Work-life Balance for Business Owners During COVID-19

By: First Union

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Work-life Balance for Business Owners During COVID-19

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Is COVID-19 destroying the work-life balance you strove to create? Maybe you never got a perfect work-life balance down as a business owner, it can be hard. Many business owners already struggle with the concept of having a life. And now with COVID-19 you may be unexpectedly working from home, not working at all, or working more than ever. There are ways to promote healthy balance when working from home.

It's a phrase that is thrown around a lot but what exactly does it mean? Work-life balance is the balance between the demands of your career and personal life. If you are unbalanced here it can lead to fatigue and other undesirable side effects. When you are working too much, such as day and night working from home, you can experience major burnout. On the flipside, if you are not working at all right now it can lead to anxiety and depression and feeling like you aren't moving forward. How do we find a balance when working from home in the time of COVID-19? Here are our tips.

Make Room

For the human brain, it's important that we can in some way compartmentalize our activities. If your body is trained to go to sleep in your bedroom, moving a desk in there can disrupt that training in many ways. If you suddenly introduce a work environment on top of your sleep environment, your brain gets confused. This can lead to feeling tired at your desk, or awake in bed. Don’t get your wires crossed. It is highly suggested, even if space is an issue, to find somewhere outside of your bedroom to set up your workspace. Even if you feel like working in the bedroom is not affecting you right now, down the line your brain will begin to associate work and sleep subconsciously. Any space, no matter how small, can be turned into a makeshift workspace. All you need is a desk. If you do now have a proper desk you should look for a cheap one and set up your space.

This not only leads to better sleep and productivity, but will help keep a healthy work-life balance in your home. If you live with other people, explain to them that when you are in your work area you are not to be disturbed. Also, realize for yourself that when you are not in your area, work is over. It’s important to separate the two worlds. It can be so easy to get tired of sitting at your desk so you take the laptop over to the couch to finish up. But there needs to be a clear boundary in your mind of where you work, and where you relax. Especially now since these two areas have grown closer in proximity. It may take a little bit of discipline, but it will pay off. If you need to take a break, take a real break like you would at work and step away.

Stick to Your Schedule

Again, sticking to your schedule will help your brain recognize when work is over and allow you to relax when it’s time to. Do your very best to keep regular working hours, and when work is over, let it be over. Do not try to half-work while you are enjoying dinner, or before you go to bed. Continue to wake up and go to bed at your regular time. Once you let your healthy sleeping habits slip, the boundary between work and life gets blurry. Let your team know the hours that you are available and ask them to only contact you during these hours.

If you find yourself with some extra time in the morning or afternoon because you no longer have to commute, don’t let it go to waste. If you have an extra hour in the morning now that you don’t have to right traffic, don't use it to sleep in. Remember that drive is part of your routine, and like it or not it is time you would normally spend awake, thinking, listening to music, and gearing up for the day. It’s a great idea to replace your commute with a walk, this will help your brain to compartmentalize your day between work and life.

Use This Time

Because of COVID-19, the world is collectively slowing down in a way we have never experienced in our lifetimes. By keeping your work-life balance healthy, that means that you should make time for life also. For some of us, we have worked so hard to build a business and make it run, and have probably sacrificed in other parts of our life to get there. It’s important to realize that there is no amount of work that you can personally do to change the global situation right now. Don't burn yourself out trying to. If you take care and time now to optimize your work-life balance you will be going back to work refreshed and ready, having made the most of this unique time.

Remember that the second part of “work-life balance” is life! Make sure that you can physically and emotionally step away at the end of the day. Make plans for after work. This can be as simple as going to the store, having dinner with your family, or calling a friend, but there has to be a distinction.

First Union Lending is always here to help small business owners. We recognize that this time may be particularly hard for some people who feel like they have to be a one-man team to keep business afloat. If you need financial help in the form of funding, First Union Lending can put together a funding program to fit any small business owner's needs. With 9 different loan programs we can find something perfect for you. Also, in an attempt to help small business owners as much as we can during this time, we are in the process of taking applications for the next round of funding in distributing the government PPP loans for disaster relief. Click here or call to get started.

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