Perhaps you've been thinking that things need to change for a while. You're working long hours. You're slogging through your day, putting out fires. You end the day feeling like you didn't get to everything that you really wanted to get done.
You have two choices. You can stay on this energy-crushing path, working hard and sacrificing time with your family, friends and anything you used to enjoy doing. Or you can decisively reclaim your life while still taking care of business.
It’s about working fewer hours. Yes, your business goals are an important part of your life and your identity, but too much focus on work and you'll end up burnt out. To take back the rest of your life, you'll have to scale back the hours you work. That doesn't mean getting less done or making less progress. It’s about working smarter. It’s about making the most of each hour you spend working.
The best place to start is to simply look differently at yourself and your position in your business. You don't necessarily need to be the jack of all trades that takes care of everything. Instead, you’re the boss. Your job is to plan for the future, figure out where the business should be going and what you need to do to get there. You’re the big planner, the brains of the operation.
Once you make that mental shift, you'll need some help. This isn’t going to be easy. It requires letting go, which can be difficult for many people. Look at what you do in your day to day operations. There are likely some tasks you shouldn't be doing... things that are 'below your pay grade' because *your* time is better spent doing things of higher strategic value. Maybe it’s answering customer service calls and email, maybe it’s updating your website interface, maybe it’s taking care of shipping.
Taking back your life may mean letting go of some tasks and building a team that can help you keep your business running. Start small and find someone to help you part-time. As your business grows, so can the team that works with you.
Without these steps, you’ll continue to work hard, long hours and you’ll hit a wall. You’ll get to a point where you can't possibly do any more in a given day, week or month. Don’t limit the growth of your business by working too hard.
Work smart, get some help and keep on growing!