Working as a sole trader can be heavy-handed at best and isolating at worst, you're responsible for every aspect of your business from customer service to sales to business admin. It's important to be able to switch off every now and then to preserve your mental health.
Here are some tips on how to create a work-life balance as a sole trader.
Set Yourself Strict Work Hours
One of the best ways to ensure you're maintaining a work-life balance is to set yourself strict work hours. This can be working a traditional 9-5 or a 4-day weekend it's important to manage your workload around your schedule and more importantly stick to it. A definitive start and end time will help you efficiently manage your time and lead to more productive workdays overall. This can help avoid overworking which leads to burnout and other mental health declines, aim to stick to this hard deadline and allow yourself time to relax and do the things you enjoy.
If your business involves working with clients make sure that they are aware as well so they know when you're available to contact, avoiding late-night phone calls or around the dinner table.
Invest in a Work Phone
Moreover, a personal phone number used for work can be distracting as all your personal contacts are readily at your fingertips along with social media notifications. It's important to invest in a work phone to keep your personal number private from clients or stakeholders. Allowing you to completely switch off when your work hours are over and avoid any late-night phone calls or emails.
Additionally, using a personal mobile number can be damaging to your business reputation and customers or stakeholders who call in. A designated work phone can do wonders for the perception of your business and allow you to handle a heavy call flow with ease.
Plan Your Time Effectively
When you're your own boss manage your won time to ensure you meet all your deadlines and avoid any unnecessary work. Make sure with each working day you have your own set of goals and tasks you'd like to achieve by the end of the week. For example, this could be dealing with tax returns, meeting with clients or simply just business admin work. Having a to-do list handy will help you stay on track, plan your time and ensure you get your work done.
It's important to know your own limitations when working as a sole-trader, trying to do everything yourself can be determined to your physical and mental wellbeing. Consider outsourcing or delegating some work to a freelancer. This will help shift the workload and leave you to get on with more important pressing matters, ensuring you're producing your best work for clients and allow you to stick to your work schedule.
Have a dedicated workplace
A dedicated work space where you’ll fester for the day can help separate work from play. Make sure that immediate distractions are out of the way such as the TV, your bed or any pets laying around. Sit upright at a desk and that your phone is out of reach during working periods. This will limit the feeling of putting off work and will help you stay focused enough to tackle your tasks for the day.
Keep work behind a door
Moving on from the previous point, make sure that your work is behind a door. Having a border between your place of work and rest creates a physical barrier between distractions and the temptation to slack off your work. By committing your work in a specific way you can replicate an ‘office feel’ and allow you to step out once you take your designated breaks.
Overall, by following these tips you can ensure that your days as a sole trader is as productive as possible while still managing your work-life balance. Make sure that you have space where you can focus on your business but still be able to find the balance between your many responsibilities.
Switching to a phone system can help you manage your day to day activities while also presenting a professional outlook to anyone who calls your business. For more information call 0203 697 4166.