When you’re running a screen printing shop, especially if you are running your own business, it can be easy to devote all of your waking hours to your business. There’s a never ending list of tasks and a constant temptation to stay late to finish the project your working on so you can move on to your next money-generating order.
The constant grind can lead to burnout, making you feel constantly stressed out, overworked and tired. Burnout is bad for you personally, and it can hinder the success of your business.
To avoid burnout, you have to find a healthy work-life balance. Work-life balance might seem like a far-off goal, but it is attainable. To find a work-life balance that works for you, you do have to make a concerted effort to make a plan and stick to that plan. Here are some tips on how you can find a better work-life balance in your screen printing business.
Set limits on how many hours you are willing to work
When you are running your own business, your business’s profit is directly related to how many jobs you can take on and complete. That makes it tempting to work long days while avoiding weekend breaks and vacations. Those long hours take a toll, and they can hurt your business in the long term. In fact, studies have shown that when people work too many hours and become burned out, they achieve less during their long hours at work; managing your time can make you more productive. To avoid overworking, decide how many hours you are willing to work and employ strategies to stick within those constraints.
Spend your time on the most beneficial — and important — tasks
If you’re committed to limiting the number of hours you work, how can you get everything done? The reality is likely that you can’t. To avoid working longer hours than you intend, focus on priority tasks and the tasks you can do that have the most impact on your business. Have a prioritized to-do list. It can be easy to feel like you have to do it all when you’re running a business, but don’t burden yourself with packing boxes or filing paperwork if your time is better spent meeting with potential customers or designing custom artwork. If you find that there’s more work than can be divided between you and your staff in a reasonable amount of hours each week, you might have to look at hiring additional staff or reducing your workload.
Take advantage of flex time
Flex time is becoming more and more popular with employers. It can reduce stress and help you and your employees find a better work-life balance. With flex time, you can allow employees to work a set amount of hours each week, but they determine when those hours are worked. If you and your team put in a 10-hour day to complete a big print run, you can give them the flexibility to work a shorter day later in the week. Flex time can allow employees to take additional days off without using vacation time or to leave work early or come in late to deal with family obligations, like attending kids’ sports games or scheduling doctors’ appointments.
Set a clear line between ‘work time’ and ‘personal time’
Consistently taking work home with you, answering work calls or emails on the weekends or after you’ve left work for the day, can boost stress and make you feel like you never leave the shop. Set a boundary between your work time and your personal time. Don’t deal with work business when you’re not on work time. Let your staff know that you should be reached for emergencies only when you’re at home or with your family. Respect your employees’ off time by not calling, emailing or texting them when they’re not at work, and try not to send them off on a Friday thinking about everything they’ll have to face on Monday morning.
Encourage employees to establish work life balance, too
Having work-life balance isn’t just important for you; it’s also important for your employees. When your employees have a good work-life balance, they’ll have higher job satisfaction and be likely to stay with your company longer. They’ll be more motivated and productive on the job. Help you employees to strike a work-life balance by encouraging them to implement the strategies above. The best way to make sure your employees are finding balance, however, is to model good behavior. Employees’ work habits often mirror the boss’s work habits, so when you are dedicated to finding a work-life balance, your employees are likely to follow suit.
Finding work-life balance is important to the well-being of you, your family and your business. Finding work-life balance can be a struggle. Successfully finding a work-life balance means setting and enforcing values and remembering to focus on what the priorities are in your life. You might have to regularly evaluate your work-life balance and look at what you can do to make that balance work for you.