.

Family breakdown is bad for business

It’s no secret that the emotional and financial costs of family breakdown are devastating. It takes a long time to recover and the impact on both the family and the business is significant. Consider the relentless frustration of ongoing conflicts, lost productivity and how the potential division of assets may impact the viability of your business. If you think it seems odd that doing something as simple as organising your time and keeping on top of your paperwork can go such a long way to avoiding breakdown, you’re right, it is odd – but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

Building a business and maintaining a family takes effort. So getting organised enough to maintain strong boundaries between home and work life is essential to making sure you don’t confuse the urgent with the important.